BCME 16LogoFor the 8th consecutive year, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation has recognized Osseo Area Schools for its outstanding commitment to music education with a 2016 Best Communities for Music Education designation. The honor acknowledges outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who work together to ensure access to music learning for all students as part of the curriculum. This year, 476 school districts in the nation earned the designation. Osseo is one of only six districts in Minnesota to earn the designation and the only district in the state to earn the designation every year for the past eight years.

In recent years, researchers have found new links between students in community music programs and academic success in subjects such as reading. Other reports indicate that learning to play music can boost academic and social skills, such as processing math and learning to cooperate in group settings.

In its 17th year, Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) affirms school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of the schools’ core curriculum.

The BCME survey requires districts to answer 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 Center for Public Partnerships and Research, an affiliate of the University of Kansas. Districts that have been recognized by the NAMM Foundation are often held up as models for other educators looking to boost their own music education programs.