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Oshkosh Schools recognized for music education

Oshkosh Schools recognized for music education

Source: Photo Courtesy of Oshkosh Area School District

April 11, 2024 8:11 AM CDT
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OSHKOSH, WI – (WISS) – The Oshkosh Area School District is honored as one of the nation’s “Best Communities for Music Education.” The recognition from the NAMM Foundation calls out the district’s commitment to music education. 

Oshkosh Schools Superintendent, Dr. Bryan Davis, says the honor is evidence of the dedication of the educators and the hard work of the students. He said he is very proud of the students and staff.

“Our kids have done a phenomenal job,” said Davis. “Ultimately it’s them performing and working at their craft. And they have a lot of opportunities, but ultimately, they are the ones who have to put in the work.”

Carl Traeger Middle School Polka Dots – a middle school polka ensemble comprised of 7th and 8th-grade band students – performing at to Evergreen Retirement Community. (photo courtesy of Oshkosh Area School District)

Oshkosh is one of only 37 communities in Wisconsin to be recognized for the music education programs. In our area, eight other districts were recognized. They are as follows:

  • Chilton Public Schools
  • Fond du Lac School District
  • Hortonville Area Schools
  • Howard-Suamico School District
  • Kaukauna Area School District
  • Kimberly Area School District
  • Neena Joint School District
  • Pulaski Community School District

The press release from the Oshkosh Area School District is attached below.

Press Release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 9, 2024

OASD Media Contact: Katie Nieman, Communication Director

920.966.0080, katie.nieman@oshkosh.k12.wi.us

Oshkosh Area School District Receives National Recognition for Music Education Support

Oshkosh, WI – The Oshkosh Area School District has been honored as one of the nation’s “Best Communities for Music Education.” This is the first year that the school district has received this prestigious recognition for its outstanding commitment to music education by the NAMM Foundation. Oshkosh is one of only 37 communities in the state to be recognized.

“This is an incredible honor,” said Dr. Bryan Davis, OASD superintendent. “This designation is a testament to the dedication of our talented music educators, the hard work of our students and the support of their families, and our collective commitment to the transformative power of music education.”

The OASD understands the tremendous benefits of incorporating music education as part of a well-rounded curriculum. Numerous studies have demonstrated that music education promotes student success in areas like language development, pattern recognition, emotional intelligence, and overall academic achievement.

The OASD encourages students to get involved in music at an early age. Formal music instruction begins in kindergarten. Students in grade K-5 enjoy weekly music classes and each elementary school presents at least one music concert each year for the community. Students in sixth grade can begin band, choir, or orchestra as part of their core course load. Elementary students in grades 3-5 can also start orchestra through the district’s Elementary Strings program – a weekly evening class that is run through the Oshkosh Recreation Department.

Students at Vel Phillips Middle School participated in an authentic mariachi workshop featuring Mariachi Paredes de Tejastitlán from the University of Texas in Austin, TX in March 2024. (photo courtesy of Oshkosh Area School District)

At the high school level, students can take part in band, choir, and orchestra, and specifically designed music courses are available for students with special needs. High school students can also perform in the madrigals at Oshkosh North and Oshkosh West and the drumline and jazz ensemble at Oshkosh West.  Both high schools present musical productions in the winter and offer diverse semester or year-long music courses including jazz, music technology, musical theater. The district is also pleased to offer college-level dual credit courses in music theory and American Popular Music and Culture through its partnership with the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Lastly, the OASD’s music department is committed to providing enriching music education all year long. Summertime learning includes high school summer marching band, high school summer jazz ensemble, beginning band and orchestra, choir camp, and summer orchestra lessons.

Oshkosh North High School Pit Orchestra for Matilda Musical 2023-2024. (photo courtesy Oshkosh Area School District)

The district is also committed to helping all students explore their musical interests. This school year, the district implemented a multi-year instrument replacement plan to ensure all schools can provide quality instruments for their music programs in an equitable manner. This investment allows more students to have access to musical instruments regardless of their financial situation. Additionally, the district waived instructional material fees for students – including music-related fees – in the 2021-2022 school year. By removing financial barriers, Oshkosh has made music education accessible to all students who wish to learn and perform.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, the OASD answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, and support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified by school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

About The NAMM Foundation: The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) and its 15,000 global member companies and individual professionals worldwide. Our mission is to advance 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 nammfoundation.org.

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About the OASD: Building community through education. The Oshkosh Area School District is located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, serving over 9,000 students and operating 13 elementary schools, four middle schools, two high schools, one charter school, and an eAcademy. For more information, visit www.oshkosh.k12.wi.us.

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