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HUSD Receives National Recognition for Music Education for Fifth Consecutive Year 

  • VAPA
HUSD Receives National Recognition for Music Education for Fifth Consecutive Year 
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The Hayward Unified School District has again been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Now in its 25th year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement for providing music access and education to all students. This is the fifth consecutive year that HUSD has earned the award.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, HUSD 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. 

“We see the positive effects music education has on our students every day,” said HUSD Music Coordinator Heather Figueroa. “Being involved in our music programs leads to greater confidence, social-emotional well being, a sense of community and, as studies show, advanced grades and a greater likelihood of attending an institution for higher learning. Receiving this award solidifies that we are on the right track and justifies our goal to improve and expand not only our music options, but all our VAPA programming.” 

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. 

About The NAMM Foundation

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