The following was released by Minnetonka Schools:
The NAMM Foundation has named the Minnetonka School District among the Best Communities for Music Education in the United States. Minnetonka joins 307 school districts across the country to receive this distinction.
In its 14th year, Best Communities for Education (BCME) affirms school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of the schools’ core curriculum.
The BCME selection process evaluates funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs.
In 2008, the Minnetonka School Board set a goal to elevate our K-12 Fine Arts program to world-class. Despite the recession that immediately followed, the Board persisted with its goal. As state funding for education stagnated and Minnesota districts began cutting programs, Minnetonka focused on enhancing programs to meet the needs of students.
After a pilot, in 2011 the Board approved a new model for fifth grade music which gives students the choice to register for band, orchestra, choir or classroom music. Students participate in both full ensemble and small group lessons during the school day. More opportunities have been created for these groups to perform for audiences. The introduction of elementary musical theater in 2012 has increased student participation in the arts.
At the middle school level, improvements included single-gender choir options, co-curricular choirs, music ensembles, and more theatre productions each year.
High school students continue to excel at local and national competitions in band, choir and orchestra. The MHS Symphony Orchestra took first place and the Concert Orchestra took third at the Heritage Music Festival in Anaheim, CA earlier this month. Five MHS students received honors from the National YoungArts Foundation earlier this year for their talents in choir and theater. Vocal and instrumental programs have earned superior ratings at state contests for more than 15 years.
Research tells us children who play music do better in school. Music education also supports the District’s emphasis on 21st Century Skills which are developed through critical and analytical thinking, creative problem solving, effective communication and teamwork.
A world-class Fine Arts program gives students opportunities to explore artistic, creative and performance expressions and to achieve great success with support of their teachers, families and community. The district’s success is possible because of its outstanding teachers who are experts in their fields and understand how to inspire students to achieve high honors or to pursue their passions in post-secondary schools or careers.
NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), commonly called NAMM in reference to the organization's popular NAMM trade shows, is the not-for-profit association that promotes the pleasures and benefits of making music and strengthens the $17 billion global music products industry.