Herricks’s Music Education Program Receives National Recognition
Herricks has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Now in its 24th 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.
“Music is a prominent part of the Herricks community and is valued and supported by the district administration, the board of education, staff, music teachers and students,” said Anissa Arnold, Director of Fine and Performing Art. “I am very proud to receive this recognition from NAMM for the 15th consecutive year and proud to be part of this community where music and our student musicians are in the forefront!”
To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Herricks 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 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have recommitted 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.
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 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. Music education also provides social benefits that include conflict resolution, teamwork skills and how to give and receive constructive criticism.
The Herricks School District, a Community of Learners, through its educational programs, promotes intellectual curiosity and creative expression, values diversity, and measures success by one's personal development and contributions to society. In addition, the Herricks community consistently cultivates successful students in the Arts.
About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 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