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Greater Latrobe's Music Education Program receives the Best Community for Music Education Award from the NAMM Foundation

BCME Recognition

Greater Latrobe School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.  


The Pennsylvania Secretary of Education, Pedro Rivera, stated in his letter of recognition to the district, “Music has the power to connect people from all walks of life as it touches emotions and stimulates the mind.  Music provides musicians and listeners an opportunity to experience something that no other academic content area possibly could. Providing students with a well-developed music education as part of your district’s overall curriculum design no only supports the importance of a well-rounded education bu also encourages social, historical and cultural traditions that define the nature of your community.  Music matters!”


Now in its 20th 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. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Greater Latrobe answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities and support for the music programs.  Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.


Superintendent Judith Swigart notes, "Congratulations to the Greater Latrobe Music Department for being recognized for the excellent instruction provided by all K-12 music teachers.  Their dedication and service to our students is outstanding."


This award recognizes that Greater Latrobe is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation guides implementation in the states and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) which was often criticized for an overemphasis on testing-while leaving behind subjects such as music. ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.  


According to Junior Cameron Hayes, “Music encourages discipline, cultivates teamwork, connects us to other peoples, and allows for an expression beyond what we can say in words.”


Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. After two years of music education, research found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores that 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 that 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.


A 2015 study supported by The NAMM Foundation, “Striking A Chord,” also outlines the overwhelming desire by teachers and parents for music education opportunities for all children as part of the school curriculum.


The Greater Latrobe School District is proud of its music programs.  When many school districts are cutting arts and music, this district strongly supports music education in all of its schools.


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