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 City State
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