W-M District recognized for music education efforts

The NAMM Foundation has recognized the Watertown-Mayer School District for its outstanding commitment to music education with a Best Communities for Music Education designation.

Watertown-Mayer joins 307 districts across the country to receive the prestigious distinction this year. In its 14th year, Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) affirms school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of the schools’ core curriculum.

The BCME survey requires districts to answer 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 Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

The BCME designation is an important part of the NAMM Foundation’s efforts to advocate for school-based music education. Numerous studies have demonstrated that learning to play music can boost other academic and social skills.

A study of young children showed that after one year of music training students showed structural brain changes that led to better memory and cognitive skill than students without music.  Studies have shown that middle-school-aged students who take music lessons have, as a group, higher IQ’s that students that do not.

Studies have shown that high school students who take music are more self-confident, better able to communicate appropriately with teachers and peers, and are better able to express their ideas than their non-music peers. Study after study show that consistent training in music directly correlates with greater success in academic areas; higher standardized test scores; and happier, better adjusted, and more self-aware students.