Music Education Program Receives National Recognition

 Best Communities for Music EducationCarmel Central School District’s music program has been honored with a 2021 Best Communities for Music Education designation for the eighth consecutive year by the NAMM Foundation, a non-profit supported by the National Association of Music Merchants. This impressive designation was awarded to the District for its outstanding achievement in its efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

“This achievement is a testament to our dedicated staff who encourage our students to explore opportunities and pursue their passion,” said Michelle Yorio, Carmel Central School District Board of Education president. “It is truly a measure of the entire community and not just our finest students. Our district is proud to be able to offer our students an exceptional music program.”

To be selected, the District had to provide detailed information about its funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, facilities, support for music programs in the District and community among other data. The information was verified by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

"At Carmel, we work hard to foster a love for music. That is what the District did for me as a student and it is the same gift I strive to give to my own students,” said Nina Madison, music teacher at Kent Elementary School and a CCSD graduate.

 Student musicians playing outside on the field. “Music education is important to Carmel Central School District and its students,” said Lizzette Ruiz-Giovinazzi, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Personnel. “First and foremost, we have incredibly talented students currently in our program who have thrived as musicians. In addition, music education has a tremendous impact on student learning, social-emotional wellbeing, creativity, and awareness of different cultures.”

Carmel schools continue to be a leader in providing students with a well-rounded education, in line with its mission to educate the whole student to become lifelong learners in an ever-changing world. This has been especially true during the pandemic where music and arts have continued to provide valuable ways to keep students engaged in school during an unprecedented time.

“The music department has done an outstanding job of creating such a tightknit, encouraging, and lively community,” said Molly Radigan, Carmel High School student and orchestra member. "My fellow students and I adore this wonderful space and use it as a creative outlet while learning life lessons we will never forget. The department made my high school years fantastic.”

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 study participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores, are more likely to graduate high school and attend college as well and have stronger everyday listening skills. In addition, social benefits for participants include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.

"We are proud to be in a community where music education is seen as crucial to the development of our children,” said Edward Durkee, executive director at Arts on the Lake, in Carmel, N.Y. “The Carmel music teachers are an outstanding group of professionals whose impact influences the students for their entire lives."

More Carmel Community Testimonials:

“Children more often than not do not come to school saying, ‘I can't wait for math today.’ But they do come saying ‘I can’t wait for music!’ Music levels their playing field and provides an environment where all children can be successful regardless of perceived academic ability.” – Kathryn White, Principal of Kent Elementary School 

"I've been with the music department since fifth grade and I'm so grateful for the experience it's given me!" – Eleanor Harrison, band student at Carmel High School 

“It was a dream come true and an honor to join the music teachers who taught me so much in K-12 here in Carmel. Over the past 15 years, many of those influential educators have retired. Now, I am on the flip side with a former middle school band student of mine joining our department as a band teacher at George Fischer Middle School! The tradition of excellence in Carmel's music program continues!” – Erin Minieri, Music Teacher at George Fischer Middle School and CCSD graduate  

 “Coming back to teach in Carmel has been incredibly fulfilling. I am honored to be working with the some of the same teachers who supported and encouraged my early interest in music when I was a student here.” – Donald Griffith, Music Teacher at George Fischer Middle School and CCSD graduate  

“My parents chose to move into the Carmel Central School District because of all of the opportunities in the schools. Little did they know their five children would find a second family in the Music Department. I am thrilled to be back in Carmel to joining the very team of music teachers that not only taught me about music but about being a good human.” – Erika Wahlers, Music Teacher at George Fischer Middle School and CCSD graduate 

Music education has always been highly valued in the Carmel Schools as a crucial part of a student's personal growth. Receiving this award should serve as a great source of pride to Carmel's music program, as well as the surrounding community.” – Tiffany Radovich, R&D Music, Carmel, N.Y.