Northport-East Northport Music Education Program Receives National Recognition for 11th Consecutive Year

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NORTHPORT-EAST NORTHPORT has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Now in its 25th year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, NORTHPORT-EAST NORTHPORT answered detailed questions about its program. Responses were verified by school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“The value of incorporating Music into a child’s education cannot be understated. There is a plethora of incontestable research which clearly demonstrates how an education rich in music will improve a students’ cognitive functioning, academic performance, sense of self, ability to work in groups, and quality of life! Congratulations to this wonderful community, our Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Dave Moyer, our administrative leadership, our teachers, our parents, and most importantly, our students!" -Dr. Izzet Mergen, Director of Fine and Performing Arts, Northport-East Northport Schools

Since the passage of the -Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have re-committed to music and arts education programs. During the pandemic, music and arts programs were a vital component to keeping students engaged in school. ESSA provides designated funding for well-rounded educational opportunities through Title IV Part A Student Academic Success and Achievement grants. NAMM Foundation research has revealed that these grants are being widely used by school districts to address instructional gaps in access to music and arts education. 

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, even 50 years later. These individuals showed enhanced neural processing compared to their peers, not to mention, social benefits including conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism. 

The Northport-East Northport Union Free School District has one of the most extensive and innovative music curriculums in the country. Sixteen elective courses taught at our High School by 5.5 full-time faculty members and we are proud to have an International Baccalaureate Program in music running for the past 20+ years. We have been the recipient of the New York State School Music Association’s “Presidential Citation” for program excellence and now, our community has been recognized for the 10th time in a row as one of the “Best Communities for Music Education in America!” This year, both a past and current Northport HS student were awarded Grammys…2 Grammys this year alone!!!
Our ensembles have performed locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally in locations such as the White House, the Vatican, Italy, France, Scandinavia, London, Vienna, Barcelona, Madrid, St. Patrick's Cathedral (NYC), Carnegie Hall (NYC), and Lincoln Center (NYC). Some of our chamber musicians have been selected to perform in the Young Musician’s Concert sponsored by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.  The Northport High School Band was the "Official New York State Band" and performed and the opening and closing ceremonies in 1964!  Northport High School is the only one in the nation with a 40+ year history of composer’s concerts featuring original music compositions by our students.  The Northport Tiger Band was the “2019 New York State Marching Band,” and marched in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC. 
Our community band, community orchestra, community chorus, and community jazz ensemble perform annually, and our high school graduates have become community music ensemble members, and some even perform with the community ensembles while in high school.

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