The NAMM Foundation has recognized Lower Merion School District for its outstanding commitment to music education with a Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) designation for the seventh consecutive year. LMSD joins the distinguished ranks of only 527 other districts across the country in receiving the prestigious distinction in 2017.
The Best Communities Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. Districts that have been recognized by the NAMM Foundation are often held up as models for other educators looking to boost their own music education programs.
To qualify for the Best Communities designation, LMSD 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.
This award recognizes that LMSD is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the new federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation, signed into law in December 2015 and awaiting state implementation, designates music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.
As LMSD finalizes its 2017-18 budget, the NAMM Foundation's Best Communities for Music Education Award and the implementation of the federal ESSA law bring attention to the importance of keeping music education part of the school's core education for all students. It also highlights music's vital role in students' overall success in school
LMSD has long been recognized for its outstanding music education programs, which include:
-Individualized music instruction at all levels
-Instrumental and choral ensembles at all levels
-Music theater programs at all levels
-Advanced, high-level music course offerings, including AP Music Theory and IB Music
-Co-curricular enrichment programs at all levels
-Award-winning middle and high school ensembles
-Service-based music programs, including children's concert series, community performances and issues advocacy
-All-State orchestra, band and chorus participation
-Interdisciplinary experiences at the elementary level, particularly in the areas of art, physical education and world language
-Active partnerships with professional musicians, regional and national performance groups and professional organizations
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its nearly 9,200 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.