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McCracken County Public Schools News Article

McCracken County High School Receives National Recognition for Music Education Program


McCracken County High School has been honored with the SupportMusic Merit Award from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. The SupportMusic Merit Award recognizes individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

McCracken County HS was 1 of only 80 schools in the nation to be designated this citation of excellence.

To qualify for the SupportMusic Merit Award, McCracken County High School 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.
Since the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have re-committed to music and arts education programs. During the pandemic, music and arts programs were a vital component to keeping 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.  

“McCracken County High School offers such a wide variety of music opportunities that rivals most colleges," said band teacher John Lovell.

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. 

McCracken County High School is proud to offer the following music courses that are accessible to the entire student population: Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, Varsity Singers, Women’s Chorale, Voice Studio, Class Guitar, Class Piano, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Improvisation, Marching Band, Pep-Band, Indoor Percussion, Winter Guard, AP Music Theory, Musical Theatre, Music Appreciation, and Orchestra. 

About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 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.

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