Dallas ISD Music Education Program Receives National Recognition for Third Consecutive Year

For the third year, Dallas ISD has received the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Now in its 23rd year, the designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education for all students.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Dallas ISD answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class attendance, instruction time, facilities, program support, music and community music creation programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by the University of Kansas Music Research Institute.

Since the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015, which emphasizes a comprehensive education, many school districts have recommitted to music and arts education programs. During the pandemic, music and arts programs have been a vital part of keeping students engaged in school. ESSA provides designated funding for comprehensive educational opportunities through Title IV Part A Student Academic Achievement and Achievement Scholarships. NAMM Foundation research has found that these grants are widely used by school districts to bridge the pedagogical gaps in access to music and arts education.

Music education research continues to demonstrate the educational/cognitive and social benefits of children making music. After two years of music education, participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less involved peers. Additionally, researchers found that students who dabble in music are more likely to not only graduate from high school, but also go on to college.

Daily listening skills are stronger in musically trained children than in those who are not musically trained. Significantly, listening skills are closely related to the ability to perceive speech in a noisy environment, to pay attention and to retain sounds in memory. Later in life, people who took music lessons as children show stronger neural processing of sound. Young adults and even older adults who haven’t played an instrument in 50 years show improved neural processing compared to their peers. Other 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 non-profit organization supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 members worldwide. The foundation advances active participation in musical creation throughout life by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs. For more information about the NAMM Foundation, visit www.nammfoundation.org.

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