by Sharon Bryant, NAMM
This spring The NAMM Foundation recognized 583 school districts and 135 schools in 41 states as Best Communities for Music Education (BCME). In its 19th year, NAMM’s BCME program recognizes the outstanding efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the curriculum. Designations are given to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and consistent access to music education.
Executive Director of The NAMM Foundation Mary Luehrsen explains what is unique about BCME recognition, “The schools and districts we recognize this year – both new and repeat honorees – represent a diverse group of urban, rural and suburban districts and demographics. Along with a strong commitment to music education, there are two common traits that each program shares: consistent funding that anchors music education as part of the core curriculum and music programs that are in communities where music education is viewed as a jewel of the school system.”
Schools and districts recognized by The NAMM Foundation engage students and their communities through music. Whether these students perform with community choral, symphony or theater ensembles in Abingdon, Pennsylvania; reduced or low-cost private music lessons for needy students in Ann Arbor, Michigan; or English language learners in Grand Forks, North Dakota, they all have one thing in common: They are building new competencies through music education. Indeed, BCME schools and districts are creating a community of 21st Century learners.
Music retailers around the country have successfully used this annual designation to highlight the value of having music education in their communities. “Participating in the BCME program is a win-win for your business and can pay back dividends far more than you might expect. By supporting your local music programs, you’re potentially building your customer base and marketing your business along the way.” Mark Despotakis, Director of Market Development, Progressive Music. (Read Mark’s complete article: “Creating a Customer Base that Advocates for You”)
There is a good chance that some of the schools and districts that you supply with print music, instruments and lessons have received this designation and would love to have you spotlight their achievement with a BCME recognition event.
Support your BCME customers in three easy steps:
- Review the list of the 583 Best Communities for Music Education
- Review the list of 135 SupportMusic Merit Award recipients
- Use NAMM’s free downloadable PR Kit (includes PR instructions, template press materials, logos, certificates, posters, banners, and several social media tiles) and raise the visibility of the recognized districts and schools in your area.
As RPMDA 2018 keynote speaker Scott Lang reminded us, the research is clear: studies continue to demonstrate the physical, cognitive and social benefits of music making. Students who are involved in a school-based music program are not only more likely to graduate high school and attend college; also, only a few years of musical training early in life improves how the brain processes sound, even later in life. Social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills and learning how to give and receive constructive criticism. Let’s reward the schools and districts that know this and take action to provide music education, a crucial element to a well-rounded education.
Contact NAMM’s BCME Project Manager, Sharon Bryant, if you have any questions.