For the fourth consecutive year, Linden Public Schools have been selected as one of the “Best Communities for Music Education” in the nation.

Linden joins just 583 districts across the country and just 38 in New Jersey  in receiving the prestigious distinction from the NAMM Foundation.

Now in its 19th year, Best Communities for Music Education recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students, and community leaders who work together to ensure access to music learning for all students as part of the school curriculum.

“I am extremely proud of this accomplishment,” said Superintendent Danny A. Robertozzi. “We have always seen education in music and the arts as essential in our mission to make sure every student reaches his or her highest potential. This shows that the commitment of our staff, from elementary school to high school, as well as the support they get from our parents and community, is paying great dividends in our children’s overall education.”

The BCME survey was sent to nearly 14,000 school districts across the country asking 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.

“I am very proud of our department for receiving this honor for a fourth consecutive year,” said Matthew Lorenzetti, Linden’s supervisor of fine and performing arts, as well as the Gifted and Talented program. “Thanks so much to our Board of Education members, administration, staff, and community for their continued support of the arts, and thanks especially to our students for helping make this national recognition possible.”

school 1 students singing

This award recognizes that Linden is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The federal law guides education policy 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.

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational, cognitive and social skill benefits for children. In a series of landmark studies by researchers at Northwestern University, a link was found between students’ participation in music programs and their lifelong academic success, including higher high school graduation rates and college attendance. Another study from Northwestern found that the benefits of early exposure to music education improves how the brain processes and assimilates sounds, a trait that lasts well into adulthood.

McManus choir performing

Beyond the Northwestern research, other studies have indicated that music education lays the foundation for individual excellence in group settings, creative problem solving, and flexibility in work situations, as well as learning how to give and receive constructive criticism.

A 2015 study supported by The NAMM Foundation, “Striking A Chord,” shows an overwhelming desire by teachers and parents for music education opportunities as part of the school curriculum.

The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit 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.