For the 6th year in a row, Montville Township Public Schools district has been named a National Best Communities for Music Education. The designation was awarded by the NAMM Foundation (National Association of Music Merchants). Montville Township Public Schools received the 2021 honor for its outstanding dedication to music education, confirming once again the district’s exceptionally high commitment to providing music education to all pre-K to grade 12 students.
“This recognition is especially gratifying during the many challenges of this pandemic year,” said the district’s Supervisor of Fine and Applied Arts, Edward Fleischman. “It affirms that great things can happen when teachers, administrators, students, and parents work toward a common goal.”
“Six years in a row is awesome!” said Superintendent Dr. René Rovtar. “This is wonderful recognition for the excellent music programs in the district.”
Rovtar thanked Fleischman, and the district’s outstanding pre-K to grade 12 team of music teachers for providing “wonderful opportunities for our students.”
“Music is a vital component of our entire pre-K to grade12 educational program,” Fleischman added. “This award is confirmation of the wonderful things happening in our music courses, and inspires us to continue to work and innovate on behalf of all of our students.”
Fleischman also noted: “This year's [NAMM] survey included many questions related to how we are responding to the pandemic crisis. I truly believe that our approach to keeping music education robust in our district and school reopening plans contributed to our award recognition this year. This year, in particular, the award is truly shared by all. I very much appreciate how all of the principals worked collaboratively with the music faculty, and me -- despite scheduling issues, space issues, social distancing requirements, and a myriad of other details -- to provide music instruction from the very beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.”
According to a NAMM press release: “Since the passage by Congress in 2015 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have re-committed to music and arts education programs and found that in this time of a national pandemic, provides a valuable way to keep 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.”
Now in its 22nd year, the Best Communities for Music Education is presented to school districts that demonstrate extraordinary achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Montville Township answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, and support for the music programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
Despite pandemic protocols, which required educators to pivot daily and develop new and modified teaching protocols, and also required students to adapt new practice and rehearsal strategies, Montville Township Public Schools is recognized for exceptional musical performances. Winter and spring concerts, Broadway Nights and the spring musical, marching band, orchestra, choral, and symphonic band performances and music instruction have continued to be highlights of the 2020-2021 academic year; providing exceptional music education opportunities for all students in Montville township Public Schools.
NAMM notes in their press release that, “Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. After two years of music education, research found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores that their less-involved peers and that students who are involved in music are more likely to graduate high school, and are also more likely to attend college. Additionally, research suggests that 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.”
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.
Montville Township Public Schools is home to approximately 3,400 students in grades Pre-K to twelve. Five elementary schools, one middle school and one high school comprise the district’s facilities.
“Congratulations! The NAMM Foundation has recognized your community for its outstanding efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who are making music part of a well-rounded education for every child in their communities,” said the NAMM letter announcing the National Best Communities for Music Education Award for 2021. “We salute the commitment of your community, so every child can learn and grow with music.”
Montville Township Public Schools in Montville, New Jersey, is one of only 686 school districts across the United States to receive the nationally recognized 2021 Best Communities for Music Education award from NAMM.
About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,400 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.