Ann Arbor selected a ‘best community’ in music education

Ann Arbor Public Schools was among 174 districts in the country selected as one of the best in music education this month.

The list was released by the nonprofit National Association of Music Makers Foundation in its 11th annual “Best Communities for Music Education” survey, which acknowledges districts across the United States for their “unwavering commitment” to music education, NAMM said in releasing the results.

“Past designees have benefited by receiving this mark of excellence, but this year’s economic environment is challenging for many communities,” said Mary Luehrsen, NAMM Foundation executive director. “Even having earned this designation, schools are working hard to keep programs strong in the midst of some of the deepest education cuts seen in decades.”
This year’s roster represents schools and school districts in 30 states.

The 2010 survey, which opened on Jan. 17, and ended March 12, was available to all districts nationwide on a Web-based survey. Districts were measured across curricular and programmatic criteria as well as public support of their music programs. The survey was developed and administered by The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

Each school receiving the designation scored in the 80th percentile or higher in the survey’s grading process. Survey participants answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and other relevant factors in their communities’ music education programs.

Responses were verified with district officials and advisory organizations reviewed the data.

In conducting the annual survey, the NAMM Foundation was joined by advisory organizations in the fields of music and education, including: Americans for the Arts, League of American Orchestras, The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, The Metropolitan Opera Guild, Music for All, Music Teachers National Association, National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts, National PTA, Yamaha Corporation of America and VH1 Save The Music Foundation.

Click here for a list of all schools on the “Best Communities for Music Education” list.

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