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Newburgh Schools Named One of 2019 Best Communities for Music Education for Second Consecutive Year

The Newburgh Enlarged City School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education for the second year in a row. This honor is awarded to the top 5% of school districts in the nation.


The Newburgh Enlarged City School District was named one of 623 school districts that are among the Best Communities in the nation for music education.  The award program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of a well-rounded education.  Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.


"We are proud of the long history of teachers and leaders who have developed and championed the wide range of quality music education programs that we offer in Newburgh. Regardless of level of talent, music encourages our students to use different parts of their brain, may ease stressors, and promotes a healthy and well-rounded learning environment for all of our scholars." Dr. Roberto Padilla, Superintendent of the Newburgh Enlarged City School District


This year in the Newburgh Enlarged City School District, 300 pieces of student-generated artwork was included in the All-District Art Show in the Ritz lobby. 80 scholars saw Hamilton on Broadway and two performed an original song prior to the show. 85 preforming arts events were scheduled as the direct result of curricular instruction. 45+ additional performances were presented for community organizations, graduations, and community events. 250 NFA Dance scholars performed the Nutcracker, making it the largest performance at NECSD.


“This award recognizes the outstanding efforts of the highly qualified teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders within Newburgh who have made music education part of a well-rounded education.  This designation highlights our District as one that demonstrates an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education." Theresa Brown, Director of Fine and Performing Arts.


The Newburgh Enlarged City School District has one of the longest running string instructional program in all of New York State. Last year, NECSD sent senior, now alumna, Supriya Makam, to Florida to join the “best of the best” for the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-National Ensembles Showcase. We also continue to celebrate our Alumni who are famous for their talent – and love – of singing. Lexi Lawson, class of 2001 now holds a lead role in the award-winning musical, Hamilton. Just recently, another NFA graduate, Chaundre Broomfield began a role in the traveling company of Hamilton. Both of these alumni have traveled the world -with a base of music education that they received right here at Newburgh Free Academy.


This year, we celebrated an 90-year old tradition at their winter concert, and began to grow their drum line program. Students highlighted their talents and education in music at the NECSD All-District concert, the Superintendent’s Celebration of the Arts, and at individual school concerts. Each year, we showcase student performances at community events.


This award recognizes that the Newburgh Enlarged City School District 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. 


Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. In a series of landmark studies by scientists and researchers at Northwestern University a link was found between students in community music programs and life-long academic success, including higher high school graduation rates and college attendance. In another study from the University, it was discovered that the benefits of early exposure to music education improves how the brain processes and assimilates sounds, a trait that lasts well into adulthood.


Beyond the Northwestern research, other studies have indicated that music education lays the foundation for individual excellence in group settings, creative problem solving and flexibility in work situations, as well learning how to give and receive constructive criticism to excel.


A 2015 study supported by The NAMM Foundation, “Striking A Chord,” also outlines the overwhelming desire by teachers and parents for music education opportunities for all children as part of the school curriculum.


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, the Newburgh Enlarged City School District answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music programs, Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.


Photos from recent All-District Elementary Music Festival

Interviews with students or teachers available upon request.


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.

ATTENTION: Are your scholars or colleagues doing something great? Please contact the district Communications Team at communications@necsd.net. We’d love to visit your class or event and/or post your pictures and recap to highlight the amazing accomplishments throughout our district!

Date: 2019-04-16 06:06:50 AM


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