WEST ORANGE, NJ – For the first time, the West Orange School District has been named a “Best Community in the Nation for Music Education” by the The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation.
The award program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of a well-rounded curriculum. Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.
This year, 583 school districts and 135 schools across the nation have been recognized by The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation as Best Communities for Music Education (BCME). According to the NAMM Foundation website, “along with researchers at The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas, and based on survey results, NAMM each year selects school districts that receive recognition as being among the Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) and individual schools who receive the SupportMusic Merit Award (SMMA).”
“Music and the arts are a critical component of the core curriculum, and strong community support and involvement in the arts helps build an even stronger foundation for student success in those areas of study and beyond,” said KU Researcher and professor Christopher Johnson. “Along with contributing to improved graduation rates and academic success, students in quality music programs are consistently more proficient in other subjects and develop many ancillary life-long skills. We have all noticed how the most involved music students are also exceptional critical thinkers and good listeners, able to persist through all kinds of adversities.”
He concluded that the benefits of a strong music program extend “far beyond the program itself,” but that the primary benefit “will always be the unparalleled joys that good music brings to peoples’ lives.”