CCSD’s Music Education Program Receives National Recognition for 10th Consecutive Year

NAMM awardThe Clarke County School District has been honored as one of the Best Communities for Music Education by The NAMM Foundation for the 10th consecutive year. Now in its 23rd year, the designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding commitment to music education through achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

To qualify, CCSD answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, and support for the music programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“CCSD is honored to once again receive this designation,” said Dan Smith, the district’s Fine Arts, Health & Physical Education Curriculum Coordinator. “Music education is an integral part of educating the whole child, as learning opportunities in the fine arts create spaces for students to apply and connect skills across all content.”

Since the 2015 passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which emphasizes music as part of a well-rounded education, many school districts across the country have recommitted to music and arts education programs. That has been especially critical during the coronavirus pandemic, as music and arts programs have been a vital component to keeping students engaged in school.

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. After two years of music education, participants have been found to show more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores. Social benefits include conflict resolution and teamwork skills as well as how to give and receive constructive criticism.

“Music is an important component of educating students and inspiring and igniting creativity inside and outside the classroom,” said CCSD superintendent Dr. Xernona Thomas. “Congratulations to our schools and staff for this recognition and thank you to our music educators who continue to lead the way in providing these learning opportunities for our students.”

For more information about The NAMM Foundation, go to