Best Communities 2016 - MP Press Release

Midland Park Public School’s Music Education Program Receives National Recognition

Midland Park named a Best Community for Music for the 3rd Time


Midland Park, NJ. (April 6, 2016) – Midland Park Public Schools has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Midland Park 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, Midland Park 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 Midland Park 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.

To be great is hard, to consistently be great is even harder. For the Midland Park school district to earn the NAMM distinction 3 years in a row is a testimony to the program as a whole. A lot of stakeholders have to have the same goals and determination in order to sustain high levels of achievement. We are proud to say that the Musical Arts program here in Midland Park is not only healthy, but thriving and because of this the students are part of something great” said Peter Galasso, Highland School Principal.

The High School Principal, Nicholas Capuano said, “Over the past few years our Music Programs at Midland Park Junior Senior High School have received numerous awards and accolades.  The NAMM distinction has been a big part of helping to create the excitement in the community that has allowed the school to continue to enhance and diversify the musical offerings to our students. We look forward to next year, when our students have an enhanced performance space with the completion of the Memorial Hall renovation.”

School Superintendent, Dr. Marie Cirasella stated, “NAMM’s vision is a profound one, “We envision a world in which the joy of making music is a precious element of daily living for everyone; a world in which every child has a deep desire to learn music and a recognized right to be taught; and in which every adult is a passionate champion and defender of that right.”  We’re delighted that the Midland Park Public School District has been recognized by the NAMM Foundation for the third consecutive year as a Best Community for Music Education.  We sincerely commend and congratulate our administrators, teachers, staff, students, and parents for their collaborative efforts to sustain music education programs which enrich academic and extracurricular experiences for our students.”

As the Midland Park Public Schools 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.

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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

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