Centerville’s music education program receives national recognition for second straight year
Centerville receives Best Communities for Music Education designation from NAMM Foundation
Centerville City Schools has been honored for the second year in a row with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.
Now in its 21st 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, Centerville staff members answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities and support for the music programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
“It is truly an honor to be awarded this distinction from the National Association of Music Merchants,” said Debbie Whitlock, who teaches music at Weller Elementary. “Our team strives every day to help the children of Centerville Schools achieve both an understanding and an appreciation of music through general, choral and instrumental opportunities. We could not accomplish this without the support of the community, parents and local music merchants. The arts are so unique in the way that they reach children, and we are thankful to be a part of a community that understands and applauds our endeavors!”
This award recognizes that Centerville Schools are leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation guides implementation in the states and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which was often criticized for an overemphasis on testing while leaving behind subjects such as music. ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.
“Music education is a fundamental part of the learning experience for every child,” said Brandon Barrometti, band director and Performing Arts department chair at Centerville High School. “It helps to unlock different parts of the brain and allows students to be expressive, analytical and creative. Music helps students feel more connected to each other and the world around them. We are so fortunate in Centerville that we are able to provide such a wide range of musical experiences and opportunities, all the way from elementary through high school. Through music, students learn more about themselves, and studies have shown that music education connects all subjects across the curriculum.”
Centerville’s music and performing arts teachers have been creative during the extended school building closure in Ohio, such as challenging students to create their own instruments out of household items, sharing information about music styles and composers, meeting with students through video conferences, and even collaborating virtually to post music videos.
According to The NAMM Foundation, research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. After two years of music education, research 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 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. Not to mention, social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.
A 2015 study supported by The NAMM Foundation, “Striking A Chord,” also outlines the overwhelming desire by teachers and parents for music education opportunities for all children as part of the school curriculum.
Centerville City Schools serve about 8,400 students in Centerville and Washington Township in southwest Ohio, offering a variety of educational programs to a diverse student population. The district operates 13 school buildings, as well as two preschools and a bus facility accommodating and servicing 120 buses that also transports daily to 15 public and 15 non-public schools. Visit www.centerville.k12.oh.us for more information.
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,400 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, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.