Shelby County Schools music education program gains national recognition


Shelby County Schools is honored to have been named as one of the Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation. This distinction touts school systems for their outstanding commitment to music education.

According to the NAMM Foundation, the award recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music part of a well-rounded education. Shelby County Schools demonstrated an exceptionally high commitment to supporting music education through funding, dedicated instructional time, facilities and resources.

Shelby County High School band director Matt Martindale was a part of the NAMM application committee and believes that the Shelby County Schools music programs demonstrate excellence at all levels.

“The music programs are one the many treasures of the Shelby County School System,” said Martindale. “As a band director, I work with an amazing team across the county in which we all strive to make the best programs possible. Many of our students participate at the highest levels in our state and all programs consistently receive the highest ratings in marching and concert band contests. I know our colleagues in choir and general music have the same high standards for their students and programs. Music in Shelby County is strong and will continue to be for many years to come.”

Shelby County’s Fine Arts Supervisor Michelle Hall recognizes that successful music programs require a team approach.

“We have committed, inspiring music educators in all of our schools, who are making a difference each and every day. Our district leaders value the impact that music education has on our students. Research shows us that participation in music programs provides intrinsic benefits that are vital to the development of the whole child and also correlate to higher academic outcomes,” Hall said.

Mt Laurel and Shelby Elementary music teacher Haley Houston, who is also a graduate of Shelby County Schools, has long believed that music programs can play an influential role in student growth and self-confidence.

“Music education has been very influential in my life,” said Houston. “As a graduate of Shelby County Schools, I was involved in both band and choir. The education I received from my fine arts teachers continues to inspire me today. I strive to provide my students with as many opportunities as possible to grow as singers and musicians. I have watched students who were extremely shy learn that they are wonderful performers. It is such a joy to watch them come alive on stage and find their place in music. Music gives all students a place to grow, bloom and shine.”

Hall is proud of the recognition the system has received.

“This award celebrates the commitment and tremendous work of our teachers, the talent of our outstanding students and the community support that arts education receives in Shelby County,” Hall said. “We are honored to have been selected as a Best Community for Music Education.”