Beckville ISD has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.
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.
To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Beckville ISD 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.
“I couldn’t be more excited for our students, district, and our community,” said Director of Bands Josh King. “This distinction proves that we are doing good work and are excited to continue building a stronger foundation for music education in East Texas.”
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.
“We’ve spent lots of time building our music education to a level that our community can be proud of,” said Devin Tate, BISD superintendent. “It’s great that our district can receive national recognition. It’s a testament to the work that our students and staff put in daily.”
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.
Beckville ISD’s music program provides music education to all students in the district. The BHS Band most recently made history by appearing at the UIL State Marching Contest for the first time ever in the history of Beckville schools. Beckville ISD’s band department provides performance opportunities for its students by way of marching band, concert bands, jazz ensembles, small chamber groups, as well as several opportunities for individual competition as well. Beckville music students have gone on to perform with ensembles throughout Texas and surrounding areas.