The Long Beach Public Schools have been recognized by the NAMM Foundation as one of the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education, marking the eleventh year that the district has attained this designation. The honor represents outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.
The BCME title indicates that Long Beach is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act, which recommends music and the arts as important elements of well-rounded education for all children.
According to the NAMM Foundation, 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.
More than 1,600 students participate in the district’s 36 bands, orchestras and choral ensembles. Long Beach High School presents students with further musical experiences such as guitar and IB Music courses, as well as the Tri-M Music Honor Society.
“This award is of course due to our talented and devoted music educators, and to our supportive building and district administration, as well as the Board of Education,” said Director of Media, Visual & Performing Arts Julia Lang-Shapiro. “Just like an ensemble, it takes all the parts to create beautiful music. Thank you to everyone for your efforts.”