Once again, the Cobb County School District earned the national designation of Best Communities for Music Education. This is the 14th consecutive time that the NAMM Foundation has honored Cobb Schools for the district’s outstanding commitment to music education. Only six school districts in Georgia made the list.
Now in its 20th 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. This award recognizes that Cobb is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.
Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. After two years of music education, the research found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores that 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.
In addition to Cobb Schools maintaining its status as one of the Best Communities for Music Education in the country, Cobb’s music programs have also received other recent honors. Hightower Trail Middle School was named Georgia’s Music Program of the Year, and the Georgia Music Educators Association Named Cobb Supervisor of Instrumental Music Christopher Ferrell, the Administrator of the Year. North Cobb High School teacher Sheldon Frazier, likewise, won the National CMA Foundation Music Teachers of Excellence Award.