The National Association of Music Merchants Foundation officially announced that the Upper Sandusky Exempted Village Schools have again been named one of the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education in the results of its 13th annual Best Communities for Music Education survey, which acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment to and support of music education in schools. The announcement comes in anticipation of NAMM’s National Wanna Play Music Week, which will be observed May 7-13. The week-long promotion is designed to encourage people of all ages and skill levels to experience the proven benefits of playing music. The school districts named by the NAMM Foundation demonstrate an unwavering commitment to providing music education for their students.
This distinction is a moment for the community and education leaders to pause and reflect on the importance of the public education system that includes all aspects of a well-rounded curriculum. Numerous studies have shown that music and the arts play a vital role in students’ future success yet, given difficult economic times, many schools choose to cut or eliminate these programs. Unlike the students in those communities, students at Upper Sandusky continue to have the outstanding benefits of music in their schools.
“Earning this distinction for a second consecutive year is a real feather in the cap of our community” said Jason Morris, director of instrumental music at Upper Sandusky. “This recognition belongs to everyone here — the administration, the teachers, the students and most of all the community. Our students have rich musical offerings available to them throughout the year, including the school music programs, community bands and choirs, opportunities at the Star Theatre, Ohio Music Education Association events, and many honors ensembles. Upper Sandusky really is a great place to be.”
Each school receiving the Best Communities designation scored in the 80th percentile or higher in the survey’s grading process. Participants in the survey answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and other relevant factors in their communities’ music education programs. The responses were verified with district officials and advisory organizations reviewed the data.
“We know that communities are struggling to maintain funding for many education programs and we applaud these communities that remain committed to a complete and quality education that must include music and the arts,” said May Luehrsen, NAMM Foundation executive director. “We urge communities to celebrate the designation as a national recognition for their commitment to children and most of all, keep the music playing in their schools for years to come.”