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Music Education Program Earns National Honor

NORMANDY, MO –– Normandy Schools Collaborative has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education for the second consecutive year. Now in its 22nd 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.

namm music award To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Normandy 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 with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“We have been extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated and talented music faculty who are able to bring out the very best in our students,” said Marcus C. Robinson, Normandy Superintendent of Schools. “Music is a motivating factor for many of our students which allows them to develop critical skills that serve them in whatever endeavors they pursue after graduating. Congratulations to our students and music teachers on earning this well-deserved honor.”

Since the passage by Congress in 2015 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have re-committed to music and arts education programs and found that in this time of a national pandemic, provides a valuable way to keep students engaged in school. ESSA provides designated funding for well-rounded educational opportunities through Title IV Part A Student Academic Success and Achievement grants. NAMM Foundation research has revealed that these grants are being widely used by school districts to address instructional gaps in access to music and arts education.

“The last year has been extremely challenging but I want to send a ‘shout-out’ to our EleMiddle (grade 1-8) music teachers, Suzanne Palmer and Thomas Moore, who led students in reading and creating music on the virtual platform not just this year, but before the end of last school year,” said Duane Foster, Normandy Fine Arts coordinator. “Their innovative approaches to instruction continue to serve as a model and inspiration for other teachers throughout the district.” 

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. 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.

About the Normandy Schools Collaborative

The Normandy Schools Collaborative is a family of educators, administrators, support staff, community members, and parents committed to providing a high-quality education to each of the 3,100 students enrolled in its schools. The district’s mission is to prepare global leaders for college, career and productive citizenship by empowering a community of confident learners and valuing the unique contributions of every student. For more information, visit

About The NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,400 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit

 music teacher with students on drums and piano





The music education program in the Normandy Schools Collaborative has earned national recognition for the second consecutive year. The district has been recognized as one of the Best Community for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation. Shown here are Thomas Moore, Normandy EleMiddle band director, with Washington School 5th grader Orlandis Singleton.

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