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OSD Receives National Recognition for Music Education


The Oregon School District (OSD) has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.


Best Communities for Music Education


The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, OSD completed an application and answered detailed questions about our music education offerings, including funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, and support for the music programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.


“A core value of the Oregon School District is the Whole Child Emphasis. One important component of educating the whole child is providing integrated learning experiences that include music education. We have very strong music education classes at all grade levels throughout are District and are delighted to be recognized with this national honor,” said OSD Superintendent, Brian Busler.


Research demonstrates educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children after just two years of music education. Additionally, music education has important social benefits including conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and practice giving and receiving constructive feedback.

The Oregon School District has a very robust music education curriculum starting in the very early years. Below are some distinguishing features of music education in the Oregon School District:

  • Music education begins with General Music for all OSD students in Kindergarten.
  • Elementary students are offered additional opportunities to participate in choir starting in 3rd grade, orchestra in 4th grade, and band in 5th grade.
  • ~ 75% of students in grade 4 choose to explore music by participating in band, choir, and/or orchestra.
  • Oregon High School offers 15 different music elective courses.
  • All OSD music teachers are certified music specialists and over 60% have masters-level music degrees.
  • In addition to teaching, several of OSD music teachers perform in professional level and community ensembles (e.g., Madison Symphony Orchestra).   


“Music education is an important part of the academic school day because it allows all children, regardless of financial background, to have access to the benefits and joy of music. The study of music is instrumental in educating the whole child,” says Oregon Middle School Orchestra Teacher, Kay Black.


"The NAMM foundation award reflects the long history of music in the Oregon community and is a testament to Oregon's support of music education, says Oregon High School Orchestra Teacher, Laura Burns, "Parents, Teachers, Administrators, and Community members all work together to help students develop a love of learning and of music!"


“The study of music teaches discipline and perseverance through developing verbal, aural, and technical literacy,” notes Black, “Music mirrors history and culture from all corners of the world and provides unique lenses with which to see outside or our own time and societies. Music provides an opportunity for creativity, personal expression, analysis, reflection and collaboration with others.”


About The NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,400 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs. For more information about the NAMM Foundation, please visit