North Shore School District Premiers Music Education Documentaries
The NAMM Foundation has named North Shore School District a 2021 Best Community for Music Education (BCME). The Long Island, New York district has earned the distinction for the past five years, and the announcement arrives on the heels of the debut of three documentaries produced by the district’s music programs.
The documentary series, The Power of Music, features the North Shore's three elementary school music programs, Glen Head School, Glenwood Landing School, and Sea Cliff School, and explores the power of music and the adaptation of students and teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dalia Rodriguez, the district's Fine & Performing Arts director said, “The documentaries aim to reinforce the important role music education plays in the social and emotional well-being of students and serves as inspiration for our students, parents, and community by letting them know we are still making music despite the challenging circumstances.”
Jason Hill and Rachel Viola are the music teachers at Glen Head School. Hill shared his thoughts on the documentaries saying, “There is a need to reinforce the necessity of the role that music education continues to have in our lives and to show the resiliency of our music educators and students.”
Music educators Jodie Larson and Kevin Haas implement the music program at Sea Cliff School. Larson is using the Best Communities for Music Education distinction as motivation to continue excelling, even in the face of uncertainty. In the documentary, she explains: “I believe that once you earn a title of distinction, you want to rise to it, and even go a step further. BCME has become an inspirational barometer.” Haas has approached the model of instruction brought on by COVID-19 as an opportunity to utilize new and exciting technology to connect with students. “Instruction has utilized platforms like Google Classroom, Zoom, and SmartMusic, a music program with band and orchestral music and method books that allows students to access all kinds of music digitally for at-home practice,” says Haas.
Pat Falco and Richard Blake represent the third school featured in the documentary, the Glenwood Landing School. Blake reflected on the power of music, sharing, “When you learn to play an instrument, you learn about who you are, as a learner. At the end of the day, it is just you, the instrument, and the work you have put into it. Instrumental education teaches you that the most important educator in your life is yourself and what you allow yourself to do. The power of learning an instrument is realizing it’s not about making big leaps and epiphanies, but rather the daily accomplishment of smaller goals.”
To learn more about Best Communities for Music Education, please visit https://www.nammfoundation.org/what-we-do/best-communities-music-education and for more from North Shore School District, please visit http://northshore.k12.ny.us/index.html.