Bay Village named a 2021 'Best Community for Music Education'

Bay Village Schools was honored with its 19th consecutive Best Communities for Music Education Award. This photo shows the program in full swing before the pandemic. Photo courtesy Bay Village Schools

Standards for inclusion on the prestigious Best Communities for Music Education list have increased consistently over the last 19 years, but the Bay Village City School District has once again been honored for its exemplary music program. First recognized with the distinction in 2003 – and each year since – Bay Village Schools is among just 686 districts nationwide, and 48 Ohio school districts, identified for this honor by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for 2021.

The distinction takes on added significance this year as music education during the pandemic changed perhaps more than any other school subject, with masking, social distancing, eLearners and other safety protocols.

“In past years, schools and districts had to work hard to create successful music and arts communities,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of The NAMM Foundation. “But, never before has the battle been so hard-fought against silence and a feeling of isolation. We applaud with all our hearts the commitment of so many to assure students continue with deep and rich music learning.”

Districts who wish to be evaluated and considered for the Best Communities for Music Education distinction must complete a detailed survey about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, certification of instructors and other relevant factors about their music education programs. Examples of how music teachers collaborate on lessons and activities with regular classroom teachers must also be provided. Responses are verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“During the pandemic, maintaining a sense of community in music programs has been challenging, but our dedicated and creative music teachers found ways to reinvent music instruction, “ said Jodie Hausmann, superintendent for Bay Village Schools. “We are so proud of our faculty, staff, students and families for their continual dedication and support.”

Music instructors at the Bay Village City School District are: Darren Allen (Bay High School instrumental music); Mark Awad (Bay Middle School instrumental music); Dr. E. James Kotora, Jr. (Normandy Elementary School music); Elaine Dwyer (Westerly Elementary School music); Devon Gess (Bay High School vocal music); Dr. Ann Gilbert (Normandy Elementary School and Bay Middle School music); Andrew Novak (Bay Middle School vocal music); and Carrie Singler (Bay Middle School and Bay High School instrumental music).

Karen Uthe Semancik

Karen Uthe Semancik is the communications director for Bay Village Schools.

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Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 10:41 AM, 04.20.2021