The NAMM Foundation has again recognized Deer Park for its outstanding commitment to music education, awarding the district with a Best Communities for Music Education designation.
The annual survey, now in its 16th year, honors school districts which place exceptional emphasis on maintaining music education as part of the schools’ core curriculum and highlights music’s crucial role in students’ academic skills and success. The announcement of this year’s Best Communities for Music Education designation highlights the importance of maintaining music education as part of schools’ core education.
Community music programs have attracted increased attention this year due to a landmark study by Northwestern University brain scientists, whose research discovered new links between students in community music programs and academic success in subjects such as reading. Other reports confirm that learning to play music can boost academic and social skills, such as processing math and learning to cooperate in groups.
The BCME’s Best Communities award is decided on a variety of metrics reviewed by the University of Kansas-affiliated Institute for Educational Research and Public Service, including student enrollment in music courses, Advanced Placement or honors weighted music courses offered, the number of minutes per week devoted to both classroom music and performing ensembles, and the appropriate districtwide staffing of certified music teachers.