Pioneer again a 'Best Community for Music Education'

For the second time in three years, Pioneer School District is among the schools honored by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation with the Best Communities for Music Education Award. 

Pioneer joined 527 school districts and 92 schools in the U.S. in being recognized for outstanding music education programs. NAMM collaborates on the award with researchers at the Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas. 

Now in its 18th year, the awards program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the curriculum. Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education. These districts and schools set the bar in offering students access to comprehensive music education.

Music Department Chair Jared Burch said the honor is indicative of Pioneer's commitment to excellence in music education across all grade levels. "That includes dedicating capital resources, equipment, and professional development toward student success in the performing arts," he said.

The designation takes on added significance this year with new research showing strong ties between K-12 school students who actively participate in school music education programs and overall student success. A recent study of students in the Chicago Public Schools by brain researchers at Northwestern University, detailed in Neuroscientist and Education Week, builds on previous findings that participation in music education programs helps improves brain function, discipline and language development.