EAST HANOVER, NJ- East Hanover’s Central Elementary has recently been honored by the NAMM Foundation with its SupportMusic Merit Award. This is an award that singles out schools with outstanding commitment to the musical education of its students. The Central School now stands with an elite group of only 1% of the nation’s schools that have been awarded this accomplishment.

This great success is largely down to the influence of East Hanover Central Elementary School Music Director, Randy Raab. This year marks the fourth time that Raab and the Central School have been awarded this honor and it stands as a testament to their dedication to the musical education of East Hanover students. Raab has a storied history of engaging his prekindergarten to fifth grade students and instilling in them an early love of music. Through his creative curriculum, students at only 10 years of age are already working alongside him to design their own sheet music.

The selection process is a rigorous one and requires detailed information on the program and the school. Central School was asked to describe their funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music making programs. The responses were reviewed by both the Music Research Institute and the University of Kansas and were judged to be extraordinary.

Sign Up for E-News

“Music education is so important as it enriches the lives of our students and community,” Superintendent, Scott Rubin said on the accomplishment. “We are so proud of our faculty and students and feel very honored to receive this recognition.”

The educational benefits of an early musical instruction have been well documented. In research conducted by Northwestern University and the NAMM Foundation, links have been found between music programs and lifelong academic success. It has benefits on the brain’s ability to process and assimilate sound and has shown to bolster students’ performance in group settings, creative problem solving, flexibility in work, and giving and receiving constructive criticism.

The Central School has shown what an effect a strong musical educational program can have on its students. Raab has been leading the charge for musical education in East Hanover for close on three decades. The fact that the Central School has been awarded this honor not once, but four times shows the strong positive effect a dedicated faculty, administration and community can have on a student’s opportunities to learn.