HOUSTON – April 20, 2020 – Spring ISD has once again been named one of the country’s Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). This is Spring ISD’s seventh consecutive year receiving the designation honoring districts for their commitment to quality music education for all.
“We feel extremely fortunate to be counted among these communities – all across the country – committed to providing outstanding fine arts and music education,” said Director of Performing and Visual Arts Dr. Joe Clark. “It’s something that’s important to the families we serve, and we’ve seen the many benefits our students get from having access to strong music programs. It’s something we’re really proud of here in Spring ISD.”
Now in its 21st year, the Best Communities for Music Education award program recognizes districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in their efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify, districts must answer detailed questions about program funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses are verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
One of the award program’s goals includes highlighting the role teachers and directors play in making music part of a well-rounded education for all students. In Spring ISD, teachers are at the heart of the district’s successful music programs, Clark said.
“We are so very lucky to have the hardest-working teachers,” Clark said, “who continually put their students at the center of everything they do, every day.”
One of those students, Spring High School senior and All-State musician Deborah Edquist, said that the fine arts programs at her school have supported her growth across several artistic disciplines.
“As someone who’s participated in not only choir but also color guard and theater, I can definitely say that passion thrives in Spring High School’s fine arts department,” Edquist said. “The support and love we receive from fine arts is unmatched. That is why we succeed, and it’s why I’m proud to be in this district.”
Dekaney High School senior and All-State clarinet player Elian Hernandez, meanwhile, said that the band program at his school had given him opportunities he might not otherwise have had.
“The band hall has always been and is a welcoming, warm place where anyone from any background can belong,” Hernandez said. “Both Spring ISD and my band program have helped me apply myself, and I wouldn’t change anything, because of where I am at today and what I have achieved thanks to them.”
Serving more than 35,000 prekindergarten through 12th-grade students in a culturally diverse community just 20 miles north of central Houston, Spring ISD has a long history of promoting quality performing and visual arts education for its students. In recent years the Spring ISD Board of Trustees has voted to make arts integration a priority in the district, in part to ensure that the positive academic impacts of fine arts education are realized across the curriculum.
“This seventh consecutive award from the NAMM Foundation is a reflection of the incredible support and vision of our board of trustees and their trust in our fine arts teachers and students,” Clark said. “With their support and vision, we look forward to many more years to come.”
For more information about the Best Communities for Music Education award program or the NAMM Foundation, visit www.nammfoundation.org.