Odem-Edroy ISD Receives National Recognition

Odem-Edroy ISD’s Music Education Program Receives National Recognition

Odem named a Best Community for Music for the 2nd Consecutive Year

Odem, Texas. March 24, 2014 – Odem-Edroy ISD has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Odem-Edroy ISD joins 476 districts across the country in receiving the prestigious award in 2016.

The Best Communities Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

Districts that have been recognized by the NAMM Foundation are often held up as models for other educators looking to boost their own music education programs.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Odem-Edroy ISD 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.

This award recognizes that Odem-Edroy ISD is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the new federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation, signed into law in December 2015, replaces No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which was often criticized for an overemphasis on testing—while leaving behind subject such as music. ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of well-rounded education for all children.

As Odem-Edroy ISD finalizes its 2016-2017 budget, the NAMM Foundation’s Best Communities for Music Education Award and the implementation of the federal ESSA law bring attention to the importance of keeping music education part of the school’s core education for all students. It also highlights music’s vital role in students’ overall success in school.

Community music programs have been drawing increased attention because of a landmark study by Northwestern University brain scientists. These researchers found new links between students in community music programs and academic success in subjects such as reading.

Beyond the Northwestern study, other reports indicate that learning to play music can boost academic and social skills, such as processing math and learning to cooperate in group settings.

A 2015 study, “Striking A Chord” supported by the NAMM Foundation, also outlines the overwhelming desire by teachers and parents for music education opportunities for all children as part of the school curriculum.

The Odem-Edroy ISD school district has a very solid program of instruction at both the Elementary Level and the Secondary Levels. Odem is fortunate to have Odem Elementary students receive outstanding general music instruction 2.5 times each week. This is a key reason for so much of the success of our students at the secondary level.

The Odem High School Wind Ensemble will perform at the World Famous Carnegie Hall on June 11th at 8:30pm in New York City, NY. The Odem JH Band last year was named the State Champion for the Class 1C Concert Selection in the Association of Texas Small School Bands Outstanding Performance Series Competition. Since 2008 the Odem Bands have earned 13 Sweepstakes awards with their bands, an appearance at the State Marching Contest in 2013 and Area Finalists in 2015, Ten consecutive years of First Divisions in Marching, and numerous other awards.

The Director of Bands at Odem High School is Steven Rash, the Odem Junior High Director is Nathan Williams, and the Odem Elementary Music teacher is Celia Muncy. The Superintendent at Odem-Edroy ISD is Dr. Lisa Gonzales, Principal at Odem High School is Mrs. Ann Ewing, Odem Junior High Principal is James Brannigan, and Odem Elementary Principal is Mrs. Jana Kieschnick.

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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. For more information about the NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.