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This week, 476 school districts across the United States are being recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation as among the Best Communities for Music Education (BCME), out of the nation’s 13,515 school districts.
Medfield was named among those top districts for music education.
Now in its 17th year, BCME recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who work together to ensure access to music learning for all students as part of the school curriculum.
“The schools and districts that the NAMM Foundation honors this year with this award demonstrate a commitment to supporting music education and assuring opportunities for music learning in the curriculum for all students,” said Mary Luehrsen of the NAMM Foundation.
“The schools and districts we recognize serve as models for other educators looking to develop standards-based music education programs. ”
The districts honored as Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation include urban, suburban and rural districts.
The BCME program evaluates schools and districts based on funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards, community support, participation and access to music instruction.
Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.
Districts and schools recognized previously by the NAMM Foundation have reported that the honor has significantly increased interest in and support for their music programs. Many school leaders have indicated that the award has had a direct impact on funding for music programs.
Almost all say that recognition of music programs helps to generate a greater sense of pride in the community and support for what their faculty is doing in the schools. In some cases this has resulted in increased monetary donations and volunteer support for school music programs.
“Music and the arts make a very positive contribution to the general success of the school and connection to the community,” said Kansas University researcher and professor Christopher Johnson.
“Access to music and the arts in the curriculum is important in its own right and connects students to their own personal expression and creativity. These activities also have been shown to contribute to lower dropout rates, higher graduation rates, higher ACT scores, and all the while, children learn the joys of music and all the life skills it fosters.”
A complete list of districts and schools recognized by the foundation this year can be found at www.nammfoundation.org.