The Niskayuna School District has been recognized by the National
Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) for its outstanding commitment to
music education with a Best Communities for Music Education designation in
2016. The district has now received the award three consecutive years; this
year, Niskayuna joins 476 districts across the country in receiving the
“This validates the hard work and efforts made to provide the best music education possible to the students of Niskayuna and shows how community support elevates a music program to be truly outstanding,” said Director of Music Education Chad Shippee.
The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in their efforts to provide music access and education to all students.
To qualify for the Best Communities designation, the Niskayuna music department answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
Community music programs have been drawing increased attention in recent years because of a landmark study by Northwestern University brain scientists. These researchers found new links between students in community music programs and academic success in subjects such as reading.
Beyond the Northwestern study, other reports indicate that learning to play music can boost academic and social skills, such as processing math and learning to cooperate in group settings.
“The Niskayuna music department prides itself on offering a deep and meaningful music education program that offers plenty of opportunity for our students,” Shippee said.
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,
please visit www.nammfoundation.org.