San Gabriel Unified’s efforts to provide high-quality arts and music instruction at all educational levels have been recognized with a Best Communities for Music Education designation, an award given to just 18 school districts in the state and 623 districts nationwide.
The designation, given by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation, celebrates school districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.
“Music education – as well as the greater arts field – is important because it is a vehicle through which students can express themselves,” Jefferson Middle School orchestra director Esther Minwary said. “Music making is a way for the students to simultaneously explore the emotional, physical, and intellectual worlds that they want and need in their growth process.”
San Gabriel Unified provides a TK-12 pipeline of music instruction, beginning with foundational music lessons in elementary school, choral and band electives in middle school and 12 music, vocal and theater electives in high school.
The District has expanded elementary music programs over the last year, hiring a second full-time instructor and ensuring every elementary school provides K-5 lessons.
The District is also home to the TK-5 Music Immersion Experience (MIE) program – a two-time NAMM SupportMusic Merit Award recipient – which enhances student learning and achievement through music education.
Housed at Roosevelt Elementary, MIE offers all students daily fundamental music lessons; second- through fifth-graders can also sign up for three elective courses that meet one to three times a week.
“I am very proud of every single San Gabriel Unified educator who brings music and joy to our students’ lives,” SGUSD Superintendent Dr. John Pappalardo said. “Their dedication to their craft and hard work with all of our students changes lives for the better. Congratulations to our outstanding staff on this well-deserved honor!’”