GGUSD Named Among Nation’s Best in Music Education for 2nd Year

NAMM Music Award Logo

Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) has received the 2020 Best Communities for Music Education Award, a national distinction presented to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in providing music access and education to all students.

GGUSD received the award for the second year in a row and is one of only four districts in Orange County and 20 districts across California to receive this national recognition, awarded to less than 800 districts across the U.S.

“As a district, we have consistently valued and supported our visual and performing arts program because we know music and arts provide an unparalleled and lasting benefit to students,” said GGUSD Board of Education Trustee Dina Nguyen. “Our visual and performing arts teachers are among the best in the business and we are grateful for the exceptional opportunities they provide to students.”

This award from the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation recognizes that GGUSD is leading the way with best practices in music education opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  The legislation recommends music and the arts as essential elements of a well-rounded education for all children.

GGUSD's VAPA program is led by Coordinator Stacy Harris and is supported by 62 music teachers serving students TK-12 in instrumental, vocal, and general music,  40 secondary visual art teachers, 10 secondary theatre teachers, and six secondary dance teachers.

To qualify for the designation, GGUSD met criteria around music education funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. After two years of music education, research found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores that 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.