District receives national recognition for music education support

Upper Perkiomen School District  |  Posted on

UPMS Orchestra Students rehearsing for upcoming concerts

Upper Perkiomen School District (UPSD) 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, UPSD 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.

We are so proud that our music department has earned this honor. Their hard work and passion for music education has benefitted countless students and families. Providing a place for students to learn, create, and express their gifts and talents is very necessary in schools today – and our teachers are second to none at bringing out the best in our students!” said UPSD Director of Curriculum and Instruction.

Ysabelle, a violin and flute player shared, “Music education is important because it teaches kids to express their feelings in a different perspective and helps kids interact with others.”

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 education is a fundamental building block for learning. Students who practice music experience a physical change to the brain that helps them to develop strong language and problem-solving skills. Music is a fun activity that teaches confidence, resilience, commitment and teamwork. Music is an essential fiber that binds our community together – it fosters connections, empathy and harmony,” said UPMS Proud Orchestra Director Mrs. Margaret Lerch.