The Irving Independent School District (ISD) is proud to announce its recent recognition as a recipient of the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The National Association Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation. This esteemed accolade honors the district's unwavering dedication to fostering music education and access for all students. The award, now in its 24th year, is a testament to Irving ISD's commitment to providing exceptional musical learning experiences.
Superintendent of Schools for Irving ISD, Magda Hernandez, expressed the district's pride in achieving this recognition once again. "We are honored to once again receive the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The National Association Music Merchants Foundation," Hernandez stated. "We remain dedicated to providing a high-quality education to our students, and this includes incorporating music as part of their educational learning experience. We firmly believe that this approach helps maintain their focus and enhances their academic performance."
The rigorous selection process for the Best Communities designation involved a comprehensive evaluation of Irving ISD's music education initiatives. The district provided detailed information about various aspects, including funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. These responses were meticulously verified by school officials and assessed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
The achievements of Irving ISD's student musicians in the past year underscore the success of the district's music education efforts. Notably, all three Irving ISD bands achieved advancement to the Area round of the UIL Marching competition for the first time since 2018. Furthermore, four Irving ISD students earned the prestigious title of All-State musicians, an honor bestowed by the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA). Highlighting the district's choral accomplishments, the MacArthur High School Varsity Treble Choir received a special invitation from the American Choral Directors Association to perform at the Southwestern Convention held in Denver, Colorado.
Dimas Delgado, Executive Director of Fine Arts for Irving ISD, emphasized the integral role of music education in the district's holistic approach to student development. "Music education plays an important role in our district’s goal of educating the whole child," Delgado remarked.
Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music: 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. In addition, 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 receive constructive criticism.
Irving ISD currently serves more than 23,000 students in Fine Arts including 2,000 band members, 1,000 choir members, 1,400 orchestra members and 14,000 elementary music students. This is the fifth time that Irving ISD has received this recognition.
About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 15,000 member companies and individual professionals. 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.