South Fayette School District News Article

District Receives National Honor for Music Education Program

The South Fayette Township School District has received the “Best Communities for Music Education” designation by the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation for its commitment to music education. Now in its 24th year, the Best Communities for Music Education recognition is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in their efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

The District submitted data about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. That information was reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“Music education is an integral part of the South Fayette Township School District,” said Superintendent Dr. Michelle Miller. “That is why you will find the arts at the heart of the District’s mission statement. Our student-musicians, led by our passionate music educators, continually amaze us. This prestigious designation celebrates their talents and commitment.”

The South Fayette Township School District is one of just 830 school districts across the country to receive the Best Communities for Music Education distinction.

In South Fayette, music is key in educating the whole child. Beginning at the elementary level and continuing through high school, Lion Learners are afforded opportunities to explore their own creativity, work collaboratively with peers, and build upon skills needed in all facets of education and life.

South Fayette’s music curriculum scaffolds from first through twelfth grades. Elementary school students are introduced to music first through steady beats and rhythms. Pitch intervals are gradually introduced at a pace so all students can succeed. Student-musicians in grades 3-5 at the intermediate school build upon those elementary-level foundations. Students then begin to create their own music by learning the language of music. They also have opportunities to deepen their musical ability in band, orchestra, and choral classes and groups.

Additionally, students in first through fifth grades are immersed in the arts through the Arts Alive program. In Arts Alive, students use acting, movement, music, and emotional expression to perform and bring to life concepts introduced in their music classes. Arts Alive teaches students that they can interpret, understand, and engage the world around them through music and the arts.

While not a requirement in many middle schools, all South Fayette Middle School students are enrolled in general music courses. They also have the ability to sing in the choir or play in the school’s orchestra or band. At South Fayette High School, the music education choices expand. Student-musicians can join the popular Little Green Machine Marching Band, concert band, jazz ensemble, orchestra, strings ensemble, wind ensemble, or choirs. South Fayette High School also offers digital piano and musicianship courses and an AP music theory course.

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.

Click here to watch a video about South Fayette's commitment to music in schools.

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