CCSD Receives National Recognition for Music Education Support for 12th Consecutive Year

May 29, 2024

The Clarke County School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for the 12th consecutive year for its outstanding commitment to music education. Now in its 25th year, the designation is awarded to school districts around the country that demonstrate outstanding achievement for providing music access and education to all students. 

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

“Music education nurtures essential life skills that benefit children beyond the classroom, shaping well-rounded individuals,” said Dan Smith, CCSD’s Fine Arts, Health, and PE Curriculum Coordinator. “We are fortunate to have a local community that values the arts, and we appreciate the support from everyone. CCSD is truly better together through music and the arts.”

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational, cognitive, and social skill benefits for children who make music. According to The NAMM Foundation, after two years of music education, researchers found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers and that students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school but also to attend college as well. 

“In addition, everyday listening skills are stronger in musically trained children than in those without music training,” The NAMM Foundation states. “Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to the ability to perceive speech in a noisy background, pay attention, and keep sounds in memory. Later in life, individuals who took music lessons as children show stronger neural processing of sound. Young adults and even older adults who have not played an instrument for up to 50 years show enhanced neural processing compared to their peers. Additional social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.”

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 15,000 global member companies and individual professionals worldwide. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit