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### Chatham County Schools Honored for Outstanding Music Education


In Pittsboro, North Carolina, Chatham County Schools has once again received recognition for its exceptional dedication to music education, marking the sixth consecutive year that the district has been honored with the prestigious Best Communities for Music Education designation by The NAMM Foundation. This year, only two districts statewide, including CCS, have achieved this esteemed award. The Best Communities for Music Education designation, now celebrating its 25th year, is bestowed upon districts that exhibit remarkable commitment to providing access to music education for all students.

To earn this esteemed designation, Chatham County Schools underwent a rigorous evaluation process, responding to detailed inquiries regarding funding, graduation prerequisites, music class engagement, instructional hours, facilities, support for the music program, and community music initiatives. The responses were meticulously verified by school authorities and assessed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

Dr. Amanda Moran, Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services and Instructional Support, expressed pride in the district’s achievement, emphasizing the profound impact of quality music programs on students. She highlighted the diverse benefits of music education, stating that music not only entertains and inspires but also provides a platform for students to express themselves freely within a safe environment.

Lead CCS arts teacher Sharon Allen underscored the collaborative efforts that have contributed to the success of music education in Chatham County Schools. She acknowledged the unwavering support from local and district administrators, as well as community organizations such as the Chatham Arts Council, Triangle Youth Music, Northwood Arts Education Foundation, and JMArts. These partnerships have enabled students to receive a comprehensive music education, exposing them to professional musicians and creating opportunities for them to showcase their talents within the community.

Numerous studies have highlighted the cognitive and social advantages of music education for children. Research indicates that students involved in music exhibit enhanced brain processing of speech and reading, leading to improved academic performance. Furthermore, music education has been linked to higher graduation rates and increased college attendance. Musically trained children also demonstrate superior listening skills, which are essential for speech perception, attention, and auditory memory. Even in adulthood, individuals who received music lessons during childhood exhibit enhanced neural processing of sound compared to their peers. Additionally, music education fosters valuable social skills such as conflict resolution, teamwork, and the ability to give and receive constructive feedback.