Music Education Program Receives National Recognition

Music Education Program Receives National Recognition
Posted on 04/10/2020
This is the image for the news article titled Music Education Program Receives National Recognition

Our district’s music program has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.

Now in its 21st year, 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, the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music programs, Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“This honor recognizes that our District demonstrates a deep commitment to music education,” said WAWM Orchestra Director and Music Coordinator, Mrs. Mary Pat Michels. “It’s something we have proudly earned for six years. While we are currently learning from home the quality and dedication has not changed. Our teachers are giving our students a variety of music opportunities including zoom music lessons, video instruction, reflective listening, and are spending time exploring other facets of music education as well. We are grateful for this recognition as well as for the support of the NAMM foundation and all the music vendors they represent who have provided many resources to schools and teachers throughout the country during this very challenging time.”

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. After two years of music education, research 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. Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically-trained children that in those without music training. 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. Not to mention, social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.

Superintendent, Marty Lexmond adds, “Music education is an important part of our curriculum 4K through 12th grade. As part of college and career readiness, we work with students to develop their talents and pursue things of interest to them.”

This is the sixth time that the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District’s music program has received national recognition from the NAMM Foundation.