22 Years! Cobb Once Again Named Among Nation’s Best Communities for Music Education

Cobb Schools is one of the Best Communities for Music Education.

For more than two decades, the Cobb County School District has been designated one of the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education. This is the 22nd year the NAMM Foundation has bestowed the honor on Cobb Schools for its outstanding commitment to music education. Now in its 25th year, 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. 

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, the Cobb County School District answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. Responses were verified by school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“The Cobb County School District has been a consistent and generous supporter of music education for every student in our community for many years,” said Chris Ferrell, Cobb Schools Supervisor of Instrumental Music. “Recognition by the NAMM Foundation is an honor that continues to highlight the exceptional quality and high standards of our music educators, students, parents, and community stakeholders.”


Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music: After two years of music education, researchers found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers and that students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school but also to attend college as well. “We’re thankful to the NAMM Foundation for acknowledging the hard work of our leaders, teachers, students, families, and partners in ensuring that all our students have access to a high-quality music education. Music instruction is an essential part of the CCSD educational experience, which contributes to holistic student development. It fosters creativity, critical thinking, discipline, teamwork, and expression and cultivates well-rounded individuals,” shared Dr. Sara Womack, Cobb Schools Supervisor of General and Choral Music, Dance, and Theatre.

Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically trained children than those without music training. Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to the ability to perceive speech in a noisy background, pay attention, and keep sounds in memory. Later in life, individuals who took music lessons as children show stronger neural processing of sound: young adults and even older adults who have not played an instrument for up to 50 years show enhanced neural processing compared to their peers. Social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism. 

The District’s annual recognition as one of the nation’s best communities for music education is typically the culmination of a school year filled with news about the talented student musicians in Cobb Schools. This past fall, the community celebrated the 50th anniversary of Cobb musicians demonstrating their collective talents during the annual Cobb-Marietta Marching Band Exhibition. Cobb students and staff stood out for their presentations and performances during the most recent Georgia Music Educators Association Conference. Musicians from across Cobb Schools have taken their shows on the road, including the Dickerson Middle School and Walton High School Percussion Ensembles that played at The Midwest Clinic at McCormick Place West in Chicago, Hillgrove High School’s Jazz Orchestra also dazzled in Chicago, Osborne High School’s Red Sea of Sound rocked Orlando during the Universal Holiday Parade, and Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts; (CCCEPA) “Sonic Edge” packed up for New York City to compete in the A Cappella Finals.


Cobb schools also earned their own recognitions during the year. Awtrey Middle School Band earned national accolades for Advocacy in Action, while Kennesaw Mountain Band earned Georgia’s first national blue ribbon award.  Kell High School’s Longhorn Band also competed for new equipment from Metallica. 

Individual students also earned honors, like Harrison High School student violinist Eugenie Lim, who was selected as a national finalist for the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Senior String Division Competition.

Congratulations to all Cobb Schools student musicians and music educators for another successful school year! You are why Cobb continues to be one of the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education!