NAMM Foundation Names the 'Best Communities for Music Education'

Designation recognizes community support for music education program

April 29, 2008

The NAMM Foundation today announced the results of the ninth annual “Best Communities for Music Education” survey, which includes 110 school districts across the United States. The designated programs exemplify community commitment to include music education as part of a quality education for all children. The NAMM Foundation and its music education advocacy efforts work to ensure that all children have access to quality music education programs that encourage lifelong participation in music making.

This year’s roster of musical schools represents 29 states with New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia representing the most districts.

Hundreds of teachers, school and district administrators, school board members, parents and community leaders, representing communities in all 50 states, participated in the Web-based survey. The districts were measured across a variety of program support, curricular and programmatic criteria. Furthermore, the results were measured proportionally, so that communities of different sizes were compared equally.

Participants in the survey answered detailed questions about funding, enrollment, student-teacher ratios, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, private music lesson participation and other relevant factors in their communities’ music education programs. The responses were verified with district officials, and the sponsoring organizations reviewed the data.

“We commend these school districts for their commitment to assuring that music is part of a complete education for children,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director, NAMM Foundation. “It takes the commitment of an entire community to assure that music is part of the core curriculum. Children engaged in music will be the innovation leaders of tomorrow, and there is no better way to build lifelong participation in music than with a solid base of music education.”

Luehrsen also noted that throughout the survey’s eight years, several districts have reported that making the “Best Communities” list has had a tangible effect on their ability to preserve music for their students. This year, recipients cited increased enrollment in music programs and more support from parents and community members as they realize the physical, mental and emotional value music education brings to students.

Research reveals strong correlations between quality music education in school and academic achievement. Students actively involved with music programs develop skills needed by the 21st century workforce, including critical thinking, creative problem solving, effective communication and teamwork.

In conducting the annual survey, the NAMM Foundation is joined by advisory organizations in the fields of music and education, including:

Americans for the Arts (icon link
League of American Orchestras (icon link
The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (icon link
The Metropolitan Opera Guild (icon link
Music for All (icon link
Music Teachers National Association (icon link
National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts (icon link
National PTA (icon link
Yamaha Corporation of America (icon link
VH1 Save The Music Foundation (icon link

The survey was conducted by Enterprise Feedback Management company, Vovici, (icon link

About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs from the international music products industry. For more information, visit icon link

The complete “Best Communities for Music Education in America” roster is listed alphabetically below.

