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ALLIANCE, OHIO – (April 26, 2023) – Alliance  City Schools (ACS) 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 24th 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, ACS 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 by school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“At Alliance City Schools, we take pride in ensuring the performing arts are a strong part of our culture,” said Rob Gress, Superintendent of Schools. “A well-rounded education must include more than just academics and athletics. Music provides students with a form of self-expression and discipline that will benefit and help set them up for success. Our music programs wouldn’t be what they are without the individuals who make up the music department. They share their passion for music with the students and are the reason our students thrive in the performing arts.”

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: 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. 

ACS offers music classes to all students in preschool through high school. As the students get older, they have the opportunity to leave general music classes and take part in music programs such as band, orchestra, choir and even show choir. From middle school on, all students are eligible to take part in these programs to build their musical skills and pursue areas of interest they are passionate about.

The district has been designated one of the Best Communities for Music Education for the 2019, 2022 and 2023 school years.

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

For more information about the Alliance City School District, visit