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The NAMM Foundation Announces 25th Year of Best Communities for Music Education Program

Christian Wissmuller • Upfront • October 24, 2023

For the past 25 years, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation has celebrated communities throughout the country by honoring schools and their districts with The NAMM Foundation’s Best Communities for Music Education award (BCME). During those 25 years, The NAMM Foundation has reached communities representing more than 43 states and 900-plus combined school districts and individual schools. Part of the organization’s mission is to recognize the commitment and efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders nationally fortheir dedication to music education as part of a well-rounded school curriculum. 

“Music education plays an integral role in every student’s overall learning and development and helps them build connections through musical activities,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of The NAMM Foundation. “We celebrate the administrators, teachers and communities who are committed to music education so that every student has the opportunity to explore and express themselves through music.” 

These awards are based on a comprehensive online survey developed in partnership between the NAMM Foundation and the University of Kansas. The survey assesses alignment of graduation requirements with arts and music standards in the classroom and community.

The schools and communities recognized by the Best Communities for Music Education demonstrate a commitment to ensure music learning opportunities are available for every student and provide an example for other communities to follow. The impact of The NAMM Foundation’s Best Communities for Music Education award is unique and different for each recipient, although all recipients report the sense of pride, joy and respect it brings to their communities. 

“Our school system has received this designation for 24 years in a row, which has prompted an increase in board members attending musical performances and great interest in our students and these critical programs,” said Matthew Koperniak, Fulton County Schools. “The NAMM Foundation’s recognition has also allowed us to expand the financial support in the areas of teacher staffing, instruments and textbooks, which is essential in reaching our students.” 

District officials, music educators and school staff in the domestic United States are invited to complete the survey until January 31, 2024 at www.nammfoundation.org/bcme. 

In conducting the annual survey, The NAMM Foundation collaborated with advisory organizations in the fields of music and education, including League of American Orchestras; Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation; Music for All; Music Teachers National Association; Save the Music Foundation; Yamaha, and Young Audiences. 

Founded in 2006, The NAMM Foundation represents the generosity and philanthropy of the music products industry. A supporting organization of NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants), the NAMM Foundation is funded through trade association activities and donations. 

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