The week of March 20, the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation recognized 388 school districts in 46 states as among the Best Communities for Music Education, according to a statement released by the NAMM Foundation. In addition, the NAMM Foundation, a supporting organization of NAMM, is awarding its Support Music Merit Award to 120 individual schools, which recognizes support for school-based music education programs.
The benefits of music education have been well documented. According to the NAMM website, piano students are better equipped to understand mathematical and scientific concepts. The results of a recent Northwestern University study funded by NAMM demonstrate that two years of studying a musical instrument improved the precision with which the children in the study distinguished similar speech sounds. The findings may have implications for how children who take music lessons learn to read, use language, and learn in general. The new research shows that participating in music education programs improves brain function and sparks language development, the statement said.
“The new research validates the relationships between student success and access to music education,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation, in the statement. “Ensuring that every child has access to music in schools requires commitment by students, teachers, and those who determine school budgets. We commend the districts and schools that have earned the Best Community designation this year. They join with so many that believe, as we do, that there is a vital link between do-re-mi and the ABCs.”
Schools and districts are evaluated based on funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards, and access to music instruction, according to the NAMM Foundation.
Visit www.nammfoundation.org/what-we-do/best-communitites-music-education to view a list of all the districts and schools who have received Best Community and Support Music designations from the NAMM Foundation.