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For the 6th year in a row Glenwood City’s Music Education has received national recognition

GLENWOOD CITY music educators Angela Hierlmeier (vocal) and Matt Lamb (instrumental). —photo submitted

Glenwood City has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. This is the 6th year in a row the district has received this recognition. 

Now in its 23rd year, the Best Communities for Music Education 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, the music staff 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 passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have re-committed 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.

Music educator Matt Lamb stated, “Now more than ever music and arts education are critical to student success. The arts allow students to express themselves when they cannot through other avenues. We are very proud of our students. This Best Communities Designation is another accolade to how our district supports music.”

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music: After two years of music education, researchers found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers and that students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school, but also to 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

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