ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — As schools across the nation regain their cadence with the return to in-person learning and the reduction in mandates, the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation celebrates its 2022 list of Best Communities for Music Education. Now in its 23rd year, the 2022 program has recognized 738 school districts across 44 states for the outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders, and their support for music education as part of a well-rounded education for all children.
The following school districts were named 2022 Best Communities for Music Education: Bloomfield, Livingston, Newark, South Orange–Maplewood and North Caldwell.
“Music educators, administrators and communities truly rallied to support and sustain music education through a period of intense change and adaptation. These districts and schools persevered in serving their students and communities, and assured that music education was part of curriculum offerings,” NAMM Executive Director Mary Luehrsen said. “We applaud the commitment and efforts of all music educators, school administrators and community members in providing students the opportunity to explore their creativity through music.”
This year’s awards program was designed to celebrate schools and districts adapting, innovating and persevering in the face of change. Researchers at the Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas, in conjunction with the NAMM Foundation, created a new way for districts and schools to address the inroads and setbacks impacted by the pandemic, as well as goals for equity and access to music education for all students and national standards for music education in a short, qualitative survey.
“The 2022 Best Communities for Music Education is an opportunity to celebrate music programs and honors the resilience and dedication to keeping music as part of a well-rounded education as we all adapt to a new educational landscape,” said Christopher Johnson of the Music Research Institute. “If there was one common theme to be taken from all submissions, it’s that schools and districts found ways to sustain music education and student engagement in even the most challenging of circumstances.”