May 1st, 2023 – Eanes ISD 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 24th 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, Eanes ISD 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.
“It is with pride that we accept the honor of being named a recipient for our 9th year in a row,” said Kerry Taylor, Eanes ISD Fine Arts Director. “This award recognizes our community's commitment to excellence in music education. Our students, staff, administration, parents, community members and local businesses have all played, and continue to play important roles in creating and maintaining the excellence in music education that Eanes ISD is known for.”
Since the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have re-committed to music and arts education programs. During the pandemic, music and arts programs were a vital component to keeping students engaged in school. ESSA provides designated funding for well-rounded educational opportunities through Title IV Part A Student Academic Success and Achievement grants. NAMM Foundation research has revealed that these grants are being widely used by school districts to address instructional gaps in access to music and arts education.
“Music Education in Eanes ISD is committed to providing opportunities and experiences of the highest quality to our students and community,” said Taylor LaPrairie, one of Westlake High School’s Assistant Band Directors. “Across every campus and every program you will find an engaging curriculum that seeks to challenge students and develop them into leaders and lifelong learners. Music Education is a medium through which our students are able to exhibit their creativity and expressiveness as well as grow their social and teamwork skills. Our district is proud of the culture and home our music education programs provide for students and are excited to see how our students will use the skills they have learned in their future lives.”
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.
About Eanes ISD
Eanes ISD offers exceptional Fine Arts programs at all grade levels and campuses. As a crucial component of the District’s Graduate Profile, participation in fine arts programs fosters a well-rounded experience that provides our students a broad range of engagement, develops critical thinking skills, and promotes teamwork, leadership and responsibility. The Eanes community is vitally committed to educational excellence that prepares and inspires all students for life-long success by engaging each student in rigorous academic experiences and enriching opportunities.
About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 15,000 member companies and individual professionals. 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.