DEARBORN — Music is in the air and in the classrooms where Dearborn Public Schools students from kindergarten through high school have a variety of opportunities to explore, enjoy, and develop skills in vocal and instrumental music.
The DPS music program led the district to be recognized with the 100 Best Communities for Music Education award by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation.
The honor was given to only 16 districts in Michigan and 583 districts across the country, for instrumental and vocal music programs. This is the 12th year that the district has received this recognition.
The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts and schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. DPS was recognized for the efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the curriculum.
Research studies demonstrate the physical, cognitive and social benefits of music making. Students who are involved in a school-based music program are more likely to graduate high school and attend college. Social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills and learning how to give and receive constructive criticism.
Supt. Glenn Maleyko said he is delighted by the award.
“Music contributes to a well-rounded education and helps students develop skills in concentration, teamwork and even enhanced math abilities,” he said. “When students perform at community events and board meetings, people see the variety and quality of our music programs. It’s wonderful to be nationally recognized as one of the best districts in the country for music education.”
To qualify for the designation, DPS officials answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and partnerships with other community organizations that provide additional music experiences. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
“Beginning in elementary classrooms and through high school, our schools offer a wide variety of opportunities for students to explore, enjoy and develop skills in vocal and instrumental music,” Music Resource Teacher Lisa Meyer said.
“We appreciate that, thanks to parental involvement and financial support for the music program in our district, our students can participate in choirs, percussion groups, marching bands, orchestras, jazz bands, orchestras, and even smaller ensembles like string quartets and brass quintets,” Meyer said.
Dearborn students perform at school concerts, school board meetings, and local, national and even international events. In addition, students have additional opportunities to experience music through the district’s partnerships with organizations including the Dearborn Symphony, Dearborn Youth Symphony, Dearborn Community Arts Council, Dearborn Community Fund, Motor City Brass Band, Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, Chamber Music Society of Detroit, Friends of the Dearborn Symphony, Henry Ford College and Arab American National Museum.
“Music enriches the lives of so many students and is an essential part of curriculum offerings in Dearborn,” NAMM Foundation Executive Director Mary Luehrsen said. “The Dearborn Public Schools Music Department is to be congratulated on this recognition and their accomplishments.”
For the complete list of award-winning school districts, go to www.nammfoundation.org/articles/2018districts.