Wilkinsburg’s Turner Intermediate has been honored with the SupportMusic Merit Award from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. The SupportMusic Merit Award recognizes individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.
To qualify for the SupportMusic Merit Award, Turner Intermediate educators answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, and facilities, along with support for its music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
“As somebody once said, ‘America may not lead the world in math and science, but they still lead the world in creativity and innovation,’” said Turner Principal Joe L. Maluchnik, Ed.D. “What better way to promote, foster, and support both than Music Education? Music Education, as in all fine arts, provides an opportunity for students to connect and engage in school differently. It not only provides them an opportunity to create and innovate, but it allows them to imagine and feel a sense of achievement that supports emotional and academic achievement. We want our students to be risk-takers, which promotes resiliency. And our music educators encourage this daily.”
This award recognizes that Turner is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation guides policy implementation in the states and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act. The ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.
Research into music education demonstrates 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 their brains process speech. They also achieved higher reading scores than their less-involved peers. Students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school, but to attend college, as well. Listening skills are stronger in musically-trained children than in those without music training. Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to the ability to perceive speech in a noisy background, pay attention, and keep sounds in memory. Later in life, individuals who took music lessons as children show stronger neural processing of sound, as compared to others. Also, other social benefits include improved conflict resolution, improved teamwork skills and how to give and receive constructive criticism.
A 2015 study supported by The NAMM Foundation, “Striking A Chord,” also outlines the overwhelming desire by teachers and parents for music education opportunities for all children as part of the school curriculum.
Part of the Wilkinsburg School District, Turner Intermediate School teaches students from 2nd grade through 6th grade. Along with Turner, the district operates Kelly Primary School serving pre-kindergarten through second grade
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 www.nammfoundation.org.