Wicomico Public Schools Recognized Nationally - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Wicomico Public Schools Recognized Nationally for Outstanding Music Education Efforts

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SALISBURY, Md.- The NAMM Foundation has again recognized the Wicomico County Public School System for its outstanding commitment to music education with a Best Communities for Music Education designation. Wicomico joins 307 districts from an application pool of more than 2,000 across the country receiving the prestigious distinction this year.

This is the fourth time in seven years that Wicomico County Public Schools has won this award, given by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation. The Wicomico Public School System is the only school system on the Eastern Shore, inclusive of all of the State of Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, to receive this award in 2013. 

"Music education is the subject where students put everything together – reading, math, science, art, history, and performance. They work in groups or as soloists doing the most important of human behaviors – communicating. It's the ultimate show-what-you-know lifetime vocation, as students can practice and perform throughout their entire lives," said Dr. John Fredericksen, Superintendent of Wicomico County Public Schools. "Children who take music lessons tend to do much better in school and later life. Music brings joy to everyone in the house. People of all languages and cultures connect via music, building bonds that can overcome obstacles and bring up those living with difficulties. Music stands on its own beautiful feet here – equal to all of the other disciplines."  

As the Wicomico County Board of Education works on its 2013–2014 budget, the announcement of this year's Best Communities for Music Education designation brings attention to the importance of keeping music education part of a school system's core education and of music's vital role in student success in school. 

"Music is truly the window to the world for everyone!" said Dr. Margo Handy, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Student Services. "Music education provides all students with an opportunity to expand their appreciation and understanding of the world.  Songs bring inner feelings to one's soul that can inspire, make connections, teach, and build character.  Through music, the learning of history, languages, and cultures enhances critical thinking and fosters discussions about various topics related to life." 

In its 14th year, Best Communities for Music Education affirms school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of the schools' core curriculum. The BCME survey requires districts to answer 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 Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.  

Numerous studies have demonstrated that learning to play music can boost other academic and social skills. Musical training: 

  • Helps develop brain areas involved in language and reasoning
  • Supports a causal link between music and spatial intelligence (the ability to perceive the world accurately and to form mental pictures of things) which is critical to the sort of thinking necessary for everything from solving advanced mathematics problems to being able to pack a book-bag with everything that will be needed for the day
  • Enables children to think creatively and to solve problems by imagining various solutions, rejecting outdated rules and assumptions
  • Boosts success on standardized tests such as the SAT and achieve higher grades in high school
  • Provides children with an internal glimpse of other cultures and teaches them and understanding of the people from these cultures;
  • Allows students to learn craftsmanship as they study how details are put together painstakingly and what constitutes good, as opposed to mediocre, work
  • Develops an appreciation of the value of sustained effort to achieve excellence and the concrete rewards of hard work
  • Enhances teamwork skills and discipline
  • Provides children with a means of self-expression
  • Focuses on "doing," as opposed to observing, providing employers with multi-dimensional workers who are flexible and able to better communicate and cooperate with one another
  • Teaches young people to conquer fear and to take risks 

Gary Beauchamp, Supervisor of Fine and Performing Arts, credited and congratulated each and every music teacher, student and parent of Wicomico Schools for this award. "This award of distinction was received because of music teachers' daily efforts to provide the students of Wicomico County Public Schools a rigorous, challenging and rewarding musical experience along with the support of the parents and community."

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