Randolph has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Randolph joins 476 districts across the country in receiving the prestigious award in 2016.
The Best Communities Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.
Districts that have been recognized by the NAMM Foundation are often held up as models for other educators looking to boost their own music education programs.
To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Randolph 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 with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
This award recognizes that Randolph is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the new federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation, signed into law in Dec. 2015, replaces 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.
“Randolph has a long-standing reputation as being one of the most respected and strongest music programs in the state, and we are very proud of that fact,” said Frank Perrone, supervisor of Visual and Performing Arts. “Receiving this designation for the ninth consecutive year shows the pure dedication our music teachers along with the administration, board of education and the community have in providing the absolute best musical experiences for the students of Randolph.”
Community music programs have been drawing increased attention because of a landmark study by Northwestern University brain scientists. These researchers found new links between students in community music programs and academic success in subjects such as reading.
Beyond the Northwestern study, other reports indicate that learning to play music can boost academic and social skills such as processing math and learning to cooperate in group settings.
A 2015 study, “Striking A Chord” supported by the NAMM Foundation, also outlines the overwhelming desire by teachers and parents for music education opportunities for all children as part of the school curriculum.
The Randolph K-12 Music Department has 20 vocal and instrumental music teachers, with almost 1,600 students participating in choir, orchestra, and band. The district has more than 450 chorus/choir students, 560 orchestra students, and 580 band students.