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Denton ISD Recognized as One of the Best in the Nation for Music Education

Denton ISD has been honored with the 2019 Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. This marks the 12th consecutive year Denton ISD has received this national award.


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, Denton ISD 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.


"Congratulations to our music students, teachers, staff, and parents who have all put so much high-quality energy into developing all of the elements of our music programs over the years," said Doug Chadwick of the Denton ISD Board of Trustees. “Receiving this recognition is just one more indication that Denton is a great place to live, work, LEARN, and play."


This award recognizes that Denton ISD 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. 


"I am truly blessed to be in a school district that supports and recognizes the importance of music education," said Michael Leonas, Ginnngs Elementary Music Specialist.


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.


Denton ISD ensures that fine arts plays a vital role in developing students who are prepared for the future. Immersion in the arts is an important element to a well-rounded academic experience. The school district and its communities believe in the importance of educating the "whole child" through comprehensive, high-quality fine arts programs. 100% of Denton ISD's elementary students receive weekly instruction in art and music with approximately 88% of the secondary student population receiving training in one or more fine arts disciplines. The district's student participation in arts instruction (K-12) averages 94%. Fine arts programs in Denton ISD are fortunate to enjoy broad support from the local communities, school district, Denton arts groups, the local universities.


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