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For the seventh consecutive year, the NAMM Foundation recognized Osseo Area Schools for its outstanding commitment to music education with a Best Communities for Music Education designation. The Foundation’s annual “Best Communities for Music Education” survey acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment and support of comprehensive music education in schools. Osseo is one of only three districts in Minnesota to earn the designation in 2015 and the only district in the state that has earned the designation every year since 2008.

“Osseo Area Schools has built a legacy of an excellent music education program with strong support and talented leadership,” said Christine Weatherman, staff development assessment specialist. “Earning this designation for seven years running validates the investment we have made in our music education program and our students, many of whom go on to enjoy and pursue music both personally and professionally into adulthood.”

Community music programs have been drawing increased attention this school year because of a 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.

In its 16th year, Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) affirms school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of the schools’ core curriculum.

The BCME survey requires districts to answer 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 Center for Public Partnerships and Research, an affiliate of the University of Kansas. 

-Published March 19, 2015