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Urban Districts Awarded Best Communities for Music Education

  • The School District of Philadelphia developed a literacy enrichment program utilizing children’s books with musical themes, leading to student exploration of musical instruments and a student residency program that connects Philadelphia DJs, producers, and musicians with talent. As a result, the district was recently listed as one of the 2022 “Best Communities for Music Education” by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation.

    Now in its 23rd year, the award recognizes school districts and schools nationwide for the efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students, and community leaders who demonstrate an exceptional commitment and access to music education opportunities.

    “We applaud the commitment and efforts of all music educators, school administrators, and community members in providing students the opportunity to explore their creativity through music,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of The NAMM Foundation.

    This year, in cooperation with researchers from the Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas, the NAMM Foundation recognized 738 school districts and 80 schools were honored for their ability to adapt, innovate, and persevere in the face of change.

    This is the fourth consecutive year the School District of Philadelphia district has been honored. The 115,000-student school system offers a music program that presents opportunities for students in K-8 to learn instrumental music and middle and high school student’s opportunities to join performance ensembles.

    Other urban school districts receiving the honor were New Mexico’s Albuquerque Public Schools; Texas’ Austin Independent School District, Dallas Independent School District, Fort Worth Independent School District, and San Antonio Independent School District; Guilford County Schools in Greensboro N.C.; California’s Santa Ana Unified School District; Memphis-Shelby County Schools in Memphis; Richmond Public Schools and Norfolk Public Schools in Virginia; New York’s Rochester City School District; Wichita Public Schools; New Jersey’s Newark Public Schools; and Nevada’s Clark County School District in Las Vegas. In addition, Florida’s Hillsborough County Public Schools; Orange County Public Schools; Pinellas County Schools; Broward County Public Schools; and The School District of Palm Beach County made the list.