Best Communities for Music Education

The Sun Prairie Area School District has been named among the best communities for music education.

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation recognized 527 school districts and 92 schools across the nation for their outstanding music education programs. Each year, the NAMM Foundation selects school districts to be recognized as among the best communities for music education (BCME).

Now in its 18th year, the awards program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the curriculum. The districts NAMM recognizes set the bar in offering student access to comprehensive music education.

Selections are based on survey results in cooperation with researchers at The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas. 

The designation takes on added significance this year with new research showing strong ties between active participation in school music education programs and overall student success for student ages K-12. A recent study of students in the Chicago Public Schools by researchers at Northwestern University, detailed in Neuroscientist and Education Week, builds on previous findings that participation in music education programs helps improves brain function, discipline and language development.  

“Studying music has intrinsic benefits and, on its own, is core to learning.” said  Mary Luehrsen, Executive Director of The NAMM Foundation. “The links between student success and music education have now been demonstrated by brain researchers in multiple studies.”

Luehrsen said many parents choose to live where schools are committed to music education.

“These schools and districts are models for other educators who see music as a key ingredient in a well-rounded curriculum that makes music available to all children,” she said.

The BCME program and the SupportMusic Merit Award evaluate schools and districts based on funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards and access to music instruction.

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