West Milford music program earns national designation

| 28 Jun 2012 | 08:23

WEST MILFORD — The West Milford Township Public School District has been named one of the Best Communities for Music Education in America by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM), a nonprofit organization devoted to advancing participation in music.

The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs from the international music products industry. The NAMM Foundation announced the results of its 13th annual Best Communities for Music Education survey last month. The award acknowledges selected schools and districts across the United States for their commitment and support for music education as part of the core curriculum. The Web-based survey used to evaluate each district included questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities and support for the music program. In conducting the annual survey, the NAMM Foundation is joined by advisory organizations in the fields of music and education: Americans for the Arts (www.americansforthearts.org), League of American Orchestras (www.americanorchestras.org), The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation (www.mhopus.org), Music for All (www.musicforall.org), Music Teachers National Association (www.mtna.org), National Guild For Community Arts Education (www.nationalguild.org), Yamaha Corporation of America (www.yamaha.com), Young Audiences (http://www.youngaudiences.org/) and VH1 Save The Music Foundation (www.vh1savethemusic.com).

The announcement of the 2012 Best Communities for Music Education campaign comes during a crucial time as school districts nationwide finalize budgets.

According to the release, the "Best Communities" designation is a distinction worthy of pride, but is also a call to action for local music education advocates to help preserve and potentially expand access to their current music education programs. Past designees have reported that making the Best Communities list had a positive effect on their ability to advance recognition and support for music programs.

NAMM Foundation Executive Director Mary Luehrsen encourages communities to use the designation as a cornerstone of vigorous advocacy for music education programs.

"We know that communities are struggling to maintain funding for many education programs and we applaud these communities that remain committed to a complete and quality education that must include music and the arts," said Luehrsen. "We urge communities to celebrate the designation as a national recognition for their commitment to children and most of all, to keep the music playing in their schools for years to come."

The award, a prestigious national designation, was presented by Nick Marino of The Music Shop on behalf of the NAMM Foundation to West Milford’s K-12 Supervisor of Music John Boronow at the West Milford High School Concert last month. West Milford’s program was one of 176 districts in the entire country to be recognized for its commitment to music education. Districts were judged based on their music curriculum and program, as well as public support. Each school receiving the "Best Communities" designation scored in the 80 percentile or higher in the survey's grading process.