For the second-straight year, Tullahoma City Schools is receiving the Best Communities for Music Education Award from the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation.
This is the third time the district is receiving this award and the first time it has been given this honor in back-to-back years. Tullahoma City Schools is one of 12 districts across the state and one of 830 school districts nationwide to receive this distinction.
“The TCS Arts family is incredibly proud that Tullahoma has been named a Best Community for Music Education for the second year in a row,” said TCS Fine Arts Director Atticus Hensley. “This designation helps to cement Tullahoma’s reputation as one of the premier locations in the nation for young musicians to grow and hone their craft. While this designation is focused on TCS as a place of learning, it really does refer to the community as a whole. There is no better place to be in this state than Tullahoma if you want to learn to be a musician.”
Now in its 24th 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, TCS answered 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 by school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music: After two years of music education, researchers 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. In addition, everyday listening skills are stronger in musically trained children than 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.
“I am so thrilled that Tullahoma City Schools is again the recipient of this award,” said TCS Director of Schools Dr. Catherine Stephens. “It’s abundantly clear that TCS has an outstanding team of music teachers leading, teaching, and training talented students. We are thankful for our school board that supports and encourages arts education and experiences for all students. This award recognizes all stakeholders, including teachers, students, administrators, parents, and community leaders, who make music a part of a well-rounded education. I’m so thankful for all of these individuals as we celebrate this national award.”