School DistrictCityState
Abington School DistrictAbingtonPennsylvania
Academy District 20Colorado SpringsColorado
Albion Central School DistrictAlbionNew York
Allendale Public SchoolsAllendaleNew Jersey
Ann Arbor Public SchoolsAnn ArborMichigan
Arlington Independent School DistrictArlingtonTexas
Baltimore County Public SchoolsTowsonMaryland
Bay Shore UFSDBay ShoreNew York
Bay Village City School DistrictBay VillageOhio
Beachwood City SchoolsBeachwoodOhio
Belmont Public SchoolsBelmontMassachusetts
Benjamin Franklin Classical charter Public SchoolFranklinMassachusetts
Berea City School DistrictBereaOhio
Big Horn County School District #2LovellWyoming
Black River Public SchoolHollandMichigan
Bolivar R-1 SchoolsBolivarMissouri
Brevard Public SchoolsVieraFlorida
Bristol Virginia City SchoolsBristolVirginia
Carmel Clay SchoolsCarmelIndiana
Carrollton/Farmers Branch ISDCarrolltonTexas
Central York School DistrictYorkPennsylvania
Cheshire Public SchoolsCheshireConnecticut
Chesterfield County Public SchoolsChesterfieldVirginia
Clarence Central Schools, NYClarenceNew York
Clark County School DistrictLas VegasNevada
Cleveland School DistrictClevelandMississippi
Clovis Municipal SchoolsClovisNew Mexico
Commack Public SchoolsEast NorthportNew York
Community Unit School District 300CarpentersvilleIllinois
Coppell Independent School DistrictCoppellTexas
Cuyahoga Heights School DistrictClevelandOhio
David Douglas School DistrictPortlandOregon
DeKalb SchoolsDecaturGeorgia
Denton Independent School DistrictDentonTexas
Dubuque Community SchoolsDubuqueIowa
Ephrata Area School DistrictEphrataPennsylvania
Fairfax County Public SchoolsFalls ChurchVirginia
Fargo Public SchoolsFargoNorth Dakota
Flemington-Raritan Regional School DistrictFlemingtonNew Jersey
Folsom Cordova Unified School DistrictFolsomCalifornia
Fulton County SchoolsAtlantaGeorgia
Garnet Valley School DistrictGlen MillsPennsylvania
Great Neck Union Free School DistrictGreat NeckNew York
Greenwich Public SchoolsGreenwichConnecticut
Guilderland Central School DistrictGuilderlandNew York
Half Hollow Hills Central School DistrictDix HillsNew York
Henrico County Public SchoolsRichmondVirginia
Hidalgo Independent School DistrictHidalgoTexas
Hillsborough County Public SchoolsTampaFlorida
Hilton Central SchoolsHiltonNew York
Hortonville Area School DistrictHortonvilleWisconsin
Hudson School DistrictHudsonWisconsin
Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School DistrictBedfordTexas
Island Trees School DistrictLevittownNew York
Jericho Union Free School DistrictJerichoNew York
Joliet Public Schools District 7JolietMontana
Jordan Utah School DistrictSandyUtah
Klein Independent School DistrictKleinTexas
Lakeshore Public SchoolsStevensvilleMichigan
Lawrence Township School DistrictLawrencevilleNew Jersey
Lebanon City SchoolsLebanonOhio
LeRoy Central SchoolLe RoyNew York
Letcher County SchoolsWhitesburgKentucky
Lewisville Independent School DistrictFlower MoundTexas
Littleton Public SchoolsLittletonColorado
Liverpool Central School DistrictLiverpoolNew York
Longwood Central School DistrictYaphankNew York
Loudoun County Public SchoolsAshburnVirginia
Lynn Public SchoolsLynnMassachusetts
Malta School DistrictMaltaMontana
Metuchen School DistrictMetuchenNew Jersey
Montgomery County Public SchoolsChristiansburgVirginia
Monticello Central School DistrictMonticelloNew York
MSD Lawrence TownshipIndianapolisIndiana
Nanuet Union Free School DistrictNanuetNew York
Niagara Wheatfield CentralNiagara FallsNew York
North Allegheny School DistrictPittsburghPennsylvania
North Babylon Union Free SchoolsNorth BabylonNew York
North Rockland Central School DistrictNorth GarnervilleNew York
Nutley School DistrictNutleyNew Jersey
Olmsted Falls City SchoolsOlmsted FallsOhio
Oppenheim-Ephratah Central SchoolSt. JohnsvilleNew York
Ossining Union Free School DistrictOssiningNew York
Paramus Public School DistrictParamusNew Jersey
Pasadena Independent School DistrictPasadenaTexas
Pequannock Township School DistrictPompton PlainsNew Jersey
Perrysburg Exempted Village School DistrictPerrysburgOhio
Plano Independent School DistrictPlanoTexas
Polk County SchoolsLakelandFlorida
Port Jefferson School DistrictPort JeffersonNew York
Pulaski Community SchoolsPulaskiWisconsin
Putnam Valley Central School DistrictPutnam ValleyNew York
Quaker Valley School DistrictSewickleyPennsylvania
Randolph Township SchoolsRandolphNew Jersey
Roanoke County public schoolRoanokeVirginia
Rush-Henrietta CSDHenriettaNew York
Santa Monica-Malibu USDSanta MonicaCalifornia
South Amboy School DistrictSouth AmboyNew Jersey
South Huntington Union Free School DistrictHuntington StationNew York
Springville Griffith Institute and Central SchoolSpringvilleNew York
St. John School DistrictSt. JohnWashington
State College Area School DistrictState CollegePennsylvania
Sycamore Community Unit School District #427SycamoreIllinois
Syosset Central School DistrictSyossetNew York
Torrington Public SchoolsTorringtonConnecticut
Township of Union School DistrictsUnionNew Jersey
Valier Public Schools District #18ValierMontana
Washoe County School districtRenoNevada
Webster Central School DistrictWebsterNew York
West Des Moines Community School DistrictWest Des MoinesIowa

Casey Kaufman

Giles Communications, LLC
Public Relations

Jodi Burack

Giles Communications, LLC
Senior Vice President

About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 10,300 members located in 104 countries and regions. NAMM events and members fund The NAMM Foundation's efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music, and advance active participation in music making across the lifespan. For more information about NAMM, please visit, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.