Greenville County was one of two school districts in South Carolina recognized the best communities in the United States for music education.

The National Association of Music Merchants has recognized efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who work together to ensure access to music learning for all students as part of the school curriculum.

The designation has added significance this year due to December’s passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act that designates music as a recommended subject that is part of a well-rounded education.

The new law shifts more control to the states and encourages policy makers to allow non-tested subjects to play a more important role in the curriculum.

“We’re moving away from a time when curricula were narrowed due to pressure from testing and test-prep remediation to a broader view of what is important for all children,” Mary Luehrsen of the NAMM Foundation said in a release. “That includes access to a well-rounded education – and an opportunity to learn and grow with music.”

Research has shown access to music and the arts in the curriculum contributes to lower dropout rates, higher graduation rates and higher ACT scores.

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