The NAMM Foundation Supports Grant at the University of Colorado Denver to Examine Value of Local K-12 Music Education Programs

August 4, 2008

The Center for Education Policy Analysis at the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver, today announced the award of a grant from the NAMM Foundation to conduct research on the economics and benefits of music education in Jefferson County public schools, Colorado’s largest school district.

The proposed research will investigate the following:

1. What are the total resources used in music education in the district, and how do these resources vary by school?

2. What is the relationship between the amount of resources used for music education and the richness, diversity, alignment and quality of the music program at the school?

3. Is there a correlation between the amount of resources used at the school level and student learning outcomes, such as student assessment scores and graduation rates, and community support, such as school choices and participation in music events?

According to Co-Principal Investigator Robert Reichardt from the Center for Education Policy Analysis at UCD, as a “local control” state, Colorado districts decide whether and how to offer music education based on a patchwork of funding from state and local sources. The total amount of resources dedicated to music education will usually not be reflected in district line-item budgets because of the many different funding sources, including grants and donations originating outside the school finance system.

“A simple review of school budgets does not permit a thorough understanding of the sources and distribution of funds for music education either at the school or district level,” said Reichardt. “This hampers school and district leadership in making decisions about strategic resource allocation for music education; frustrates advocates and opinion leaders; and prevents policy makers from accurately weighing the support for music education as they grapple with competing priorities in an era of limited budgets.”

National school finance experts from the Center for Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington and music education experts from the University of Colorado Boulder will contribute to the study.

Mary Luehrsen, executive director of The NAMM Foundation, said that the research “has the potential to reveal important connections between resource allocation, the true cost of music education in public schools, and its value.”

About the School of Public Affairs/University of Colorado Denver
Ranked among the top public affairs schools nationwide, the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Public Affairs provides comprehensive educational choices for those interested in public service and is committed to leading the field through innovative education and programming. The Center for Education Policy Analysis provides applied research and program evaluation, strategic planning, and facilitation that enhance the capacity of local and national education communities to make informed decisions and solve problems, especially to ensure the most efficacious use of public resources and improve access and outcomes for disadvantaged populations. For more information, visit

About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization with the mission of 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 about The NAMM Foundation, please visit