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Letcher’s music effort cited




The Letcher County Schools was designated this week as a “Best Community” for musical education.

The NAMM Foundation announced Tuesday that Letcher County is one of 110 school districts included in NAMM’s ninth annual “Best Communities for Music Education” survey. Letcher was designated a “Best Community” for its commitment to provide quality music education programs for its students, NAMM said.

The NAMM Foundation and its music education advocacy efforts work to ensure that all children have access to quality music education programs that encourage lifelong participation in music making. This year’s roster of musical schools represents 29 states with New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia representing the most districts. Letcher County was the only Kentucky school district included in the survey. To view the complete roster of “Best Communities,” visit www.nammfoundation.org.

Hundreds of teachers, school and district administrators, school board members, parents and community leaders, representing communities in all 50 states, participated in the webbased survey. The districts were measured across a variety of program support, curricular and programmatic criteria. Furthermore, the results were measured proportionally, so that communities of different sizes were compared equally.

Participants in the survey answered detailed questions about funding, enrollment, student/ teacher ratios, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, private music lesson participation, and other relevant factors in their communities’ music education programs. The responses were verified with district officials, and the sponsoring organizations reviewed the data.

“We commend these school districts for their commitment to assuring that music is part of a complete education for children,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director, NAMM Foundation. “It takes the commitment of an entire community to assure that music is part of the core curriculum. Children engaged in music will be the innovation leaders of tomorrow, and there is no better way to build lifelong participation in music than with a solid base of music education.”

Luehrsen also noted that throughout the survey’s eight years several districts have reported that making the “Best Communities” list has had a tangible effect on their ability to preserve music for their students. This year, recipients cited increased enrollment in music programs and more support from parents and community members as they realize the physical, mental and emotional value music education brings to students.

Research reveals a strong correlation between quality music education in school and academic achievement. Students actively involved with music programs develop skills needed by the 21st century workforce, including critical thinking, creative problem solving, effective communication and team work.

The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs from the international music products industry.


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