The NAMM Foundation’s 14th annual Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) survey is now open for school districts and schools across the country to participate in. The survey acknowledges and celebrates schools and districts across the US for their commitment to and support for comprehensive music education in schools. Ninety-four percent of Americans consider music to be part of a well-rounded education and believe that schools should offer musical instruction as part of the regular curriculum, according to a 2006 Gallup poll.
Teachers, parents, school administrators and board members are invited to complete the 2013 BCME survey online now through Friday, January 18, 2013. Many districts have reported that making the "Best Communities" list has had a positive effect on their ability to preserve music education for their students amid budget cuts to arts programs. In 2012, 176 communities were recognized, including 166 school districts and 10 schools.
“The designation has helped to validate the work of the students, faculty, administration and community in building a music program of which we all can be proud,” said Brian P. Timmons, district music coordinator of Bergenfield public schools, in Bergenfield, NJ. “Through the economic crisis, we have been able to continue to grow and develop our program with unprecedented participation. Our designation has undoubtedly been a positive factor in that success.”
The BCME survey asks detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and other relevant factors about their communities' music education programs. One application may be submitted per school or district, and community members are encouraged to work together to complete the comprehensive survey. To download the survey and review the questions, click here.
The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, KS, an affiliate of the University of Kansas, hosts the survey and has updated and refined processes for assessment of community selection. Survey responses are verified with district officials and then advisory organizations review the data.
In conducting the annual BCME survey, the NAMM Foundation is joined by advisory organizations in the fields of music and education: Americans for the Arts, League of American Orchestras, The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, Music for All, Music Teachers National Association, National Guild For Community Arts Education, Yamaha Corporation of America, Young Audiences and VH1 Save The Music Foundation. The 2013 BCME designees will be announced on March 18, 2013.