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West Branch Local Schools Recognized for Music Education Efforts

West Branch Local Schools Recognized for Music Education Efforts

Beloit, OH. (March 26, 2014) – West Branch Local Schools has been recognized for its outstanding commitment to music education with a Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) designation by the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation. West Branch joins 376 districts across the country to receive the prestigious distinction in 2014.  Only 17 school districts in Ohio achieved this designation.

In its 15th year, Best Communities for Music Education affirms school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of the schools’ core curriculum.

The BCME survey requires districts to answer 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 Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

The announcement of this year’s Best Communities for Music Education designation brings attention to the importance of keeping music education part of West Branch’s core education and music’s vital role in student success in school.

The Best Communities for Music Education program plays an important part of the NAMM Foundation’s efforts to make music education part of the core curriculum assuring that the benefits of music making are available to every child. Numerous studies have demonstrated that learning to play music can boost academic and social skills, lower disciplinary action and keep kids in schools.

West Branch Local Schools offers music classes for grades K-12 with highly qualified music teachers at every level.  Classes at West Branch include: General Music, Music Appreciation, Middle School Choir, Middle School Band, High School Band, High School Choir and Theater/Musical Theater classes. 

About NAMM Foundation: The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its nearly 9,000 members around the world with the mission of advancing active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs from the international music products industry. For more information about the NAMM Foundation, please visit

Pictured in photo:
Front row (left to right): music students – Dana Wilke, Drew Wandle, Jonathan Brand, Abigail Johnson, Dominic Finocchi.  Back row (left to right): music teachers – Melissa Brand, Robert Barnett, Krista Clay, John Zamarelli, and Bryan Stehura.

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