On the march: Westfield High School music and performing arts director expands programs


For Andew Muth, music education is more than just a job.

Now in his fifth year as Westfield High School’s director of bands and performing arts, Muth isn’t just a band leader.

In his role over the past five years, Muth has created five- and 10-year detailed plans based on his vision for bands and performing arts. But as the district celebrates Music in our Schools month throughout March, he is hesitant to take all the credit for how the program has blossomed during his five-year tenure.

“I think one of the great things about Westfield and what we’re doing here is, I view it as a collaborative and team effort,” Muth said. “My name is first on the call sheet most days, but ultimately, we’ve created a culture of lots of people working together to make great things happen.”

Muth started at Westfield High School in 2019 when the district was revamping its music department.

Band has been front and center in Muth’s life since he was in first grade, when one of his teachers told his parents that he had natural talent. Muth started in theater in elementary school while attending Paoli Community Schools in southern Indiana, and quickly moved into the band as well, and was drum major in his high school marching band. He brought those lessons with him to his current role.

“When I came to Westfield High School, I thought about my experience,” Muth said. “In my experience, every adult in every room that I had been involved in band was working really hard to make sure that I had the absolute best experience possible. We refer to that here as a world class experience. We want to offer our kids what we feel is the most well rounded, most detailed, most complete music education that we can possibly give them.”

muth festival helpers
Band at Westfield High School is only successful thanks to the adults who assist, according to director Andrew Muth.

Muth has transformed the music and performing arts program, even during the pandemic, from only a handful of classes in 2019 to last year’s seniors who took home a gold medal at Winter Guard International, and this year’s seniors making it to the state finals in marching band, competing in the same class alongside some of the top bands in Indiana. Most recently, Westfield Winds took second place at the WGI Mideast Power Regional; Westfield Open Guard finished their program in fourth place at IHSCGA Open Class State Finals; and Westfield Indoor Percussion won first place at IPA Brownsburg.

Muth said he is proud of the efforts of the students to advance a program even though they only have limited time to participate, a philosophy they refer to as “one rock at a time,” which refers to building up the program piece by piece to benefit future Shamrocks.

The district has also invested in the program, increasing staff and adding course offerings from beginners to advanced. The music and performing arts program now has more than 300 students enrolled in various electives, including 140 students in band, 20 in guard, 130 in choir, 100 in theater, and dozens more in various classes from marching band to piano, guitar and music theory.

Muth said the Shamrock Marching Band is top tier in a state renowned for elite marching band programs. He said the Indianapolis metro area is nationally known for great band programs, alongside Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Orlando.

“These are the places in the county where great things are happening in band, programs that have been successful for 30 years. Generations of band kids have gone through those programs,” he said.

With the program starting to outgrow its space, Muth is assisting the district in the design effort to expand and renovate the music space.

“We’re still building, we’re still growing, we’re still making great things happen and growing toward where we want to go,” Muth said.

Muth credits the work of others for his success and the success of the program, noting that band is a lot of hard work that requires much more than students and staff. He said the program is only successful because of the dedication of parents who play an active role by waking up early and staying up late to get the band and their instruments to where they need to be.

“Music is something that kids can invest every part of themselves into,” Muth said. “I think the great thing about band specifically is that our activity isn’t just something kids can invest in, it’s something that families can invest in.”

Learn more about WHS band and guard at www.westfield.band.

westfield concert perfoms muth
The music department is not just about marching band. Muth oversees all of the WHS performing arts, including choir and theater. (Photos courtesy of Westfield Washington Schools)


At the start of 2024, Andrew Muth was named one of the Yamaha Music USA 40 Under 40.

“They recognize different people in the music industry,” Muth, 34, said. “They just recognize people who have brought what they deem as special or interesting to music education. I was honestly very surprised that I was recognized.”

Yamaha launched the 40 Under 40 music education advocacy program in 2021 to honor educators who make a difference in growing and strengthening their music programs.

Each of the honorees excel when it comes to proactively taking the necessary steps to create a strong music program; proposing and implementing new or bold ideas; showing innovation and imagination in achieving plans and objectives; and establishing, growing and improving music education in their schools and communities.

Learn more at hub.yamaha.com/ under the educators tab.