Port Washington School District’s Music Education Program Receives National Recognition for the Ninth Consecutive Year

Port Washington, NY – April 2023 – The Port Washington School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education for the ninth consecutive year. Now in its 24th year, the Best Communities for 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, Port Washington School District answered 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 by school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.


“Music education is an integral part of our district's commitment to providing a well-rounded education for our students. We believe that music not only enriches their lives but also enhances their cognitive, emotional, and social development," said Dr. Michael Hynes, Superintendent of Schools. "Receiving this designation demonstrates our dedication to providing high-quality instruction and opportunities for our students to explore their musical interests and talents," said Hynes. "We are excited about the potential this has to further elevate our program and inspire even more students to pursue their passion for music."


Since the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have re-committed to music and arts education programs. During the pandemic, music and arts programs were a vital component to keeping students engaged in school. ESSA provides designated funding for well-rounded educational opportunities through Title IV Part A Student Academic Success and Achievement grants. NAMM Foundation research has revealed that these grants are being widely used by school districts to address instructional gaps in access to music and arts education.


"Receiving this award for the ninth consecutive year is an incredible honor and a testament to the hard work and dedication of our students, staff, and community. It is a recognition of the importance of music education and the impact it can have on the lives of our students," said Kevin Scully, Director of Creative Arts. "We are committed to continuing to provide our students with the highest quality music education possible and to inspire them to pursue their passion for music. This award is a motivation for us to continue to strive for excellence in all that we do," said Scully.

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music.  After two years of music education, researchers found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers and that students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school but also to attend college as well. In addition, everyday listening skills are stronger in musically trained children than in those without music training. Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to the ability to perceive speech in a noisy background, pay attention, and keep sounds in memory. Later in life, individuals who took music lessons as children show stronger neural processing of sound; young adults and even older adults who have not played an instrument for up to 50 years show enhanced neural processing compared to their peers. Not to mention, social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.

For more information about the Port Washington Union Free School District, please visit the district’s website at www.portnet.org and ‘like’/‘follow’ our Facebook/Instagram page @PortWashSchools.

About The NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 15,000 member companies and individual professionals. 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.


# # #