Two SC school districts recognized nationally as Best Communities for Music Education

Two SC school districts recognized nationally as Best Communities for Music Education

Florence School District One and Greenville County Schools are among 476 school districts across the United States to be recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation as the Best Communities for Music Education (BCME). BCME recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students, and community leaders who work together to ensure access to music learning for all students as part of the school curriculum. Districts that have been recognized by the NAMM Foundation are often held up as models for other educators looking to boost their own music education programs.

This is the third year in a row that Florence School District One has received the designation.

“The impact of this award shows our students and our community how a strong music program can make a difference in the lives of our student population,” said Laura Greenway, performing arts coordinator. “The impact is far reaching and reflects in the future success of our students.”

According to Greenvway, the award recognizes that Florence School District One is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the new federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation, signed into law in December 2015, replaces No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which was often criticized for an overemphasis on testing—while leaving behind subjects such as music. ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.

“Greenville County Schools is honored to have been selected by the NAMM Foundation as a Best Community for Music,” said Bradley Wingate, academic specialist for visual and performing arts. “Recognition of our music programs speaks to the amazing work that goes on in each of our schools and to the high-quality instruction students are provided by their teachers.  We are so very fortunate to have some of the absolute best music educators in the country leading our music programs and are extremely grateful for the ongoing support provided by the district administration and the community.”

The BCME program evaluates schools and districts based on funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards, community support, and participation and access to music instruction. The NAMM Foundation, with the assistance of researchers at The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas, evaluates participants on these factors. Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.

Studies have shown that participation in music and the arts contributes to lower dropout rates, higher graduation rates, and higher ACT scores, while teaching children the joys of music and related life skills. A 2014 study by Northwestern University researchers found new links between students in community music programs and academic success in subjects such as reading. A 2015 study, “Striking A Chord,” supported by the NAMM Foundation, 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, visit

Via: Florence School District One and Greenville County Schools