The New School for Music Study has been honored with the SupportMusic Merit Award from The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.
The SupportMusic Merit Award recognizes individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.
To qualify for the SupportMusic Merit Award, NSMS answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
“We believe that music education is inspiring and important to the well-being of all students,” said Administrative Director, Dr. Rebecca Pennington. “We are honored to receive this award, as it highlights the high-quality instruction that students receive at The New School for Music Study.” Executive Director Dr. Jennifer Snow shared, "The achievements of The New School for Music Study exemplify the mission of the Frances Clark Center. With such outstanding faculty, the school continues to be recognized internationally for its creative learning environment. We are thrilled by this national award from the NAMM foundation.”
This award recognizes that The New School for Music Study is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation guides policy implementation in the states and replaces the 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.
When asked why music is important, a 12-year-old NSMS student recently wrote, "Music tells a story in a more expressive way than words can. It is easier to show how you feel through music. Music is inspiring."
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 than their less-involved peers. In addition, students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school, but to attend college as well. Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically-trained children that 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.