Music in Our Schools Month promotes diversity


Mr. Pilius evaluates Ella Schmier (25) ability of playing the piano during Music Tech Class.

Across America, March is Music in Our Schools Month (MIOSM). It is a time where students come together to perform as an ensemble, solo, duo, trio or more. March has been made MIOSM by the National Association for Music Education, to promote its importance for over 30 years. Hereford took this opportunity by starting a jazz band created by Hereford music teacher, Mr. Ryan Pilius. 

Jazz was originally formed between the 1890’s and 1910’s in New Orleans. Its roots have been traced to European and African styles of music that were then blended. New Orleans was the first place to record jazz because it was a port where migrants from all over the world arrived to start a new life. These migrants brought with them their music, culture, heritage, style and much more. Migrants brought their cultures together to create something new: jazz.  

Music helps bring students together with all diverse levels of experience and talent to play together. And Hereford jazz band is another way for students to express their musical interest and bring them together. 

“The music resonates with me, and I think it is really magical, and it is one of the highest forms of musical expression,” Pilius said. 

Jazz band is an after-school club that meets every Wednesday. The students learn about the history of jazz and incorporate that into their playing. The group rehearses songs and learns how to improvise throughout the piece. 

“The bulk of the performance is being made up on the spot, small groups play the head, which is the main song that is not improvised, twice, then everyone takes an opportunity soloing over the same form,” Pilius said. 

Pilius’ college major was jazz guitar, so he uses his own experience to help students get better and genuinely appreciates the culture of jazz. Students confirm that he always talks about jazz and promotes learning about the unique style of music.  

“I’ve been playing both piano and saxophone for a long time, so I tried out for both just because I really like Mr. Pilius, who leads it, and I really like listening to the music as well,” Lindsey Donnovan (‘25) said. 

During MIOSM, students should take advantage of music in today’s society, whether it be through listening, playing, or writing music.