National Group Recognizes Two Local Music Education Departments

Photo courtesy of the Irvington Union Free School District

The National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM) has recognized the Ossining and Irvington School Districts as among the 2021 Best Communities for Music Education. This is the 11th consecutive year for Ossining and second for Irvington.

The districts are among 686 school districts nationally to be recognized as Best Communities for music education. Now in its 22nd year, the designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in providing music access and education to all students.

“Even in this time of uncertainty, the Best Community districts show what can be done when teachers, school and community leaders, and parents all agree that music is essential and not optional as a learning force that must be available to all students,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of The NAMM Foundation. “More so now than ever … music education plays a crucial role in students’ social and emotional connections to each other and the community.”

The Best Community for Music Education program works with researchers at the Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas to evaluate districts and schools based on funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards and access to music instruction.

A 2018 report called Music Matters found that music students do better in English, math and science than their peers who are not in music classes. Offering more music and arts classes leads to fewer suspensions and dropouts. The study was produced by the Arts Education Partnership and co-sponsored by the Country Music Foundation and the NAMM Foundation.

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