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Posted May 12, 2015

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La Cueva, Cibola Music Departments Get National Recognition

They were among only three New Mexico schools to earn the 2015 Support Music Merit Award from the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation.

The music departments at Cibola and La Cueva high schools were among those recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation earlier this year. They were two of only three New Mexico schools to earn the 2015 Support Music Merit Award as part of the Best Communities for Music Education program.

Just over a hundred individual schools across the nation received this award, which recognizes support for school-based music education programs.
The music teachers at Cibola are:
  • Ryan Hatch, choir, piano & drama
  • Nathan Matherne, band & orchestra
  • Eduardo Trujillo, guitar and theory
The music teachers at La Cueva are:
  •  Deanna Amend, choir & piano
  • John Converse, band, piano & theory
  • Rebecca Simons, orchestra & piano
  • Brian Weller, band assistant director
"Ensuring that every child has access to music in schools requires commitment by students, teachers, and those who determine school budgets,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation. “We commend the districts and schools that have earned the Best Community designation this year.  They join with so many that believe as we do that there is a vital link between do-rei-me and the ABCs.”
The SMMA designation takes on added significance this year with new research showing strong ties between music education and overall student success. A new body of evidence, released at the start of the school year by Northwestern University brain researcher Dr. Nina Kraus, shows that participation in music education programs helps improve brain function and sparks language development. The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio highlighted the new research.

Not all of the nation’s 13,588 school districts are in harmony when it comes to promoting the arts and music education. According to the White House’s Turnaround Arts program, for example, 1.3 million elementary school students still have no access to music classes.

A complete list of districts and schools receiving SupportMusic designations from the NAMM Foundation in 2015 can be found here.
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