Mustang PS Receives National Recognition for Music Education Support

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Mustang Public Schools Receives National Recognition for Music Education Support

(Mustang, Oklahoma – April 18, 2024) – Mustang Public Schools (MPS) has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.  Now in its 25th year, the designation is awarded to school districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in providing music access and education to all students.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, MPS Staff responded to 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 with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

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“Music education is vital to Mustang students and their families, as it provides essential

opportunities to learn more about what it means to be human,” said Dr. Michael Raiber, MPS Director of Fine Arts.  “Music is made by every culture we have ever known, and it plays a central role in defining those cultures.”  He continued by stating that “this designation recognizes the amazing work being done by the music educators in our district.  It also recognizes the ongoing support of the Mustang School Board and District administration.  Accomplishments like this cannot be achieved without all these partners at the table.”

The Benefits of Music 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 those without music training. Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to perceiving speech in a noisy background, paying attention, and keeping 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. Social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and giving and receiving constructive criticism.

“Mustang has some of the finest music educators in the nation,” Assistant Superintendent Ryan McKinney said.  “These staff dedicate literally hundreds of hours each year, if not more, to their students and programs; this recognition is important to highlight their contributions to our mission of providing a world-class education for our students.”  The District is celebrating its 100th year of providing quality education for the families in its central Oklahoma community.  Music education is part of every elementary student’s (PreK - 5th grade_ experience; secondary students enjoy opportunities in numerous vocal and instrumental courses and ensembles; in addition, high school students can also enroll in Advanced Placement Music Theory.

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About The NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 members worldwide. 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 www.nammfoundation.org.

About Mustang Public Schools

The Mustang Public School District covers over 72 square miles in Oklahoma and Canadian counties, with the City of Mustang at its center. The district is the largest employer in Canadian County, with more than 1,800 certified and support employees. As one of Oklahoma’s Top Workplaces, the school district offers a comprehensive compensation package for full-time employees, in addition to a satisfying working environment. There are eight (soon to be nine) elementary schools (grades PreK-4), three intermediate centers (grades 5-6), three middle schools (grades 7-8), one high school (grades 9-12), and an educational center which houses pre-kindergarten and alternative education.
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