Posted Date: 05/02/2022
United Independent School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Now in its 23rd 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, United ISD 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.
“United ISD strives to provide quality musical experiences for all students through various programs. Receiving the honor of Best Communities for Music Education validates the tireless efforts put forth by our dedicated music teachers and their hard-working students,” said UISD Director of Fine Arts Gerardo Rodriguez.
Since the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have re-committed to music and arts education programs. During the pandemic, music and arts programs were a vital component to keeping students engaged in school. ESSA provides designated funding for well-rounded educational opportunities through Title IV Part A Student Academic Success and Achievement grants. NAMM Foundation research has revealed that these grants are being widely used by school districts to address instructional gaps in access to music and arts education.
Elias Herrera Middle School Band Director Jorge Garcia said, “Music Education is important because it offers great opportunities for children to be expressive and creative by learning different types of musical instruments and singing. By having music taught at school, children are well-rounded because it offers team-building skills, dedication, structure, discipline and motivates all children to be the best version of themselves. Working together with others and getting along is a great skill that children develop through being a part of a music program in school. Children are able to tap into cognitive learning by being able to learn, think and process information faster in the classroom by being a part of a music program. Music Education engages children in social/emotional learning as well. Music Education taught me how to be a better listener, communicator, and to have the best interest of the team and myself as we prepared for any kind of performance or contest. I was able to overcome anxiety and being nervous by being able to perform in front of people through having Music Education in my school.”
Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. After two years of music education, researchers found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech than their less-involved peers, as well as in their reading scores. Additionally, students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school, but also to attend college. Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically trained children than in those without music training. Listening skills are closely and significantly tied to the abilities 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. Social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.
About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music-making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.