The David Douglas School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Again.
This is the ninth time our District has received this prestigious, national recognition of our music program. We are one of only two districts in Oregon to receive the award, and one of only five in the Pacific Northwest. The other Oregon district is the Culver School District.
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, we had to answer 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.
David Douglas has a long, proud history of music education. We are among the few districts to provide full-time music teachers at the elementary level, giving every elementary student exposure to early music education. Nearly 2,300 David Douglas middle and high school students participate in our robust choir, band and orchestra programs at the secondary levels. And that doesn’t include the dozens of advanced 5th graders who have the opportunity to perform at the middle school level.
This award recognizes that David Douglas is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). 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.
About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 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.