LBUSD ranked among 2024’s Best Communities for Music Education by NAMM Foundation

The Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) was honored this month as one of 975 school districts across the nation to receive the 2024 Best Communities for Music Education Award from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation. This award acknowledges districts and schools for their exceptionally high commitment to and accessibility of music education, emphasizing the importance of integrating music education into a comprehensive educational framework.

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Photos courtesy of LBUSD

Elementary school students in the orchestra program performing at LBUSD’s annual Celebration of the Arts showcase

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, LBUSD answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. LBUSD allocates substantial resources in its annual budget to ensure that any student who wishes to participate in music programs can do so without financial barriers. This includes access to instruments and all necessary materials, fostering an inclusive environment where every student has the opportunity to pursue a musical pathway. Responses were verified by school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“Music and arts are woven into the fabric of our community. This award is a reflection of our commitment to excellence in music and arts education and a testament to the vibrant, creative culture that thrives in Laguna Beach,” said LBUSD Superintendent Jason Viloria, Ed.D. “This recognition is possible thanks to the unwavering support of our board of education, dedicated school staff and the passionate community that stands behind our students to create learning environments that nurture their artistic talents.”

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LBHS students enrolled in musical theater performing in the spring musical “Mean Girls”

In LBUSD, vocal and instrumental music education is incorporated into all grade levels, TK through 12. In elementary school, students can participate in choral music from TK through fifth grade, with instrumental instruction available as an option beginning in third grade. In middle school, students can choose from 13 visual and performing arts courses, with 33 courses available in high school. The rigor of these courses incrementally increases to expose students interested in pursuing music as a career to professional-level instruction as they progress through the program.

The NAMM Foundation, a supporting organization of NAMM, is dedicated to advancing active participation in music-making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. Through its Best Communities for Music Education Award program, now in its 25th year, the foundation celebrates school districts and educators nationwide that demonstrate a commitment to ensuring music learning opportunities are available for every student, providing an example for other communities to follow.

For more information about The NAMM Foundation, visit www.nammfoundation.org.


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