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In recognition of its outstanding commitment to music education, the Beverly Hills Unified School District was honored with the Best Communities for Music Education award from The NAMM Foundation. The award is given to school districts that demonstrate outstanding achievements in providing music access and education to all students.
The district thanked visual and performing arts coordinator Dana Findly, Beverly Hills High School music teachers Justin Klotzle and Ethan Smith, Beverly Vista Middle School music teachers Katina Vallens and Fred Pinto, and elementary school music teachers Judith Chan (Horace Mann Elementary School) and Christa Guthienz (Hawthorne Elementary School).
To qualify for the award, district officials 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 improvements in cognitive and social skills in children who study and play music. Researchers found that after two years of music education, 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 more likely to graduate high school and attend college.
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 15,000 member companies and individual professionals. The foundation advances active participation in music making by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For information, visit nammfoundation.org.
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