On Wednesday, March 26, Milford Central Academy was recognized by experts at the NAMM Foundation and the University of Kansas as being among the Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) in the United States. The BCME program applauds outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the core curriculum. Milford won the NAMM Foundation’s “SupportMusic Merit Award,” and was the only school in Delaware recognized for the music education distinction.
“These schools and districts make a strong commitment to music education in the core curriculum supporting its essential value to a well-rounded education for every child,” said Mary Luehrsen, NAMM Foundation executive director. “Strong, engaging programs that offer students access to music cannot thrive in a vacuum. The Best Communities designation and the SupportMusic Merit Award bring hard-won and well-deserved visibility to music classes, programs and departments that are keeping music education alive in our schools.”
The BCME program evaluates schools and districts based on funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards, and access to music instruction. Wayne Smith, Band Director & Instructional Coach of the Expressive Arts Department at the Milford Central Academy was surprised by the national honor and excited to see that the efforts by teachers and students have been recognized.
“We are teaching chorus, band and musical theory to the general population at Milford Central Academy,” stated Smith. “ We are exposing the students to something that they may not be at any other time during their day.”
Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and greater access to music education. More than 2,000 music programs were reviewed across the nation this year.
“A growing body of research shows a correlation between participation in music education and student achievement in school and overall,” said KU researcher and professor Christopher Johnson. “Music and the arts make a very positive contribution to the general success of the school and connection to the community. Access to music and the arts as part of the core curriculum contributes to lower dropout rates, higher graduation rates, higher ACT scores, and all the while, children learn the joys of music and all the life skills it fosters.”