This week, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation recognized 388 school districts in 46 states as among the Best Communities for Music Education. In addition, 120 individual schools across the nation are being awarded the Support Music Merit Award (SMMA), which recognizes support for school-based music education programs.
Not all of the nation’s 13,588 school districts are in harmony when it comes to promoting the arts and music education. According to the White House’s Turnaround Arts program, for example, 1.3 million elementary school students still have no access to music classes.
A new study shows that participation in music education programs helps improve brain function and sparks language development. “The new research validates the relationships between student success and access to music education,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation. “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.”
Four Tennessee school districts make this list of Best Communities for Music Education, including:
Clarksville-Montgomery County School System, Clarksville, TN
Metro Nashville Public Schools, Nashville, TN
Shelby County Schools, Memphis, TN
Union City School System, Union City, TN
Other notable districts include:
Fort Worth Independent School District, Fort Worth, TX
Austin Independent School District, Austin, TX
Bakersfield City School District, Bakersfield, CA
A complete list of districts and schools receiving Best Community and SupportMusic designations from the NAMM Foundation in 2015 can be found at: http://www.nammfoundation.org/what-we-do/best-communities-music-education.