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Tempe Elementary School District’s Music Education Program Receives National Recognition

Post Date:04/11/2019 12:20 PM

Best Communities for Music Education Award - Proud to be a BCME District. NAMM Foundation Multi colored graphic with music instrumentsTEMPE, AZ – April 11, 2019 – Tempe Elementary School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.

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

“Our district is celebrated for our strong musical education programs,” said Tempe Elementary School District Fine Arts Coordinator Pat Burdette. “We all understand the importance of a well-rounded, content-rich curriculum.”

This award recognizes that Tempe Elementary 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.

The Tempe Elementary School District’s music education program includes general music education for students in kindergarten through fourth-grade with the purpose of developing their whole brain along with their imaginations and intellectual curiosity. Choir, band, and orchestra is offered to fifth- through eighth-grade students and encourage building important life skills such as performing as one, building self-confidence, and taking pride in collective and individual achievements.

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. After two years of music education, research 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.

“Music ignites all areas of intellectual, social-emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy,” said Burdette. “Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skills. Participation in musical programing improves motivation, concentration, perseverance, confidence, and teamwork.”

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.

“Receiving the Best Communities for Music Education designation will shine a light on the outstanding music education programs that exist within the Tempe Elementary School District,” Burdette said. “The concerts that are performed multiple times throughout the year and our honor concerts in the spring will continue to bring joy to even greater numbers. Our Tempe community will see that their continued support is recognized and celebrated.”

About the Tempe Elementary School District:

The Tempe Elementary District offers exceptional preschool and K-8 experiences including exemplary National Blue Ribbon and Arizona Education A+ schools with a variety of engaging learning environments suited to meet the individual academic and social needs for each child. Fuller Elementary is one of four Arizona schools that received National Blue Ribbon School designation in 2016. Broadmor Elementary, Fuller Elementary, and Ward Traditional Academy received “A” status from the Arizona State Board of Education for the 2017-2018 school year. Arredondo Elementary School and Ward Traditional Academy were each recently recognized as an Arizona Education Foundation A+ School. Meyer Montessori is a specialty school focusing on multi-age grouping, allowing students to work at their own developmental level and select their journey for learning. Rover Elementary is a Fine Arts and Project Based Learning (PBL) focused school. Tempe Academy of International Studies is an Authorized International Baccalaureate World School for middle school students. Fees College Preparatory Middle School is a STEM school focusing on individualized learning for all students. Our Kindergarten Program welcomes ready 4-year-olds who turn 5 after Sept. 1, and we are now accepting income-eligible three- and four-year-olds for preschool.

About The NAMM Foundation:

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,400 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

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