NAMM Foundation Survey Reveals 'Best Communities for Music Education' In the United States

Designation Provides Crucial Support for Local Music Education Advocates as They Fight to Save Funding for School Music Programs

May 5, 2010

Amid a dramatic backdrop of school budget cuts, the NAMM Foundation today announced the results of its 11th annual “Best Communities for Music Education” survey, which acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment to and support of music education in schools. The announcement came today as a part of NAMM's “National Wanna Play Music Week,” (May 3-7) a week-long promotion designed to encourage people of all ages and skill levels to experience the proven benefits of playing music.

As the economy hinders state and local school budgets to adequately support music education, the 174 school districts named by the NAMM Foundation demonstrate an unwavering commitment to providing music education for their students.

The 2010 designation as a Best Community for Music Education comes at a precarious moment, as school districts nationwide are voting on their budgets in the coming weeks.  According to the NAMM Foundation, this “Best Communities” designation represents not only a distinction worthy of pride, but a call to action for local music education advocates to help preserve – and in some cases, save – their current music education programs.

“Past designees have benefited by receiving this mark of excellence, but this year's economic environment is challenging for many communities,” says Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation. “Even having earned this designation, schools are working hard to keep programs strong in the midst of some of the deepest education cuts seen in decades. We hope this award presented at this critical time will compel communities to re-consider cuts that we know are in play in many districts across the U.S.”

This year's roster represents schools and school districts in 30 states. The complete list of “Best Communities” is appended below or can be viewed online at

“This year's survey data reaffirms the power of community support and commitment for music education as critical elements in quality schools,” added Luehrsen. “Music education plays a vital role in student success in school and in life. We urge schools nationwide to include comprehensive music and arts education planning in their competitive federal 'Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation' funding programs to sustain and expand local music education initiatives."

The 2010 survey, which opened on Thursday, January 17, and ended Friday, March 12, was available to all districts nationwide. This year, teachers and school district administrators, representing communities across the country, participated in the web-based survey. The districts were measured across curricular and programmatic criteria as well as public support of their music programs. The survey was developed and administered by The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

Each school receiving the “Best Communities” designation scored in the 80th percentile or higher in the survey's grading process. Participants in the survey answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and other relevant factors in their communities' music education programs. The responses were verified with district officials, and advisory organizations reviewed the data.

Throughout the survey's 11 years, many districts have reported that making the “Best Communities” list has had a positive effect on their ability to preserve music for their students amid budget cuts in arts programs.

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 (, League of American Orchestras (, The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation (, The Metropolitan Opera Guild (, Music for All (, Music Teachers National Association (, National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts (, National PTA (, Yamaha Corporation of America ( and VH1 Save The Music Foundation ( The survey was conducted by The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, KS, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit 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.

The complete "Best Communities for Music Education" roster is listed alphabetically below.

