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ACS named 2022 Best Communities for Music Education

Arlington Community Schools has been named one of 2022’s Best Communities for Music Education!! The NAMM Foundation recognized ACS for our commitment to music education as well as efforts to provide music for all students as part of a well-rounded 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, ACS answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. This year due to COVID-19, the district also had to demonstrate how its schools continued music education despite the challenges of social distancing and mask wearing. ACS’ responses and data were analyzed and verified by researchers at The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“It’s been a very challenging year for our teachers due to the pandemic, but they’ve done a great job of rising to the occasion to provide our kids opportunities to learn about music and to perform music,” said Dr. Ed Ducey, ACS Accountability Support Coordinator and the person who submitted the nomination. “Music education really supports all of the general education courses, and there is plenty of research that shows students who are involved with music education excel in math, science, language arts, history and all other courses. This not only helps them in other areas but it also makes them a well-rounded citizen.”

From the moment students enter ACS, music is at the core of the curriculum offered district-wide. In K-5, Arlington & Donelson Elementary students are exposed to different forms of music at least once a week, including vocal and instrumental music.

Arlington Middle School is one of the very few schools in West and Central Tennessee to offer five-day-a-week performing arts programs in chorus, orchestra, and band, which allows students who enter middle school with no experience an opportunity to flourish in a strong musical program. AMS is also one of the few middle schools in the region with a full symphony orchestra.

At Arlington High School, our budding musicians have access to more than 15 music courses, 10 of which are available with Honors, ranging from band and orchestra to music theory, choir, chorale, jazz choir and more.

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.

Congratulations to all of our ACS musician teachers and students for making Arlington one of the Best Communities for Music Education!