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Akron Schools named Best Communities for Music Education for 12th year!

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Named Best Communities for Music Education for the 12th year!

Akron Schools 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 25th year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement for providing music access and education to all students.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Akron Schools 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 by school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

"Music education plays a pivotal role in shaping the holistic development of our students, fostering not only their artistic talents but also enhancing their academic achievements and social skills," said Superintendent Andrea S. Kersten. "This recognition is a testament to the hard work of our talented students, the dedication of our teachers, and the unwavering support from parents. Receiving the Best Communities for Music Education designation is a tremendous honor, and speaks to the District's ongoing commitment to supporting opportunities for students to participate in the performing arts."

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. In addition, 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.

"Music works in harmony with many subject areas to positively impact a child's academic performance, creativity, and social skills – all crucial to developing a well-rounded student!" said Mrs. Kimberly Stachowski, Music Director for twenty-five years at Akron Elementary.

The local Akron school community continues to enjoy music events performed by the many music ensembles of Akron Schools including: Labor Day, Memorial Day, and July 4th holiday parades, the annual Prism and holiday concerts, “Light Up Akron” community celebration featuring the Santa’s Helpers Band, Middle and High School Cabaret Concerts, musical productions such as this year’s Mamma Mia!, Music & Munchies orchestra concert, spring awards concerts, and other events throughout the school year.

About The NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 15,000 global member companies and individual professionals worldwide. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public ervice programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit