For the third year, Dallas ISD has been honored with 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 to all students.
To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Dallas ISD answered 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.
Since the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) passed in 2015, with a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have recommitted to music and arts education programs. During the pandemic, music and arts programs were a vital component to keeping students engaged in school. ESSA provides designated funding for well-rounded educational opportunities through Title IV Part A Student Academic Success and Achievement grants. NAMM Foundation research has revealed that these grants are being widely used by school districts to address instructional gaps in access to music and arts education.
Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make 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. In addition, researchers found that students who are involved in music are more likely to not only graduate high school, but attend college as well.
Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically trained children than in those without music training. Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to the ability to perceive speech in a noisy background, pay attention, and keep sounds in memory. Later in life, individuals who took music lessons as children show stronger neural processing of sound. Young adults and even older adults who have not played an instrument for up to 50 years show enhanced 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 nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 members around the world. The foundation advances 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, visit www.nammfoundation.org.