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SVSD Receives National Recognition for Music Education


The Snoqualmie Valley School District (SVSD) has been honored with the “2018 Best Communities for Music Education” designation from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.


Superintendent Joel Aune said, “What has transpired here in the Snoqualmie Valley School District is built on a comprehensive system of support — a School Board that appreciates the value of a robust music program, administrators that advocate for and support the staff and students, parents who are relentlessly committed to the program and the students, talented and dedicated teachers, and hard-working students.  This combination has yielded something truly exceptional. Congratulations to our students, and thank you to all who are working to support their pursuit of excellence.”


SVSD is among 583 school districts across the nation to receive this award that recognizes exceptional efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of a well-rounded education. The Best Communities for Music Education designation identifies school districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement and commitment in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. 


“I believe that to make a high school an experience that a student finds meaningful, they have to connect with their school, they have to find it relevant, and they have to find a group of kids that will offer the positive pressure to succeed. School has to be fun, and has to be something kids are proud of. It requires staff that have the heart of kids, at the center of what they do. The arts, whether 2D, 3D, or performing arts, are a prime example of one way to build a culture of students, that in turn, builds a culture of a school and community,” said Mount Si High School Principal John Belcher.


A senior choir student at MSHS added, “How grateful I am to have been a part of the Mount Si music program. Throughout these four years, I have learned so much from my wonderful teacher… who has taught me to stay strong, push forward, and to believe and go for what you love.”


To qualify for the Best Communities designation, the District answered 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.


Click here for a complete list of the 2018 award-winning school districts.


According to the NAMM Foundation, this award recognizes that the Snoqualmie Valley School District is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children. 


Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. In a series of landmark studies by scientists and researchers at Northwestern University a link was found between students in community music programs and life-long academic success, including higher high school graduation rates and college attendance. In another study from the University, it was discovered that the benefits of early exposure to music education improves how the brain processes and assimilates sounds, a trait that lasts well into adulthood. In addition, other studies have indicated that music education lays the foundation for individual excellence in group settings, creative problem solving and flexibility in work situations, as well as learning how to give and receive constructive criticism to excel.


The NAMM Foundation ( is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs.


2018 Best Communities for Music Education - NAMM Foundation award