Irving Independent School District is proud to announce that we have earned the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The National Association Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for an outstanding commitment to music education. Now in its 24th 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.
“We are honored to once again receive the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The National Association Music Merchants Foundation,” says Magda Hernandez, Superintendent of Schools for Irving ISD. “We remain dedicated to providing a high-quality education to our students, and this includes incorporating music as part of their educational learning experience. We firmly believe that this approach helps maintain their focus and enhances their academic performance.”
To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Irving 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 by school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
Last year proved to be a successful one for Irving ISD student musicians as they racked up various accolades. For instance, all three Irving ISD bands advanced to the Area round of UIL Marching for the first time since 2018. In addition, four Irving ISD students were named All-State musicians by the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA). Last, but certainly not least, the MacArthur High School Varsity Treble Choir received an invitation from the American Choral Directors Association to perform at the Southwestern Convention in Denver, Colo.
“Music education plays an important role in our district’s goal of educating the whole child,” says Dimas Delgado, Executive Director of Fine Arts for Irving ISD.
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. In addition, 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.
Irving ISD currently serves more than 23,000 students in Fine Arts including 2,000 band members, 1,000 choir members, 1,400 orchestra members and 14,000 elementary music students. This is the fifth time that Irving ISD has received this recognition.
About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 15,000 member companies and individual professionals. 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 www.nammfoundation.org.