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Wauwatosa School District named among Best Communities for Music Education

March 28, 2019 


best of music education award  

The Wauwatosa School District has been recognized as one of the 2019 Best Communities for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation.


Now in its 20th year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of a well-rounded education.  Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.


To qualify for the Best Communities designation, districts are required to provide information about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, and support for the music programs. Responses were reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“In Wauwatosa, we know our community deeply values the arts and our music program, and our program wouldn't be at the level of excellence it is without our incredibly talented teaching staff who are committed to consistently growing in their craft for the benefit of our students,” said Superintendent Phil Ertl. “This award affirms their work, as well as the District's commitment to educating the whole child of every child. We're thrilled to be recognized for these efforts."


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 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 also stronger in musically-trained children than in those without music training. Additionally, 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.


The Wauwatosa School District’s music program includes choir and orchestra beginning in fourth grade and band beginning in fifth grade. In sixth grade, World Music is an additional musical elective, followed by Contemporary Music & Culture in seventh grade and Music & Media in eighth grade. In high school, additional elective options for music include:

·       Concert Band

·       Concert Choir

·       Chanteurs

·       Concert Orchestra

·       Digital Music Production

·       Jazz Ensemble

·       Chamber Choir

·       Symphonic Band/Wind Ensemble

·       Jazz Ensemble I

·       Vocal Jazz Ensemble

·       Music Theory 1, 2, & 3

·       Symphony Orchestra


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