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Best Community for Music Education Award

Best Community for Music Education Award

The Best Communities for Music Education survey acknowledges and celebrates schools and districts, their administrators, teachers, board members, parents and students across the United States for their commitment to and support of music education. Participants in the survey answer detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and other factors in the community that affect access to music education for all students. 

The Benefits of Music Education

• Seven in ten Americans (70 percent) say that the learnings and habits from music education equip people to be better team players in their careers. (Source: The Harris Poll, July 2014)

• A few years of musical training early in life improves how the brain processes sound, and the benefits of early exposure to music education last well into adulthood, years after the training has ceased. (Source: Strait, D.L., and N. Kraus (2014), “Biological impact of auditory expertise across the life span: musicians as a model of auditory learning,” Hearing Research.)

• A Gallup Poll revealed that 94 percent of Americans consider music to be part of a well-rounded education. (Source: NAMM Gallup Poll, 2006.)

• Students indicate that arts participation motivates them to stay in school, and that the arts create a supportive environment that promotes constructive acceptance of criticism and one in which it is safe to take risks. (Source: Barry, N., Taylor, K. and K. Walls, Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development, AEP, 2002.)

• Young children who received a year of musical training showed brain changes and superior memory compared with children who did not receive the instruction. (Source: Fujioka, T., Ross, B., Kakigi, R., Pantev, C. and L. Trainor, Brain, A Journal Of Neurology, Oxford University Press, Sept. 2006.)

• A study examined the influence of music education on nonmusical abilities, the effects of music lessons on academic performance and cognitive abilities. The study revealed that students who participated in music lessons showed statistically higher intelligence quotients. (Source: Glenn Schellenberg, “Music Lessons Enhance IQ,” Psychological Science, Vol. 15, No. 8, 2004.) BCME ToolKit 2015 | 17|

• A study of rural and inner-city schools found that arts programs helped schools in economically disadvantaged communities develop students’ critical-thinking and problem solving skills. (Source: Stevenson, L., and R. Deasy, Third Space: When Learning Matters, AEP, 2005.)

• With music in schools, students connect to each other better—greater camaraderie, fewer fights, less racism and reduced use of hurtful sarcasm. (Source: Jensen, E., Arts With the Brain In Mind, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2001.)

• The vast majority—96 percent—of the school principals interviewed in a study agree that participation in music education encourages and motivates students to stay in school. Further, 89 percent of principals feel that a high-quality music education program contributes to their school achieving higher graduation rates. (Source: Harris Interactive Poll, 2006.)

• The skills gained through sequential music instruction, including discipline and the ability to analyze, solve problems, communicate and work cooperatively, are vital for success in the 21st century workplace. (Source: U.S. House of Representatives, Concurrent Resolution 355, March 6, 2006.)

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