April 7, 2021 - The Comal Independent School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the National Association for Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for the second year in a row.
“This designation truly showcases the importance that our teachers, staff, parents and community place on providing quality music education opportunities to our students, even during a year when those opportunities often have had to be reinvented,” says Carla Schumann, director of fine arts for Comal ISD.
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.
Comal ISD begins music education in kindergarten with each of its 18 elementary campuses offering music curriculum through the fifth grade. The district’s middle and high school music programs expand on what students have learned in elementary with opportunities in marching, concert and jazz bands, orchestra, guitar, choir and more. Students of all grade levels have opportunities to perform as well.
“Music performance allows me a creative outlet that I greatly love,” says Kaleigh Kirkpatrick, a senior at Smithson Valley High School and one of this year’s drum majors for the Ranger band. “The band program feels like a family full of people who also enjoy making music. Throughout my years in concert and marching band, I have gained a strong sense of responsibility and discipline, as well as leadership experience. These skills transferred to my schoolwork while performances gave me confidence.”
To qualify for the Best Communities for Music Education designation, Comal ISD answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities support for the music program and community music-making programs.
Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically trained children than in those without music training, and social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills and how to give and receive constructive criticism.
-Smithson Valley High School Ranger Band drum majors are pictured from left including Kaleigh Kirkpatrick, Daniel Lackey, Lindsay Pattison and Maya McBrayer.
-Senior Kaleigh Kirkpatrick has enjoyed the time she spent in Comal ISD’s music programs. She is pictured here directing the Smithson Valley High School Ranger marching band.