Chatham Central School District has once again been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Chatham is one of 4% of districts across the nation to receive this prestigious award in 2017.
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, Chatham’s music department 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.
Chatham offers instrumental music (including band and orchestra) and choral programs from elementary school through high school. The District’s music program enjoys a high level of student participation, as well as support from parent and community groups such as the Chatham Fine Arts Booster Club, Chatham Alumni Association, and Chatham Education Foundation, among others.
This NAMM award recognizes that Chatham 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, designates music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.
Research into music education continues to demonstrate the educational, cognitive, and social 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. 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 as learning how to give and receive constructive criticism to excel.
2017 marks the 5th year in a row that Chatham Central School District has been recognized as a Best Community for Music Education.
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. Its mission is to advance 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.