• Methacton Recognized Among 2018 Best Communities for Music Education


    For the second year in a row, the Methacton School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. 


    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, Methacton 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 Methacton 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. 


    Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. In a series of landmark studies by scientists and 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.


    Beyond the Northwestern research, other studies have indicated that music education lays the foundation for individual excellence in group settings, creative problem solving and flexibility in work situations, as well learning how to give and receive constructive criticism to excel.


    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. 


    More facts about the benefits of Music Education - 

    According to the results of a July 2014 Harris Poll®:

    • Seven in ten Americans (71 percent) say that the learning and habits from music education equip people to be better team players in their careers.
    • Two-thirds (66 percent) of Americans say that music education prepares someone to manage the tasks of their job more successfully.
    • Three in five Americans (61 percent) say music education provided a disciplined problem solving approach, and 59 percent say it prepared people to manage tasks more successfully.
    • Four out of five Americans (80 percent) believe their music education has contributed to their level of personal fulfillment.


    Educational Benefits

    • 87 percent of teachers and 79 percent of parents strongly believe music education has a positive impact on overall academic performance and improves cognitive function. [Source: NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates, LLC, (2015), Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K-12 Music Education in the United States.]
    • A 2013 study published in The Journal of Neuroscience found that adolescent centered studies show that even very basic rhythm abilities, such as tapping to a beat, relate with reading skills. [Source: White-Schwock, T., Woodruff Carr, Anderson, S., Strait, D.L., Kraus, N., (2013), “Older adults benefit from music training early in life: Biological evidence for long-term training-driven plasticity,” The Journal of Neuroscience.]
    • According to Dr. Nina Kraus’s work with the Harmony Project, students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school, but also to attend college as well. [Source: Krause N., Slater J., Thompason E.C., Hornickel J., Strait D.L., Nicol T. & White-Schwoch T., (2014), “Auditory learning through active engagement with sound: Biological impact of community music lessons in at-risk children.” Frontiers in Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience.]


    Cognitive Benefits

    • A few years of musical training early in life improves how the brain processes sound, and the benefits of early exposure to music education last well into adulthood, years after the training has ceased. [Source: Strait, D.L. Kraus N., (2014), “Biological impact of auditory expertise across the life span: musicians as a model of auditory learning.” Hearing Research.]
    • According to research published in a 2014 article in Parents magazine, learning how to play percussion instruments helps children develop coordination and motor skills because they require movement of the hands, arms, and feet. [Source: Kwan, A. (2013), “6 Benefits of Music Lessons,” Parents.]


    Social Benefits

    • Taking music lessons offers a space where kids learn how to accept and give constructive criticism, according to research published in The Wall Street Journal in 2014. [Source: Lipman, J. (2014), “A Musical Fix for American Schools,” The Wall Street Journal.]
    • A 2014 Harris Poll® found that music education lays the foundation for individual excellence in group settings, creative problem solving and flexibility in work situations. [Source: The Harris Poll®, (2014).]