The Boyertown Area School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. The Boyertown Area School District is one of 4% of districts across the nation receiving the prestigious award in 2017.
The Best Communities Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, the Boyertown Area School District answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
“The Best Communities for Music designation is an award that not only recognizes the outstanding achievements of the music students and staff in Boyertown, but it also recognizes the contributions of the entire music community,” said Mr. Michael Jordan, Lead Teacher for the Arts. “The tradition of excellence in our music program starts with the talented and dedicated music staff, but it continues into community music organizations that provide opportunities to perform well after graduation.”
This award recognizes that the Boyertown Area School District is leading the way with music learning opportunities as outlined in the new federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation, signed into law in December 2015, and awaiting state implementation designates music and the arts as important elements of well-rounded education for all children.
“This award confirms what we know about our excellent programs for students in music and related arts,” said District Superintendent Dr. Richard Faidley. “It also highlights music’s vital role in our students’ overall success in school and the personal benefits of making music.”
Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. In a series of landmark studies by scientists and researchers at Northwestern University a link was found between students in community music programs and life-long academic success, including higher high school graduation rates and college attendance. In another study from the University it was discovered that the benefits of early exposure to music education improves how the brain processes and assimilates sounds, a trait that lasts well into adulthood.
Beyond the Northwestern research, other studies have indicated that music education lays the foundation for individual excellence in group settings, creative problem solving and flexibility in work situations, as well learning how to give and receive constructive criticism to excel.
A 2015 study, “Striking A Chord” supported by the NAMM Foundation, also outlines the overwhelming desire by teachers and parents for music education opportunities for all children as part of the school curriculum.