Best Communities for Music Education

RRPS Music Programs Earn National Ranking
Posted on 04/05/2019
Best Communities for Music Education logoCleveland High marching bandIf your kids have a love and talent for music, Rio Rancho is a great place to be.

That's the verdict of the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM), which included Rio Rancho Public Schools among school districts with outstanding music programs.  Rio Rancho made the list as one of the nation's Best Communities for Music Education.  

Middle school orchestra students playing violinNow in its 20th year, the program honors schools and school districts for outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students, and community leaders and their support for music education as part of the core curriculum.   Schools and districts are evaluated based on funding, staffing of highly-qualified teachers, commitment to standards, and access to music instruction.

Rio Rancho Public Schools offers music at all grade levels, from pre-kindergarten through high school.  Elementary students receive music instruction at least weekly, and secondary students can choose from among award-winning programs in band, orchestra, chorus, drama, and dance.  It has maintained these programs even in lean budget years.  

Rio Rancho HS choir The evidence that music education reaps benefits for students, schools, and communities grows stronger every year.  One recent study co-sponsored by the Country Music Foundation and the NAMM Foundation found that music students do better in English, math, and science than their peers without music; and more music and art equals fewer dropouts and a reduced number of suspensions.  

The NAMM Foundation included 623 school districts in its list of Best Communities for Music Education.  Besides Rio Rancho, three others are in New Mexico:  Albuquerque, Farmington, and Santa Fe.  There are 89 school districts in New Mexico, and (depending on how you count them) approximately 15,000 nationwide.