NAMM Foundation Names the 'Best Communities For Music Education'

5/2/2008 [Corporate]

Designation Recognizes Community Support for Local Music Education Programs

CARLSBAD, Calif. — The NAMM Foundation today announced the results of the ninth annual "Best Communities for Music Education" survey, which includes 110 school districts across the U.S. The designated programs exemplify community commitment to include music education as part of a quality education for all children. The NAMM Foundation and its music education advocacy efforts work to ensure that all children have access to quality music education programs that encourage lifelong participation in music making.

Best Communities for Music Education
This year's roster of musical schools represents 29 states with New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia representing the most districts. To view the complete roster of "Best Communities," visit www.nammfoundation.org.

Hundreds of teachers, school and district administrators, school board members, parents and community leaders, representing communities in all 50 states, participated in the Web-based survey. The districts were measured across a variety of program support, curricular and programmatic criteria. Furthermore, the results were measured proportionally, so that communities of different sizes were compared equally.

Participants in the survey answered detailed questions about funding, enrollment, student/teacher ratios, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, private music lesson participation, and other relevant factors in their communities' music education programs. The responses were verified with district officials, and the sponsoring organizations reviewed the data.

"We commend these school districts for their commitment to assuring that music is part of a complete education for children," said Mary Luehrsen, executive director, NAMM Foundation. "It takes the commitment of an entire community to assure that music is part of the core curriculum. Children engaged in music will be the innovation leaders of tomorrow, and there is no better way to build life-long participation in music than with a solid base of music education."

Luehrsen also noted that throughout the survey's eight years, several districts have reported that making the "Best Communities" list has had a tangible effect on their ability to preserve music for their students. This year, recipients cited increased enrollment in music programs and more support from parents and community members as they realize the physical, mental and emotional value music education brings to students.

Research reveals strong correlations between quality music education in school and academic achievement. Students actively involved with music programs develop skills needed by the 21st century workforce, including critical thinking, creative problem solving, effective communication and team work.

In conducting the annual survey, the NAMM Foundation is joined by advisory organizations in the fields of music and education: 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 Enterprise Feedback Management company, Vovici, (www.vovici.com).

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