Nationwide Survey Finds the 'Best Communities for Music Education' in U.S.

NAMM Foundation Honors School Districts with Strong Dedication to Music Programs

April 16, 2009

The NAMM Foundation today announced the results of its tenth annual “Best Communities for Music Education” survey, which acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment and support of music education in schools. As the economy challenges state and local school budgets to adequately support education, the 124 school districts named by the NAMM Foundation demonstrate the unwavering commitment to provide music education for their students. The NAMM Foundation’s mission is 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 21 states with a record amount of communities from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas. A total of 29 communities are new to the roster. The complete list of “Best Communities” is appended below.

“The potential of music to help children reach their full development is understood by the school districts represented in this year’s survey results,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director, NAMM Foundation. “We celebrate these communities that are committed to providing access to music education programs and bettering the lives of their students.”

The 2009 survey, which opened on Thursday January 15, and ended Friday, March 13, 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.

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 ten 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.

The complete “Best Communities for Music Education” roster is listed alphabetically below:

School District City State Abington School District Abington PA 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 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 Belmont Public Schools Belmont MA Berea City School District Berea OH Bethel Public Schools Bethel CT Boardman Local Schools Boardman OH Bolivar R-1 School District Bolivar MO Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD Carrollton TX Cedar Grove-Belgium School District Cedar Grove WI 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 Cobb County School District Marietta GA Conestoga Valley School District Lancaster PA Cuyahoga Heights Schools Cleveland OH Dearborn Public Schools Dearborn MI Denton Independent School District Denton TX District 279 - Osseo Area Schools Maple Grove MN Dover Area School District Dover PA East Meadow Union Free School District Westbury NY Edmonds School District Edmonds WA Fairfax County Public Schools Falls Church VA Fayetteville-Manlius Schools Manlius NY Franklin Township Public Schools Somerset NJ Fulton County Schools Atlanta GA Great Neck Union Free School District Great Neck NY Greenwich Public Schools Greenwich CT Guilderland Central School District Guilderland NY Harborfields Central School District Greenlawn NY Harford County Public Schools Bel Air MD Henrico County Public Schools Richmond VA Herricks Union Free School District No. 9 New Hyde Park NY Hewlett Woodmere Public Schools Woodmere NY Hilliard City School District Hilliard OH Homewood City Schools Homewood AL Hopewell Valley Regional School District Pennington NJ Hortonville Area School District Hortonville WI Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District Bedford TX 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 Laramie County School District #1 Cheyenne WY Lawrence Township Public Schools Lawrenceville NJ Lebanon City Schools Lebanon OH Le Roy Central Schools Le Roy 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 Manhasset Public Schools Manhasset NY Metuchen Public Schools Metuchen NJ Midway Independent School District Waco TX Milaca School District #912 Milaca MN Mineola Union Free School District Garden City Park 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 Central School District Newfield NY North Allegheny School District Pittsburgh PA North Babylon Union Free School District North Babylon NY North Penn School District Lansdale PA Northmont High School-Northmont City Schools Clayton OH Northwest Independent School District Justin TX Northwestern Lehigh Elementary School-Northwestern Lehigh School District New Tripoli PA Nutley School District Nutley NJ Oceanside School District Oceanside NY Olmsted Falls City School District Olmsted Falls OH Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School District St. Johnsville NY Osage County R-II Linn MO Paramus Public Schools Paramus NJ Pasadena Independent School District Pasadena TX Pasco School District Number 1 Pasco WA Pennsbury School District Fairless Hills PA Perrysburg Exempted Village Schools Perrysburg OH Phillips-Edison Partnership School Napa CA Piscataway Public Schools Piscataway NJ Plano Independent School District Plano TX Port Jefferson School District Port Jefferson NY Potsdam Central Schools Potsdam NY Putnam Valley Central School District Putnam Valley NY Quaker Valley School District Sewickley PA Richland County School District One Columbia SC Roanoke County Schools Roanoke VA Rosemount High School-Rosemount-Apple Valley School District Rosemount MN Salem-Keizer School District 24-J Salem OR Santa Monica-Malibu USD Santa Monica CA Sayville Public Schools Sayville NY Scarsdale UFSD Scarsdale NY Shaker Heights City School District Shaker Heights OH Simsbury Public Schools Simsbury CT South Orange Maplewood School District Maplewood NJ St. John-Endicott Cooperative Schools St. John WA Stow-Munroe Falls City School District Stow OH Syosset Central School District Syosset NY Torrington Public Schools Torrington CT Troy School District Troy MI Virginia Beach City Public Schools Virginia Beach VA Wappingers Central School District Wappingers Falls NY Washoe County School District Reno NV 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 Milford Township Public Schools West Milford NJ West Orange Public Schools West Orange NJ Willard R-II Schools Willard MO Williamsport Area School District Williamsport PA Williamsville Central School District East Amherst NY

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.

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