Seven local school districts have been named “Best Communities” in the nation for music education this year.
The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation recognized 527 districts and 92 schools “for their outstanding music education programs” in 2017, the organization said.
Among them were the Arlington, Dover, Hyde Park, Millbrook, Red Hook, Spackenkill and Wappingers districts.
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“The awards program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the curriculum,” according to the foundation. “Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education. These districts and schools set the bar in offering students access to comprehensive music education.”
The designation takes on added significance this year with new research showing strong ties between K-12 school students who actively participate in school music education programs and overall student success, the foundation added.
“This is a tremendous honor and one that is well-deserved based on the wonderful learning experiences our music teachers provide for our students each and every day,” the Hyde Park district said on its Facebook page.
To be considered for the designation, applicants have to complete a detailed survey. NAMM and The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas select school districts to be recognized based on survey results.
In 2016, NAMM publicized its survey to the nation’s 14,000-plus school districts, along with independent schools, the organization said. More than 2,000 districts and schools participated that year.
It’s unclear how many of the 16 local districts in Dutchess and Ulster counties applied this year.
Nina Schutzman: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-451-4518 Twitter: @pojonschutzman