Cuyahoga Heights Schools Music Program Receives National Recognition

Cuyahoga Heights Schools have been honored – for the 18th year in a row – for the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.  

To qualify for this designation, the district 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.

“Cuyahoga Heights Schools is committed to providing a well-rounded educational experience for our students. One shining example of this excellence is our music program,” said Assistant Superintendent Matt Young. “Our music tradition is nothing short of excellent and another demonstration of how we continue to reach new Heights.”

Since the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have re-committed to music and arts education programs. During the pandemic, music and arts programs were a vital component to keeping students engaged in school. 

“We take pride in the successes of all of our programs, including music education, which is reflective of the commitment of students, staff, families and community,” added Young. 

According to the NAMM Foundation, research continues to demonstrate benefits in educational/ cognitive and social skills for students who participate in music education.  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 accept constructive criticism. 

About The NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 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. Now in its 23rd year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to school districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. 

For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit

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