The Mt. Lebanon School District received the 2017 Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. The District joins 527 school districts across the nation recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation. This is the ninth consecutive year the District has been honored with this designation and is one of only 4% of districts across the nation to receive this prestigious award in 2017.
"The Mt. Lebanon School District has a long history of supporting the fine and performing arts in our schools. Our music education program is exceptional and is an important element in a well-rounded Mt. Lebanon education," said Dr. Timothy Steinhauer. "This award is a reflection of the dedication and hard work of our teachers and administrators and recognizes their contributions to one of the finest music education programs in the country."
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. According to NAMM, 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. NAMM also notes another study from Northwestern where 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.
To qualify for the Best Communities designation answers were submitted by the Fine Arts Department to 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.
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.