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ESM Designated as a Best Community for Music Education for 6th Year

Image stating 2019 Best Community of Music"

For the 6th year in a row, ESM is proud to be designated among the Best Communities for Music Education. Designations are given to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and consistent access to music education.

ESM is among only 623 school districts nationwide that were recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation. The awards program recognizes the outstanding efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the curriculum.

"Receiving the distinction as a Best Community for Music Education for the 6th year in a row is a reflection upon the consistency of our high standards for music education at ESM. We benefit from outstanding support of our district leadership, parents and the ESM community,” said ESM’s Music Department Leader Tom Decker.

“Over the past six years we have continued to strengthen our music department by increasing participation through creative offerings, developing a curriculum that is aligned to the state standards and welcoming new music faculty that share our vision for musically literate graduates of ESM. This distinction acknowledges the importance of music education as an integral part of developing the skills necessary for a student to be successful professionally, socially and emotionally in life." Added Mr. Decker.

Research studies continue to demonstrate the cognitive and social skill benefits of music making. Students who are involved in a school-based music program are more likely to graduate high school and attend college. Also, only a few years of musical training early in life improves everyday listening skills, even later in life. Social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills and learning how to give and receive constructive criticism.

“It is an honor that the NAMM Foundation has, once again, granted East Syracuse Minoa the opportunity to call ourselves one of the 2019 ‘Best Communities for Music Education.’ It is because of the support of the entire ESM community, the dedication of the Music Department teachers and the passion of the music students that we continue to be recognized on a national level for the quality of our music programming,” said Adam Shatraw, K-12 Performing Arts Supervisor.

The awards program evaluates schools and districts based on funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards and access to music instruction

This designation recognizes that ESM is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation guides implementation in the states and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act, 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.

About The NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,400 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