Music Education Program Receives Nationa

DeSoto ISD’s Music Education Program Receives National Recognition For the Third Consecutive Year
Posted on 03/27/2019
This is the image for the news article titled DeSoto ISD’s Music Education Program Receives National Recognition For the Third Consecutive Year

DeSoto ISD has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.

This award was given to less than 5% of school districts in the nation this year, and among those that received the award, less than 3% are given the honor for more than two consecutive years nationally.

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. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, DeSoto ISD answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music programs, Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“This is the feather in our cap to recognize the amazing fine arts programs and opportunities in DeSoto ISD,” stated Matt Edwards, Fine Arts Director. “We know the phenomenal level at which our students perform; this solidifies that level to the world. This award is a product of the amazing work being done by our music staff and students each and every day throughout the year. I could not be more proud of them and the job that they all do in working collaboratively.”            

This award recognizes that DeSoto ISD 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.

“Anytime our students and teachers are recognized among the best in the nation and certainly for the third year in a row, we want to celebrate and recognize that hard work, talent and effort,” said DeSoto ISD Superintendent Dr. D’Andre Weaver. “Music and the arts are creative means of expression that deeply enhance the educational experience for our students and the quality and depth of our arts programs continues to showcase the talent and creativity of our students and staff members.”

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. After two years of music education, 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 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. 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.