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 District City State
Abington School District Abington Pennsylvania
Academy District 20 Colorado Springs Colorado
Albion Central School District Albion New York
Allendale Public Schools Allendale New Jersey
Ann Arbor Public Schools Ann Arbor Michigan
Arlington Independent School District Arlington Texas
Baltimore County Public Schools Towson Maryland
Bay Shore UFSD Bay Shore New York
Bay Village City School District Bay Village Ohio
Beachwood City Schools Beachwood Ohio
Belmont Public Schools Belmont Massachusetts
Benjamin Franklin Classical charter Public School Franklin Massachusetts
Berea City School District Berea Ohio
Big Horn County School District #2 Lovell Wyoming
Black River Public School Holland Michigan
Bolivar R-1 Schools Bolivar Missouri
Brevard Public Schools Viera Florida
Bristol Virginia City Schools Bristol Virginia
Carmel Clay Schools Carmel Indiana
Carrollton/Farmers Branch ISD Carrollton Texas
Central York School District York Pennsylvania
Cheshire Public Schools Cheshire Connecticut
Chesterfield County Public Schools Chesterfield Virginia
Clarence Central Schools, NY Clarence New York
Clark County School District Las Vegas Nevada
Cleveland School District Cleveland Mississippi
Clovis Municipal Schools Clovis New Mexico
Commack Public Schools East Northport New York
Community Unit School District 300 Carpentersville Illinois
Coppell Independent School District Coppell Texas
Cuyahoga Heights School District Cleveland Ohio
David Douglas School District Portland Oregon
DeKalb Schools Decatur Georgia
Denton Independent School District Denton Texas
Dubuque Community Schools Dubuque Iowa
Ephrata Area School District Ephrata Pennsylvania
Fairfax County Public Schools Falls Church Virginia
Fargo Public Schools Fargo North Dakota
Flemington-Raritan Regional School District Flemington New Jersey
Folsom Cordova Unified School District Folsom California
Fulton County Schools Atlanta Georgia
Garnet Valley School District Glen Mills Pennsylvania
Great Neck Union Free School District Great Neck New York
Greenwich Public Schools Greenwich Connecticut
Guilderland Central School District Guilderland New York
Half Hollow Hills Central School District Dix Hills New York
Henrico County Public Schools Richmond Virginia
Hidalgo Independent School District Hidalgo Texas
Hillsborough County Public Schools Tampa Florida
Hilton Central Schools Hilton New York
Hortonville Area School District Hortonville Wisconsin
Hudson School District Hudson Wisconsin
Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District Bedford Texas
Island Trees School District Levittown New York
Jericho Union Free School District Jericho New York
Joliet Public Schools District 7 Joliet Montana
Jordan Utah School District Sandy Utah
Klein Independent School District Klein Texas
Lakeshore Public Schools Stevensville Michigan
Lawrence Township School District Lawrenceville New Jersey
Lebanon City Schools Lebanon Ohio
LeRoy Central School Le Roy New York
Letcher County Schools Whitesburg Kentucky
Lewisville Independent School District Flower Mound Texas
Littleton Public Schools Littleton Colorado
Liverpool Central School District Liverpool New York
Longwood Central School District Yaphank New York
Loudoun County Public Schools Ashburn Virginia
Lynn Public Schools Lynn Massachusetts
Malta School District Malta Montana
Metuchen School District Metuchen New Jersey
Montgomery County Public Schools Christiansburg Virginia
Monticello Central School District Monticello New York
MSD Lawrence Township Indianapolis Indiana
Nanuet Union Free School District Nanuet New York
Niagara Wheatfield Central Niagara Falls New York
North Allegheny School District Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
North Babylon Union Free Schools North Babylon New York
North Rockland Central School District North Garnerville New York
Nutley School District Nutley New Jersey
Olmsted Falls City Schools Olmsted Falls Ohio
Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School St. Johnsville New York
Ossining Union Free School District Ossining New York
Paramus Public School District Paramus New Jersey
Pasadena Independent School District Pasadena Texas
Pequannock Township School District Pompton Plains New Jersey
Perrysburg Exempted Village School District Perrysburg Ohio
Plano Independent School District Plano Texas
Polk County Schools Lakeland Florida
Port Jefferson School District Port Jefferson New York
Pulaski Community Schools Pulaski Wisconsin
Putnam Valley Central School District Putnam Valley New York
Quaker Valley School District Sewickley Pennsylvania
Randolph Township Schools Randolph New Jersey
Roanoke County public school Roanoke Virginia
Rush-Henrietta CSD Henrietta New York
Santa Monica-Malibu USD Santa Monica California
South Amboy School District South Amboy New Jersey
South Huntington Union Free School District Huntington Station New York
Springville Griffith Institute and Central School Springville New York
St. John School District St. John Washington
State College Area School District State College Pennsylvania
Sycamore Community Unit School District #427 Sycamore Illinois
Syosset Central School District Syosset New York
Torrington Public Schools Torrington Connecticut
Township of Union School Districts Union New Jersey
Valier Public Schools District #18 Valier Montana
Washoe County School district Reno Nevada
Webster Central School District Webster New York
West Des Moines Community School District West Des Moines Iowa

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.