Return to Headlines

High School Receives SupportMusic Merit Award

East Aurora High School has been honored with the SupportMusic Merit Award from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. 

The SupportMusic Merit Award identifies individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

To qualify for the SupportMusic Merit Award, East Aurora High School answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music-making programs, Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

This award recognizes that East Aurora High School is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation guides policy implementation in the states and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) 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. 

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. After two years of music education, research found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores that 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.

Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically-trained children that 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.

A 2015 study supported by The NAMM Foundation, “Striking A Chord,” also outlines the overwhelming desire by teachers and parents for music education opportunities for all children as part of the school.