Play, listen and learn: WCS music programs earn recognition

News Journal

WILMINGTON — Wilmington City Schools has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. They are one of only 583 districts across the nation to earn this honor.

The BCME 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, WCS 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.

“We are honored to be recognized with this designation. This is a tribute to the many people who make music an integral part of education in the Wilmington Schools,” said Matt Spradlin, WHS Director of Bands, on behalf of WCS music educators.

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music, according to Wilmington City Schools.

In a series of landmark studies by researchers at Northwestern University, a link was found between students in community music programs and life-long academic success, including higher high school graduation rates and college attendance.

In another study from the university, it was discovered that the benefits of early exposure to music education improves how the brain processes and assimilates sounds, a trait that lasts well into adulthood.

WCS music teachers recently asked their elementary students what music meant to them:

• “Music is what keeps me calm. Something I like most.” — Zeth

• “It means a lot to me because my mom sang songs to get me to sleep when I was a baby.” — Layni

• “To me music is playing from the heart.” — Mia

• “Music is experiencing feelings through song and dance.” — Bryn

• “I like music because it helps us learn.” — Kiera

Wilmington City Schools, as part of a supportive community, has a rich history of providing outstanding music and fine arts programs for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit which advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs.

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