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Lamar CISD Music Education Program Receives Second Consecutive National Recognition

Apr 09, 2021 | Community Relations

Lamar CISD has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.  Now in its 22nd 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, Lamar CISD 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 is a well-deserved accolade for our hard-working and committed staff of music teachers. Their work from pre-K to 12th grade helps keep our students engaged and performing. Making music is just one of the artistic outlets available to Lamar CISD students,” said Ram Estrada, Lamar CISD’s Director of Performing & Visual Arts. “Strong, vibrant extracurriculars like our music program helps make this community such an attractive place to live and raise a family. This national designation helps us in attracting the top music teacher candidates - to attract the best, you have to be the best!”

“At a time when school relationships can feel artificial and distant, being part of a musical group brings us together. It requires team work to ensure each individual part fits into the texture and intricacy of the group. Each musician is dependent on the parts being played by others. Music gives us connection,” said Lyn Miller, Navarro Middle School Band Director.

"Music education is important for many reasons. It can help you physically, mentally, is a great way to have fun, and can even help you learn about the cultures of different people," said Evan Keshavarzi, an eighth grade orchestra student at Briscoe Jr. High.

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

About The NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,400 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.