District Name
Abington School District Abington PA Acalanes High School Lafayette CA Albion Central School District Albion NY Ann Arbor Public Schools Ann Arbor MI Arlington Independent School District Arlington TX Avon Lake City School District Avon Lake OH Baldwinsville Central School District Baldwinsville NY Baltimore County Public Schools Towson MD Bay Shore Union Free School District Bay Shore NY Bay Village City School District Bay Village OH Beachwood City Schools Beachwood OH Bedford Central School District Mount Kisco NY Bedford Public Schools Temperance MI Belmont Public Schools Belmont MA Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School Franklin MA Berea City School District Berea OH Bergenfield Public Schools Bergenfield NJ Bethel Public Schools Bethel CT Boerne Independent School District Boerne TX Boyertown Area School District Boyertown PA Brighton Central School District Rochester NY Canfield Local Schools Canfield OH Central Cambria School District Ebensburg PA Central York School District York PA Chesapeake Public Schools Chesapeake VA Cheshire Public Schools Cheshire CT Clarence Central School Clarence NY Clark County School District Las Vegas NV Clarkstown Central School District New City NY Clovis Municipal Schools Clovis NM Cobb County School District Marietta GA Colonial Elementary School Plymouth Meeting PA Conestoga Valley School District Lancaster PA Connetquot Central School District Bohemia NY Cottonwood Elementary School Wright WY Cumberland Valley School District Mechanicsburg PA Cuyahoga Heights Local School District Cleveland OH David Douglas School District 40 Portland OR Decorah Community School District Decorah IA Denton Independent School District Denton TX Dover Area School District Dover PA East Meadow Union Free School District Westbury NY Edmonds School District Lynnwood WA Ephrata Area School District Ephrata PA Fargo Public Schools Fargo ND Fayetteville-Manlius Central Schools Manlius NY Fort Bend Independent School District Sugar Land TX Fulton County Schools Atlanta GA Gotha Middle School Windermere FL Great Falls Public Schools Great Falls MT Great Neck UFSD Great Neck NY Greenwich Public Schools Greenwich CT Guilderland Central School District Guilderland NY Gwinnett County Public Schools Suwanee GA Harford County Public Schools Bel Air MD Henrico County Public Schools Richmond VA Herricks Union Free School District No. 9 New Hyde Park NY Hershey Middle School Hershey PA Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools Woodmere NY Hidalgo Independent School District Hidalgo TX Hilliard City School District Hilliard OH Hilton Central School District Hilton NY Homewood City Schools Homewood AL Honoka'a High and Intermediate School Honoka'a HI Hopewell Valley Regional School District Pennington NJ Hortonville Area School District Hortonville WI Hudson School District Hudson WI Huntsville Independent School District Huntsville TX Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District Bedford TX Independent School District 279 - Osseo Area Schools Maple Grove MN Indiana Area School District Indiana PA Irvine Unified School District Irvine CA Island Trees Public Schools U.S.F.D. Levittown NY Jenison Public Schools Jenison MI Jericho Union Free School District Jericho NY Johnson City Central School District Johnson City NY Katy Independent School District Katy TX Klein Independent School District Klein TX Lawrence Township School District Lawrenceville NJ Lee County Schools Opelika AL LeRoy Central School LeRoy NY Liverpool Central School District Liverpool NY Longwood Central School District Yaphank NY Loudoun County Public Schools Ashburn VA Lower Merion School District Ardmore PA Lynn Public Schools Lynn MA Manhasset Public Schools Manhasset NY Massapequa Union Free School District #23 Massapequa NY Memphis City Schools Memphis TN Metuchen Public Schools Metuchen NJ Midway Independent School District Waco TX Millard Public Schools Omaha NE Milpitas High School Milpitas CA Mineola Union Free School District Mineola NY Montgomery County Public Schools Christiansburg VA Monticello Central School District Monticello NY Mount Lebanon School District Pittsburgh PA Nanuet Union Free School District Nanuet NY New Hartford Central School District New Hartford NY Newfield Elementary School Newfield NY Newtown Public Schools Newtown CT North Allegheny School District Pittsburgh PA North Babylon Union Free School District North Babylon NY Northport East Northport Union Free School District Northport NY Northwest Independent School District Justin TX Northwestern Elementary New Tripoli PA Nutley Public School District Nutley NJ Oceanside Public School District Oceanside NY Olmsted Falls City Schools Olmsted Falls OH Open Door Christian Schools Elyria OH Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School St. Johnsville NY Osage County R-II Schools Linn MO Paramus Board of Education Paramus NJ Pasadena Independent School District Pasadena TX Pasco School District #1 Pasco WA Pendleton School District 16R Pendleton OR Pennsbury School District Fairless Hills PA Pequannock Township School District Pompton Plains NJ Perrysburg Exempted Village Schools Perrysburg OH Pine City Public Schools (Independent School District #578) Pine City MN Pittsford Central School District Pittsford NY Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District Placentia CA Plano Independent School District Plano TX Plymouth Canton Educational Park Canton MI Plymouth Community High School Plymouth IN Port Jefferson School District Port Jefferson NY Potsdam Central School District Potsdam NY Princeton City Schools Cincinnati OH Propel East Turtle Creek PA Putnam Valley Central School District Putnam Valley NY Quaker Valley School District Sewickley PA Randolph Township School District Randolph NJ Ridgewood Public Schools Ridgewood NJ Roanoke County Public Schools Roanoke VA Royalton-Hartland Central School District Middleport NY Rush-Henrietta Central School District West Henrietta NY San Diego Unified School District San Diego CA Santa Monica-Malibu USD Santa Monica CA Sayville Public Schools W Sayville NY Scarsdale Public Schools Scarsdale NY School District of La Crosse La Crosse WI Shaker Heights City School District Shaker Heights OH Shaw Visual and Performing Arts Elementary Saint Louis MO Simsbury Public Schools Simsbury CT South Huntington Union Free School District Huntington Station NY Spokane Public Schools Spokane WA State College Area School District State College PA Stow-Munroe Falls City School District Stow OH Syosset Central School District Syosset NY The School Board of Polk County, Florida Bartow FL The School District of Hillsborough County, Florida Tampa FL The Sycamore Community School District Cincinnati OH The Troy School District Troy MI Torrington Public Schools Torrington CT Township of Union Public Schools Union NJ Trinity Area School District Washington PA Virginia Beach City Public Schools Virginia Beach VA Wappingers Central School District Wappingers Falls NY Washington County Public Schools Hagerstown MD Washoe County School District Reno NV Wayland Public Schools Wayland MA Webb Bridge Middle School Alpharetta GA Webster Central School District Webster NY West Genesee Central School District Camillus, NY West Hartford Public Schools West Hartford CT West Irondequoit Central School District Rochester NY West Lafayette Community School Corporation West Lafayette IN West Milford Township Public Schools West Milford NJ Westborough Public Schools Westborough MA Weston Public Schools Weston MA Willard R-II Schools Willard MO Williamsport Area School District Williamsport PA Williamsville Central School District East Amherst NY Woodside School Woodside CA

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