District Earns Best Music Ed Community Award

For the second consecutive year, Lakewood City Schools has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Only 4% of districts across the nation were selected for the prestigious award.

The Best Communities Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, the District answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. 

“We are blessed with a community that values the importance of music education and supports our efforts to provide the highest level of instruction to our students. I am proud of our dedicated and talented teachers, who work to instill an appreciation of music in all our students and challenge our best musicians to reach new levels,” said Superintendent Jeff Patterson. 

This award recognizes that Lakewood City Schools is leading the way with music learning opportunities as outlined in the new federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation, signed into law in December 2015, and awaiting state implementation designates music and the arts as important elements of well-rounded education for all children. 

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. In a series of landmark studies by scientists and researchers at Northwestern University a link was found between students in community music programs and life-long academic success. 

The Lakewood City School District offers music education from kindergarten through 12th grade. Instrumental instruction begins in 5th grade. Middle school offerings include classroom band, orchestra, and choir with extracurricular opportunities in all three such as Strolling Strings and Jazz Band. 

The high school boasts of five orchestras, four choirs, three bands, and classes in music theory, music history, pop music and keyboard. In addition, our high school extracurricular ensembles provide numerous opportunities for our students to enhance their musical experience through groups such as the Lakewood Ranger Marching Band, The Lakewood Project, Chamber Choir, Jazz Band, just to name a few. 

The District’s middle school and high school ensembles routinely score Superior and Excellent ratings at adjudicated competitions. High school students are regularly named to regional and state honors ensembles. Lakewood High has been represented in national honor orchestras for the last five out of six years and Lakewood High Orchestra Director Beth Hankins was one of 10 Grammy Music Educator national finalists in 2017. Our Music Boosters provide thousands of dollars in scholarships for private lessons each year.

“Both of our children have had more opportunity and better support in their musical pursuits than we could have ever imagined. The teachers stand up for the value of music education, and that creates an atmosphere in which kids excel: they see that people care,” said parent Michael Gill. “When our kids have had the opportunity to go beyond the school’s programs, their teachers have always been there to support them.”

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 12:39 PM, 05.01.2018