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Midland Park

MPK Named Best Community For Music Education

03/27/2014 08:30AM ● By Rebecca K. Abma
Here's something to sing about: Midland Park was designated a 2014 Best Community for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation, one of 376 districts across the country granted the honor. 

The district was selected based on 2012-13 criteria, which shows 100 percent of students in Elementary School, 55 percent of Middle School, and 35 percent of High School Students are enrolled in music classes, and 52 percent of students use music class to fulfill their fine arts requirement for graduation. Fourteen students were named to county level ensembles in band and choir.

"Music Education is very important to all stake holders in the district," said Midland Park High School Principal Nicholas Capuano.  "We offer a variety of music opportunities for students including; Chamber Groups, Choral Ensemble, Theory, AP Theory, Concert Band, General Music, Jazz Ensemble, Marching Band and Keyboard Lab instruction."

The district has four full-time certified music teachers, including Loreto Angulo-Pizarro (elementary vocal and general music), Jeffrey Peters (elementary band and general music),
Donna Halliwell (high school and middle school vocal and music theory) and David Marks (high school and middle school band).

"Connections to University Programs such as the NJCU Symphony of Winds and Percussion Concert on April 8, the high school band performance with the Ridgewood Concert Band on May 9, and the collaboration with composers and professional artists at all levels are fine examples of what makes this music program so dynamic," Capuano said. 

"It's no surprise to anyone in our district community that Midland Park has been so justly recognized by the NAMM," Schools Superintendent Dr. Marie Ciracella told Midland Park Press.  "The commitment of our amazing teachers, the support of our parents/guardians, the outstanding work of our students, and the critical guidance provided by our Board and administrators has reaped amazing results in musical education."

The BCME program applauds the efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders working to assure that music education is part of the core curriculum. 

“These schools and districts make a strong commitment to music education in the core curriculum supporting its essential value to a well-rounded education for every child,” said Mary Luehrsen, NAMM Foundation executive director. “Strong, engaging programs that offer students access to music cannot thrive in a vacuum. The Best Communities designation and the SupportMusic Merit Award bring hard-won visibility to music classes, programs and departments that are keeping music education alive in our schools.”

Now in its 15th year, the BCME program evaluates schools and districts based on funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards, and access to music instruction. The NAMM Foundation with the assistance of researchers at The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas (an affiliate of the University of Kansas) evaluate participants on these factors. Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and greater access to music education.

The BCME program is one of the NAMM Foundation’s foremost efforts to bolster support for school-based music education programs that must be available for all children. Providing music education for all students is something any community can accomplish if it has the collective will to do so, regardless of size or affluence.

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