Phoenix School District Named Best Community for Music for Fifth Consecutive Year

For the fifth consecutive year, the Phoenix Central School District has been recognized by the National Association of Music Merchandizers as one of the country’s Best Communities for Music Education.

The John C Birdlebough wind ensemble performs at its recent spring concert.
The John C Birdlebough wind ensemble performs at its recent spring concert.

Now in its 16th year, BCME affirms school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of schools’ core curriculum.

The BCME survey requires districts to answer 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 Center for Public Partnerships and Research, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

New York State dominated the list, accounting for just under a third of the 388 award-winning districts in 2015.

Phoenix is one of two districts in Oswego County to earn the distinction.

Community music programs have been drawing increased attention this school year because of a landmark study by Northwestern University brain scientists.

These researchers found new links between students in community music programs and academic success in subjects such as reading.

Beyond the Northwestern study, other reports indicate that learning to play music can boost academic and social skills, such as processing math and learning to cooperate in group settings.

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its nearly 9,200 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