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Cherry Creek Schools music education program receives national recognition for second year in a row

Hollys Choir Cherry Creek Schools has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.  

Now in its 20th year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Cherry Creek Schools answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities and support for the music programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“Music education is central to the development of the whole child and Cherry Creek Schools has long been recognized for its excellence in this arena,” said Dr. Paul Cribari, Instructional Facilitator for the Performing Arts in the district. “This award not only recognizes value our district places on music education, but the support that comes from the communities we serve.”

This award recognizes that Cherry Creek Schools is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation guides 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.  

Students playing violins The Best Communities for Music Education designation is the latest recognition for the music and performing arts programs in the Cherry Creek School District. Every year, dozens of students are selected for All State honors and district and outside honor bands, orchestras and choirs. Vocal and instrumental groups are selected to perform at prestigious music conferences and festivals across the country and around the world. CCSD high school theater groups have received numerous "Bobby G" Awards, which honor outstanding achievements by students and educators in the areas of performance, design, direction, choreography, orchestration, technical production and overall production excellence. In 2014, Cherry Creek High School was named a GRAMMY Signature School by the GRAMMY Foundation for excellence in music education.

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.

Posted 3/28/2019