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Local Districts Named 2014 Best Communities for Music Education

Local Districts Named 2014 Best Communities for Music EducationJudyPalmer01

(Crystal A. Proxmire, March 27, 2014)

The NAMM Foundation rates school  districts across the county in music programs, and this year they have named 376 districts to their 2014 Best Communities for Music Education List.  In Oakland County, Berkley, Bloomfield Hills, Ferndale, Oxford and Rochester Schools all got the honor.

“Music is alive and thriving in Oxford Community Schools,” said Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum James Schwarz. “We have prioritized not only the maintenance, but also the growth of our music programs in the past several years.”

The BCME program applauds the efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders working to assure that music education is part of the core curriculum. More than 2000 schools and seed04_gallowayschool districts participated in this year’s survey resulting in a 21% increase in designations.

“These schools and districts make a strong commitment to music education in the core curriculum supporting its essential value to a well-rounded education for every child,” said Mary Luehrsen, NAMM Foundation executive director. “Strong, engaging programs that offer students access to music cannot thrive in a vacuum. The Best Communities designation and the SupportMusic Merit Award bring hard-won visibility to music classes, programs and departments that are keeping music education alive in our schools.”

Now in its 15th year, the BCME program evaluates schools and districts based on funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards, and access to music instruction. The NAMM Foundation essentialwith the assistance of researchers at The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas (an affiliate of the University of Kansas) evaluate participants on these factors. Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and greater access to music education.

This is the third year Berkley has been recognized.  Dennis McDavid, Berkley School District Superintendent, says, “Receiving this award for the third year in a row is outstanding. I am very proud of our teachers, students, parents, and community supporters of the music program. We are also proud of our local music merchants, like McCourt’s Music, which gives us a great deal of support. We are committed to maintaining comprehensive district offerings for our students, and music education is an integral part. This award is yet another example of the great things going on in the Berkley School District.”

The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 9000 members around the world. The NAMM Foundation works 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, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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