Southington recognized for music education

The Southington Public School District has received official recognition as one of the Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) in the Nation by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation in collaboration with the Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

Southington is one of only 18 school districts in the state of Connecticut to achieve this recognition.

“This prestigious award is a tribute to our families who support music experiences for their children,” said Superintendent of Schools Timothy Connellan in a press release, “and to the hard work and dedication of an amazing cadre of music teachers who clearly love and enjoy bringing the gift of music into the lives of their students.”

The NAMM Foundation annually selects school districts to receive recognition for their music education programs. Now in its 19th year, the awards 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.

“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 located in communities where music education is viewed as a jewel of the school system,” said Mary Luehrsen of the NAMM Foundation in a press release. “Parents, administrators and community members are proud of these local music programs and attend them regularly.”

The awards program is based on a collaboration of researchers at The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas. The BCME program evaluates schools and districts based on funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, and commitment to standards and access to music instruction.

“Music and the arts are a critical component of core curriculum, and strong community support and involvement in the arts helps build an even stronger foundation for student success in those areas of study and beyond,” KU researcher and professor Christopher Johnson said in a press release. “Along with contributing to improved graduation rates and academic success, students in quality music programs are consistently more proficient in other subjects and develop many ancillary life-long skills.”

Johnson said most involved music students are also “exceptional critical thinkers and good listeners,” and are able to persist through all kinds of adversities.

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