Roy-Hart’s music program earns national recognition for third straight year

Posted 14 April 2021 at 5:13 pm

Provided photo: Roy-Hart’s music program has found ways to engage students during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Press Release, Roy-Hart Central School

MIDDLEPORT  – The Royalton-Hartland school district has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) 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, Royalton-Hartland CSD 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.

“The Royalton-Hartland Central School District is proud to be recognized once again as A Best Community For Music Education District and want to thank the Board of Education, administration, instructors and community members for their never ending support of our program,” said Superintendent Dr. Hank Stopinski. “Our district recognizes the importance of our music program in reaching the District Vision and its overall impact on our students.”

Since the passage by Congress in 2015 of the Every Student Succeeds Act and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have re-committed to music and arts education programs. They have found that in this time of a national pandemic, music and the arts provide a valuable way to keep students engaged in school.

“The phenomenal Music Department at Royalton-Hartland has not only given me a great music education, but it has instilled a passion for music in me,” said Elise Baumer, a 12th grade student. “After facing a major and life altering injury when I was in sixth grade, I turned to music. I became more involved with orchestra and chorus by participating in All-County and All-State solo festivals. Music at Royalton-Hartland has allowed me to build character and self-confidence. The music teachers at Royalton-Hartland truly care about the students and want to support us. I will carry my love for music with me for the rest of my life.”

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.