Return to Headlines

Solon Schools Named Best Community for Music Education 2021


The NAMM Foundation today honored the Solon City Schools with a 2021 Best Communities for Music Education Award for its outstanding commitment to music education and successful efforts to provide music access and education to all students. Solon joins only 686 other school districts nationwide in receiving the designation from the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation.

For Solon, the award reflects the broad array of both school-based and community-wide music programming and performance opportunities for students as well as the strong partnership with families of music students.

“As a parent of two Solon students who thrived in the band, I know first-hand how wonderful our music program is and the important role music plays in the lives of so many of our students,” said Fred Bolden, Superintendent of the Solon City Schools. “This award is a recognition of the strong work by the teachers, students and families in our music program. Music is always an important connection for students. But we are especially proud of the ways they have adapted to meet the unique challenges of the pandemic to make music and showcase their talents on digital platforms and in-person in as many ways as they could this year.”

To qualify for the Best Communities in Music Education designation, the district provided comprehensive information about commitment to standards, funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, music instructional time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. The NAMM Foundation’s reviewers assessed the quality of the district’s music faculty and budgetary commitment to music education, in addition to other factors, and the application was reviewed by the Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

The award also recognizes the district’s efforts in providing learning opportunities as outlined in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which recommends music and all of the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all students.

“Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational, cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music,” according to the NAMM Foundation. “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. The social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills and how to give and receive constructive criticism.”