Fort Bend ISD’s music education program receives national Recognition for the 12th Consecutive Year (4/8/2021)
FORT BEND ISD (April 8, 2021) - Fort Bend Independent School District 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 22nd 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, FBISD 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.
“The arts, including music, are fundamental to the FBISD curriculum. Now more than ever, students need the arts to unite them, to offer them an expressive outlet, and to make music with their peers,” said FBISD Director of Fine Arts, James Drew. “Receiving the Best Communities for Music Education designation for the twelfth consecutive year affirms the quality of our District’s music education programs and supports our Department’s vision to transform students’ lives through the pursuit of musical excellence.”
Since the passage by Congress in 2015 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have re-committed to music and arts education programs and found that in this time of a national pandemic, provides a valuable way to keep students engaged in school. ESSA provides designated funding for well-rounded educational opportunities through Title IV Part A Student Academic Success and Achievement grants. NAMM Foundation research has revealed that these grants are being widely used by school districts to address instructional gaps in access to music and arts 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, 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. 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.
Fort Bend ISD is Texas’ eighth largest with more than 77,000 students and one of the most diverse in the nation. FBISD currently has 81 campuses: 11 high schools, 15 middle schools, 51 elementary campuses and four specialty schools. With more than 11,000 full-time employees and substitutes, the District is the largest employer in Fort Bend County. FBISD offers a rigorous, daily music curriculum with incredible administrative, parent, and community support. Over 44,000 students participate in District Music courses each day. Our Music programs receive District financial support for instruments, sheet music, musical supplies, and masterclass teachers. FBISD also provides a strong mentoring program for teachers new to the District.
About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,400 members around the world. 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.