Study: Music Education Now Reaches 48,700 Metro Students
Music Makes Us has grown in numbers and benefits since beginning in 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 16, 2015) – In a study released today, Metro Schools’ collaborative Music Makes Us initiative is credited with increasing musical participation among Nashville students, as well as supplying them with the soft skills and character traits that will set them up for success in academics and life. The study shows growth in music programs at every level, particularly in the important middle school years, and 100 percent music participation at the elementary level.
“At a time when some cities are cutting arts programs, Nashville is doubling down,” said Interim Director of Schools Chris Henson. “Music education is bigger than it’s ever been in Metro Schools, and that’s because the district, the city and dozens of community partners are making the investment. Together we are making Music City the number one place for music education.”
Titled Interlude, this is the second study of Music Makes Us in two years. It was paid for through the generous support of the CMA Foundation and the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). The first, called Prelude, found a positive correlation between music participation and student engagement and achievement. That data was used as a baseline for future evaluations of the program. This new study shows that more students are participating in school music programs, which means more students are benefiting from the positive effects demonstrated in Prelude.
“Nashville is Music City, and we know the value of music to our community because we experience it – we hear it – constantly,” said Mayor Megan Barry. “Music is the very bedrock of our city’s identity, the river of creative expression that runs through everything. And music education in our public schools is where it all starts. Music Makes Us connects the city and our music and business communities to our diverse population of students, providing a foundation for future success and opening doors to higher education, workforce development and a better life.”
Across all grades, 48,700 Metro students are taking part in music programs – 56 percent of the total student population. That represents growth of more than 3,600 students since 2012, when Music Makes Us began, which is more than twice the rate of enrollment growth in district-run schools.
Increased student participation has been supported by increased music program offerings. Since the inception of Music Makes Us, band has been restored to all 33 middle schools. Ten new middle school choral programs have been developed. Over 45 new classes in mariachi, world percussion, rock band, and country/bluegrass are available to middle and high school students in 18 schools.
The expansion of these programs has been funded by public and private investments. Metro Schools spent approximately $14 million on Music Makes Us during the 2014-15 school year. CMA Foundation, the largest single private contributor for music education in Nashville, gave $1 million in 2014-15. Other private donors contributed a combined $300,000.
In elementary schools, 100 percent of students – more than 32,000 of them – have access to music classes. Middle school participation is up nine percentage points since 2012, to 56 percent (11,200 students). High school participation is up two points to 26 percent (5,200 students).