Medfield named a 2016 "Best Communities for Music Education"
One of only 476 school districts nationwide chosen by National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM)
Now in its 17th year, the Best Communities honor recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents,
students and community leaders who work together to ensure access to music learning for all students as part of the
“The schools and districts that the NAMM Foundation honors this year with this award demonstrate a commitment to
supporting music education and assuring opportunities for music learning in the curriculum for all students,” said Mary
Luehrsen of the NAMM Foundation.
“The schools and districts we recognize serve as models for other educators looking to develop standards-based music education programs. ”
The districts honored as Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation include urban, suburban and rural districts.
The Best Communities program evaluates schools and districts based on funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards, community support, participation, and access to music instruction.
Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.
“Music and the arts make a very positive contribution to the general success of the school and connection to the community,” said Kansas University researcher and professor Christopher Johnson.
“Access to music and the arts in the curriculum is important in its own right and connects students to their own personal expression and creativity. These activities also have been shown to contribute to lower dropout rates, higher graduation rates, higher ACT scores, and all the while, children learn the joys of music and all the life skills it fosters.”
A complete list of districts and schools recognized by the foundation this year can be found at www.nammfoundation.org.
MMA Position Statement
Parents with children in the Medfield Public School music program are members of the Medfield Music Association. MMA members represent numerous fields, including parenting, law, business, banking, finance, retail, non-profits, real estate, health care, education, medicine, science, journalism, and the arts…and many more. The MMA board with the support of more than 150 music parents has voted to adopt the following position statement:
As parents of children in the nationally recognized, award-winning Medfield Music Program…
We believe that all children in Medfield Public Schools should have equal access to elementary school ensembles during the school day -- without worrying about transportation, family, work, or other outside conflicts, physical limitations and/or financial constraints. Based on our own past history, the expertise of the Massachusetts Music Educators Association, and what other music programs have experienced, we know that if our core Band, Chorus and Strings ensembles meet outside the school day it will hurt the Medfield Music Program and cause a decline in student participation over time threatening decades of hard work and excellence.
We believe that all children in Medfield should be given the opportunity to experience the academic and other non-musical benefits being in the music program provides, including those cited by our own high school graduates: better retention of other subjects, improved executive function skills, mentoring by older students, greater self-confidence and acceptance, reduced stress, opportunities for creativity, critical thinking and leadership, and the chance to broaden interests. We know first-hand that the music program has changed students’ lives -- for the better.
We believe in the importance that the Medfield Music Program plays in the overall, long-term well-being of our students – especially as they navigate today’s high-pressure academic and post-high school environments. The power of music and the benefits of music education last a lifetime.
We believe that major changes to the music program – including taking music out of the school day – should only be made when individuals and/or groups directly affected by the changes as well as key decision makers are engaged in the process, including Music Department staff members, parents, MMA, students, site councils, principals, Medfield School Superintendent and Medfield School Committee. Significant changes with far-reaching implications must be made thoughtfully with an eye to both short and long-term ramifications.
We believe that the music program should be adequately funded each year, and that Medfield Public Schools should not rely on the MMA or other parent groups to fund certain expenses like instruments or teacher stipends. We trust that our school administrators and elected officials will do everything in their power to ensure critical music program expenses are covered in the school budget.
We believe that the Medfield community cares deeply about the Music Program and takes great pride in everything our Bands, Orchestras, Choruses, Jazz Bands, and Jazz Choirs and other ensembles have achieved over the course of its history. We believe that community members never want to see the quality of the Music Program jeopardized in any way.
We believe that business and community leaders, administrators, teachers, parents and community members at large all play an enormous role in the success of the Medfield Music Program, and we are extremely grateful for their support.