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National Survey Will Find 100 Best Communities for Music Education in America


Curriculum Center

The American Music Conference, a nonprofit organization that promotes music education, and other groups are currently running the second annual survey to identify the top 100 communities for music education in America. Included: Link to the online survey!

The second annual nationwide "100 Best Communities for Music Education in America" Internet survey, spearheaded by the American Music Conference (AMC), is now under way. The objective is not only to identify communities that excel in music education but also to gather information that will help communities everywhere address this vital need.

Educators, school administrators, parents, students, and community members at large can participate now, then check back in May to see the results online. The survey includes detailed questions about funding, enrollment, student-teacher ratios, participation in music classes, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, participation in private music lessons, and other factors in the community's quality of music education.

The Music Teachers National Association , the National School Boards Association, and the International Music Products Association are once again joining AMC as partners in the undertaking. Perseus Development Corporation, Yamaha Corporation of America, and the VH1 Save the Music Foundation are lending support to the survey as well.

"In 2000, we identified the Coppell (Texas) Independent School District and the Farmington (Michigan) Public School District as America's leading communities when it comes to giving kids the gift of music making," said AMC executive director Joe Lamond. "We learned a great deal about what makes a great music program and have shared that information with thousands of school districts. We hope to see the bar raised even higher, and all music programs benefit from this, as communities vie to be included in the new top 100."

Music education has merits beyond its well-known personal and cultural benefits. Mounting scientific evidence points to a clear link between active participation in music and better spatial-temporal reasoning, reduced discipline problems, and even the physical enhancement of brainpower.

The American Music Conference, founded in 1947 and based in Carlsbad, California, is dedicated to promoting music, music making, and music education to the general public. AMC currently supports a variety of programs highlighting music's benefits for Americans of all ages, including "Music Makes You Smarter," research from the University of California at Irvine; the New Horizons Band, a groundbreaking program for beginning musicians ages 50-plus at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York; and the advocacy efforts of the National Coalition for Music Education.