Once again, The NAMM Foundation honored the Cobb County School District with the Best Communities for Music Education designation for Cobb’s outstanding commitment to music education. In fact, this is the 18th year Cobb has earned the award.
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. Cobb achieved the designation by demonstrating how the District’s funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, and facilities support the success of school music programs.
Even while Cobb students are engaged in digital learning, Cobb’s music educators continue to help their students sharpen their musical skills and Cobb students continue to earn praise for their work, like students in Harrison High School’s virtual choir.
Last summer, the musical talent of Hillgrove High School students was thrust onto the world stage when the band and orchestra students performed in the 75th anniversary of D-Day ceremony at the Brittany American Cemetery in France.
Another example of the work of Cobb’s music educators is seen in the recent viral video of the Cobb County Virtual Band:
The Best Communities for Music Education award recognizes that the Cobb County School District is 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.
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 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 that 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, in addition to the social benefits including 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.
About The NAMM Foundation
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.