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

Subtitle: 
NAMM Foundation Honors School Districts with Strong Dedication to Music Programs

Location

Release Date

Thu, 04/16/2009

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 (www.americansforthearts.org), League of American Orchestras (www.americanorchestras.org), The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (www.mhopus.org), The Metropolitan Opera Guild (www.operaed.org), Music for All (www.musicforall.org), Music Teachers National Association (www.mtna.org), National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts (www.nationalguild.org), National PTA (www.pta.org), Yamaha Corporation of America (www.yamaha.com) and VH1 Save The Music Foundation (www.vh1savethemusic.com). 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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NAMM Joins Canadian Tradition of 'Music Monday' to Inspire Appreciation of Music Making in U.S. Schools and Communities

Subtitle: 
Simultaneous Performance Aims to Unite Music Lovers Through Song

Location

Release Date

Mon, 12/08/2008

NAMM, the trade association of the international music products industry, announced today that it will again join the Coalition for Music Education in Canada in its fifth annual Music Monday event May 4, 2009, to demonstrate the galvanizing power of making music and kick off its annual Wanna Play Music Week.

NAMM joined the event for the first time last year, which inspired more than 700,000 students across North America to participate in a simultaneous concert and celebrate music education in schools. In addition, many community and professional organizations participated in the event to show their support for music education. Also, Australia recently held a Music Monday event of its own in the fall.

This year, NAMM is encouraging more U.S. schools and organizations to sing and play together and heighten the public’s awareness about how music education empowers children with important tools such as creativity, achievement and social engagement. Many schools across the country have cut music programs because of lack of funding and cannot offer students the proven benefits associated with hands-on musical training. 

As a not-for-profit association, NAMM has supported research to examine the effects of music on children and adolescents. The studies have shown that playing music positively affects the development of cognitive skills in children and teens. The activity also builds confidence, instills self-discipline, increases productivity and helps kids and teens connect socially with their peers.

Studies specifically show that playing music:

  • Develops skills needed by an innovative 21st century workforce: critical thinking, imagination, creative problem solving, effective communication and teamwork
  • Keeps students engaged in school and less likely to drop out
  • Improves the atmosphere for learning and is correlated with better grades and test scores in other academic areas
  • Helps communities share ideas and values among cultures and generations
  • Provides a sense of both individuality and belonging for teens
  • Helps adolescents release or control emotions and cope with life’s more difficult situations

The 2009 Music Monday song will be “Sing Sing” by Serena Ryder, whose album If Your Memory Serves you Well recently went Gold. The song will be sung and played by all schools and participants across North America at 10 a.m. Pacific time, 11 a.m. Mountain time, 12 p.m. Central time, 1 p.m. Eastern time and 2 p.m. Atlantic time, and 2:30 in Newfoundland, uniting them symbolically through one piece of music. Many arrangements will be added to the Music Monday Web site by the end of the year, in addition to an arrangement and support kit specifically created for elementary teachers to work with very young children.

To register your school or organization as a participant in “Music Monday,” and to receive your Music Monday materials and a copy of the song “Sing Sing,” please e-mail musicmonday@namm.org.

To further support music in schools, the NAMM Foundation and MENC, the National Association for Music Education, lead the SupportMusic Coalition, of which the Coalition for Music Education in Canada is a part. The SupportMusic Coalition comprises more than 200 organizations that represent more than seven million concerned citizens worldwide looking for ways to provide a complete education that includes music and arts instruction for all children.

For more information and links to national, state and local organizations working together to keep music education strong, go to www.supportmusic.com. Organizations interested in participating in the SupportMusic Coalition, write to info@namm.org.
 

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