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Music Education Receives National Recognition

Wayne Highlands School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Wayne Highlands School District is one of 4% of districts across the nation receiving the prestigious award in 2017.

The award program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the curriculum.Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized with this national award, showcasing our music education program in our schools.” said Gregory Frigoletto, Superintendent of Schools.“As Plato once said, Education in music is most sovereign because more than anything else rhythm and harmony find their way to the innermost soul and take strongest hold upon it.”

The Best Communities 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, Wayne Highlands School District answered detailed questions about funding, performing arts, musical programs in their schools, 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.

“As a school district with generations of tradition, success, and community, the language of music and performing arts is common to all generations and nations; it is understood by everybody, since it is understood with the heart.” said Scott D. Miller, Performing Arts Director. “Our music education teachers and directors Betty Ann Robson and Martha Curtis in Honesdale High School; Eugene Hopkins and Rembert Meszler in Wayne Highlands Middle School; Alyse Srebro in Lakeside Elementary; Alicia Moyer in Stourbridge Primary Center; Chris Gallo in Damascus School; and Erin Canedy in Preston School go above and beyond day-in and day-out to give our students the greatest gift of all!The gift of music!”

This award recognizes that Wayne Highlands School District is leading the way with music learning opportunities as outlined in the new federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation, signed into law in December 2015, and awaiting state implementation designates music and the arts as important elements of well-rounded education for all children

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. In a series of landmark studies by scientists and researchers at Northwestern University a link was found between students in community music programs and life-long academic success, including higher high school graduation rates and college attendance. In another study from the University it was discovered that the benefits of early exposure to music education improves how the brain processes and assimilates sounds, a trait that lasts well into adulthood.

Beyond the Northwestern research, other studies have indicated that music education lays the foundation for individual excellence in group settings, creative problem solving and flexibility in work situations, as well learning how to give and receive constructive criticism to excel.

A 2015 study, “Striking A Chord” supported by the NAMM Foundation, also outlines the overwhelming desire by teachers and parents for music education opportunities for all children as part of the school curriculum.

Congratulations to the 527 school districts that are among the Best Communities in the nation for music education!