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Music in Our Schools Month

Heart - Music The Sound of my heart

The celebration of Black History Month is over, although Black history continues to flourish and enhance society (check out my studio FB page for the 28 artists to whom I paid tribute during February). Now it is March, and it is Music in Our Schools Month! (AKA MIOSM)

Not everyone knows this, but my undergrad degree is music education, unless you have read one of my very early blogposts. While I didn’t really want to teach classroom music, I was talked into it by an advisor who had no idea what kind of training a performer and voice teacher needed (and neither did I, for that matter), so she told me I had to be a music education major. The whole story of that misbegotten advice can be found here, in the aforementioned early blogpost.

However, while I don’t feel that i was suited to be a classroom K-8 music teacher, I respect and admire classroom music teachers tremendously. They are why I went into music in the first place. And I’m hoping to use this blog over the next month to profile the teachers who formed my life’s work – and me.

This year’s MIOSM theme is

Heart - Music The Sound of my heart

 

This is the 37th year of MIOSM – when I was an undergrad, I was president of the SMENC (Student Music Educators National Conference) Chapter at my school. At that time, there was only a Music In Our Schools Week. It was a very special week for me. (MENC is now known as NAfME, National Association for Music Education).

And while music education, particularly at the public schools, has been decimated by budget cuts and a focus on STEM (a subject on which I will write later this month, and on which I’ve written before for publication), it still provides an opportunity for young people to find their voices – whether that is through actual voice training or learning to play an instrument.

Unlike the private training that I offer, classroom music offers the opportunity to make music together daily (or at least weekly) with others. Singing in a choir, playing in a band or orchestra, collaborating with each other and learning to listen to each other and create something special.

It is my hope that I can find some way to give back for MIOSM to celebrate the music education I received in my K-12 years, in my undergraduate years, and in my graduate school years. Next year, I’m going to think about this much earlier so that I can find a way to collaborate with the schools in the area (whether it’s through Mezzoid Voice Studio or through my role as programming chair for MDDC NATS).

In what ways did music education affect your life?
Who are the teachers you remember the most?
How is music the sound of your heart:

Drop a comment and let me know. Shout them out! Remember them on your socials and reach out to them if they’re still around!

******
Congratulations to Nick Johnson and Kay-Megan Washington for their first place wins in their MDDC NATS categories, and to Juliet Jones (2nd place) and Sasha Kostakis (honors).
Nick, Juliet, and Sasha all will be competing at the Mid-Atlantic Regionals (and we’ll see what happens after that!)

Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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