Perseus Development Corp. Instrumental in Conducting America's Second Annual Music Education Survey via the Web
New York and Pennsylvania Top Annual Music Education Survey
CARLSBAD, CA (May 15, 2001) - A nationwide web survey of public and private school programs has identified the top 100 places to live in America for quality music education. New York State sent 16 communities to the list this year, followed by Pennsylvania with nine and Connecticut, Illinois and New Jersey states with six apiece. The results can be seen in their entirety at http://www.amc-music.org.
The second annual survey was conducted jointly by the country's top organizations devoted to music and learning. The American Music Conference (AMC) joined the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the National School Boards Association (NSBA), Yamaha Corporation of America and VH1 Save the Music Foundation in creating the survey and interpreting the results.
The sponsoring group worked with Perseus Development Corp. of Braintree, MA to implement the web survey and to analyze the wealth of data the survey generated. Data collection was automated through the Web, with results stored simultaneously on the server that was hosting the survey, as well as being sent via e-mail to the survey administrator, securing against data loss. The data was then imported into a Microsoft® Access database and subjected to correlation and regression analysis using Microsoft® Excel and SurveySolutions for the Web, a proprietary software product of Perseus Development Corporation. "It's encouraging to see so many strong, vibrant music programs out there," says Michael Faulhaber, President of AMC. "The communities that placed highly have a right to be proud, and people everywhere who care about music education can look to them as examples."
"I'm delighted to hear our state was so well represented," says New York State School Music Association president-elect John M. Krestic. "Still, that doesn't mean music education is safe anywhere in the country. We still have to make sure students have sequential music education in every school in every state. It's a running battle."
Faulhaber added that the data collected in the survey will help establish a "snapshot" of music education in America, and may point the way to greater success in every community. "With resources at a premium, and with the mounting scientific evidence that shows how vital music education is, it's important for us to learn who's doing it right and why," he explained.
Thousands of public school and independent teachers, school and district administrators, school board members, parents and community leaders, representing communities in all 50 states, participated in the Web-based survey during March and April. The participants answered detailed questions about funding, enrollment, student-teacher ratios, participation in music classes, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, participation in private music lessons and other factors in their communities' quality of music education. The responses were audited in phone calls to district officials, and the sponsoring organizations reviewed the data.
The survey results show that successful music programs are to be found in communities that balance measurable resources, such as budgets and buildings, with less tangible assets-such as the will to make quality music education a reality. The top schools for music education are to be found in urban communities and rural ones, in wealthy areas and not-so-wealthy ones, but the common thread is that they benefit from the support of parents, teachers, school decision-makers and community leaders who value music education highly.
Those results correspond well to the findings of a recent nationwide survey conducted by the Gallup Organization on behalf of AMC, which found increasing participation in and support for active music making across the country. In that poll, more than nine in ten Americans said they believe music education should be a part of every student's day.
AMC, MTNA, and NSBA co-sponsored the survey. Perseus Development Corporation conducted the survey on the World Wide Web, and Yamaha Corporation of America and VH1 Save the Music assisted the participating organizations in the data analysis effort.
"The survey demonstrates that excellent music instruction is more than a process-it's a partnership," states Dr. Gary L. Ingle, Executive Director of MTNA. "Successful music programs result from the cooperative efforts of public school teachers, independent music teachers in the communities, parents, administrators-everyone who's in a position to influence students. Having physical resources isn't a cure-all. A quality musical environment is something a community must want for its young people and work together to achieve."
James R. Ruhland, president of NSBA, says, "Raising student achievement is key to producing the leaders of tomorrow. We know that music education, especially in the formative years, helps in brain development and in producing higher achievement levels. We are glad to be a part of this venture and know that this 'Best 100' list will serve as a model for other schools in the country."
For more information about the nationwide music education survey and the organizations that sponsored it, call the American Music Conference at (800) 767-6266 or visit http://www.amc-music.org on the Web.
Review copies are available to members of the press by contacting Martha Popoloski, Public Relations Manager, at email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Telephone: 781-848-8100 x223.
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