National Program Spotlights Schools and Districts with Outstanding Commitment to Music Education
CARLSBAD, Calif., March 18, 2013—Heralding the commitment to music education, the NAMM Foundation designated 307 school districts across the country as Best Communities for Music Education in a record-breaking year for participation. In addition to the Best Community districts, 66 individual schools earned the 2013 Support Music Merit Award for providing students with access to comprehensive music education.
The Best Communities designation recognizes collaborative, from-the-ground-up efforts of teachers, administrators, students and parents who continually work to keep comprehensive music education as an integral part of the core curriculum. This year, nearly 2000 schools and school districts participated in the survey – an increase of 366% from 2012, resulting in a record number of designations. This year’s increase in survey participation is an indication of growing support from both parents and administrators who recognize the vital role that music learning plays in student achievement.
According to NAMM Foundation Executive Director Mary Luehrsen, the Best Communities for Music Education program is the bellwether of rising endorsement for this vital cause. “There is overwhelming research tying music education to higher overall student success in school and in life,” she said. “This designation recognizes communities for their commitment to music education and strengthens support for these programs. Having widely embraced the evidence indicating that music education yields great things in schools and communities, people are increasingly affirmative, advocating for school music curricula, and championing programs like Best Communities that recognize this commitment to music education.”
Now in its 14th year, the BCME program requires each school and district to detail funding, staffing, commitment to standards, and access to music instruction. Responses are meticulously reviewed by researchers at The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas (an affiliate of the University of Kansas) and the NAMM Foundation to calculate the designated districts and awarded schools.
“The designation reveals the elements of music programs so educators, administrators, teachers and students can see what they have, what they need, what they have accomplished, and what work needs to be done to strengthen their music education now and for the future,” Luehrsen said.
About NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization with the mission of 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. For more information about the NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.