For the sixth consecutive year, the Mount Olive School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation in association with the University of Kansas.  The honor is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

“Mount Olive is a community that values and invests in music education as an essential component of our PK-12 program," said Superintendent Robert Zywicki, Ed.D. "We are very proud of the work of our educators and even prouder of our student musicians and performers who are the real stars of our show.”

The award from the foundation acknowledges that Mount Olive is leading the way with music opportunities as outlined in the new federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act. The legislation, signed into law and awaiting state implementation, designates music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Mount Olive answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. 

“The Mount Olive Township School District has always embraced the incredible value of comprehensive music and performing arts education for ALL of our students," said Kevin Stansberry, director of secondary schools and global education. "We believe that music is an integral part to a complete and well-rounded educational program. This recognition is a testament to the commitment and support of our entire learning community, the dedication of our music educators and school leaders, and our students’ passionate pursuit of melody, rhythm, harmony, and music celebration.”

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. In a series of landmark studies by scientists and researchers at Northwestern University, a link was found between students in community music programs and lifelong academic success, including higher high school graduation rates and college attendance. In another study from Northwestern, early exposure to music education was shown to improve the way the brain processes and assimilates sounds, a trait that lasts well into adulthood.

Flora Lindeblad, eighth grade music student said, “Music Education is important because it allows students to further immerse themselves in music and its mechanics helping them to make the music their own.” 

Mount Olive Middle School student Dylan Kovach said, “Music Education is important because it allows students of all different personalities to come together and make something bigger than just themselves.”

Other MO students said, “I have so much fun in music class every day. I get to learn new things and have time with friends.”

”Band truly brings me so much joy and I love playing.  Anytime I come to band I feel very happy and anytime we play it brings me happiness.”

“I take music so seriously because of how happy it makes me.”

The National Association of Music Merchants Foundation works to advance active participation in music by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs. For more information about the NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.

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