Waxahachie ISD Music Education Program Receives National Recognition Sixth Year in a Row

March 28, 2019 – Waxahachie ISD has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.  This is the sixth consecutive year Waxahachie ISD has received this honor.

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

“We are proud of our music education programs throughout the district, and are excited to once again receive this prestigious recognition,” said Waxahachie ISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Bonny Cain. “Research shows that participation in music programs enhances students’ academic performance, and the programs we have in Waxahachie ISD are top-notch.”

In its first year as a 6A district, the Spirit of Waxahachie Indian Marching Band placed 12th at state competition. In addition, the Waxahachie High School band was selected as the 2018 TMEA 5A honor band, which is one of the most prestigious honors a band can receive.

This award recognizes that Waxahachie ISD 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. 

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 that 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. Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically-trained children that in those without music training. Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to the ability to: perceive speech in a noisy background, pay attention, and keep sounds in memory. Later in life, individuals who took music lessons as children show stronger neural processing of sound; young adults and even older adults who have not played an instrument for up to 50 years show enhanced neural processing compared to their peers. Not to mention, social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.

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.

About Waxahachie ISD

Continuing our tradition of “Excellence in Education,” the mission of the Waxahachie Independent School District is to develop, through a cooperative effort with the home and community, well-educated, responsible citizens who can excel in a complex world. For more information about Waxahachie ISD, please visit wisd.org.

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 www.nammfoundation.org.