Tullahoma Schools Named 2024 Best Communities for Music Education Award Winner

For the third consecutive year, the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation awarded Tullahoma City Schools the Best Communities for Music Education Award.

This is the fourth time the district has been the recipient of this honor. Tullahoma City Schools is one of 12 districts across the state and one of 975 school districts nationwide to receive this distinction.

“It says so many wonderful things about not just TCS, but Tullahoma as a whole, that we have received this designation now for the third year in a row,” said TCS Fine Arts Coordinator Atticus Hensley. “This community’s love of the arts in general is exceptional, and the support for music education in particular is, obviously, outstanding.”

Now in its 25th 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 proud as this award further highlights and recognizes our excellent fine arts programs in Tullahoma City Schools,” said TCS Director of Schools Dr. Catherine Stephens. “Our music programs are widely recognized throughout the state, and now, for the third straight year, at the national level. This award showcases our outstanding team of music teachers who lead, teach and train our incredibly talented students. Additionally, this honor highlights our school board, which supports and encourages music education and experiences for students. Lastly, this accolade is a reflection on the Tullahoma community as a whole, including our stakeholders – parents, teachers, students, administrators and community leaders – who emphasize the importance of music and including it in part of a well-rounded education.”

Lucky Knott

Lucky Knott

One of Southern Tennessee's most experienced and recognized news broadcasters and play-by-play sportscasters. News and Sports Director for Rooster 101.5 FM, 93.9 The Duck and Whiskey Country 105.1, and 95.9. He is currently the play-by-play voice of the Coffee County Red Raiders (31 years) on The Rooster 101.5 and can be heard M-F broadcasting our local news. Lucky has done play-by-play for 3,993 (and counting) sports events on Radio & TV. He also served four years as the Public Information Officer for the Coffee Co. Sheriff's Dept. and taught Radio/TV for six years at Grundy County High School.

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