EDINBURG – The Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District’s Fine Arts Department recently earned the 2019 Best Communities for Music Education award for the fourth consecutive year. The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation honored Edinburg CISD with the designation for its outstanding music education programs.

“I am so excited that we received this award again for the fourth time. It just validates the commitment that the community and the district have regarding the fine arts and the performing arts, especially the music program,” ECISD Fine Arts Director Nelinda Villarreal said.

According to the NAMM Foundation, 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, Edinburg CISD answered detailed questions about 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.

“Education research indicates that children that are involved in music for at least three years have so much more academic success in their academic areas,” Villarreal said. “This just validates and confirms how important music education is for our children in the district.”

This award recognizes that Edinburg CISD is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation guides implementation in the states and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which was often criticized for an overemphasis on testing-while leaving behind subjects such as music. ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.