District 300 Named one of the "Best Communities for Music Education" by National Association of Music Merchants
District 300 has been honored with the “Best Communities for Music Education” designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. District 300 is one of 4% of districts across the nation receiving the prestigious award in 2017.
The Best Communities for 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, District 300 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.
“It truly is a wonderful honor to receive this NAMM designation that recognizes what we as a staff already know, and that is the daily commitment to Music Education in D300,” said Jake Stouffer, District Coordinator of Fine and Performing Arts. “It is no secret that effective music education impacts student growth and learning, and this district has made sure that there is a commitment to Arts programming at all levels, for all learners.”
This award recognizes that CUSD 300 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.
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.