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Fredonia schools recognized for music programs

For the ninth year in a row, the NAMM Foundation has recognized the Fredonia Central School District for its outstanding commitment to music education with a “Best Communities for Music Education” designation. Only 4% of the nation’s school districts were honored with this designation.

Now in its 22nd year, this award recognizes school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of their schools’ curriculum. This designation is meant to highlight the importance of supporting and expanding music education opportunities in our nation’s schools and acknowledging music’s vital role in student success.

Every year the National Association of Music Merchants collects data regarding public school music programs’ student participation in curricular and extracurricular music, pupil and staff achievements, community engagement, district support, and more. NAMM and the Center for Music Research at the University of Kansas compare this data across districts nationwide and come up with a list of the “Best Communities for Music Education.” The Fredonia School District is excelling in all of these categories.

Brad Zilliox, Fredonia’s Superintendent, shared, “Being relatively new to the district, the music program was repeatedly mentioned in my entry interviews as being a great source of pride for the entire school community. I have been impressed with how our department responded to the pandemic and continued to produce high quality results despite some of the limitations that were in place. It is clear that we have a talented group of students attached to all of our music offerings who excel in this subject area. We also recognize their achievements would not be possible without the support of our parents and families. I look forward to eventually seeing all of our groups in-person when we are back to our usual format for concerts and other music related events. Congratulations to all involved on a job well done!”

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 than 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.

For more information on the Fredonia Central School District’s Music Department please visit their website at: tinyurl.com/FCSDMusic

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