2023 Best Community for Music Education Logo

Chatham Central School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation. The Best Communities for Music Education designation recognizes Chatham for its outstanding commitment to providing music access and education to all students.

“It is exciting to once again receive this award here in Chatham,” said Chatham’s superintendent of schools, Dr. Sal DeAngelo. “This is something we can all be proud of because, first and foremost, this award recognizes the value our community places on the arts and the great work our students and staff put into our programs.”

Chatham CSD has long held a strong commitment to music and the arts as part of its education program. 2023 marks the eighth year that The NAMM Foundation has recognized Chatham as a Best Community for Music Education. To qualify, the District provided detailed information on funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs, which was verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

The District offers band, orchestra, chorus, and musical theater programs at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. The 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. Outside of school, the greater community offers abundant opportunities to learn and perform music as well. 

“The greater Chatham community has a love for the arts that is reflected by our district’s support of music education. Our CCSD musicians are able to thrive thanks to the hard work of parents, teachers, administrators, and community members,” said Chatham music department teacher leader Abigail Brownell. “Thank you to all who helped us earn this award!” 

Research into music education continues to demonstrate the educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. Studies show substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading, and that students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school, but also to attend college. Everyday listening skills are also strong in musically trained children, skills which are closely tied to the ability to perceive speech in a noisy background, pay attention, and keep sounds in memory. Later in life, individuals who took music lessons as children continue to show strong neural processing of sound. Social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and the ability to give and receive constructive criticism.

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. The foundation advances 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.