Riverhead Central School District Receives National Recognition for Music Education for Second Year in a Row

May 15, 2024
Riverhead NAMM

Riverhead Central School District Receives National Recognition for Music Education for Second Year in a Row

District Named to Best Communities for Music Education Cohort

RIVERHEAD, NEW YORK (MAY 2024)—The Riverhead Central School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for the second year in a row. This distinction has been awarded nationwide for 25 years and recognizes districts that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to providing music access and education to all students.

“This designation is a testament to the phenomenal courses and programs we offer at Riverhead Central School District,” said Riverhead Central School District Interim Superintendent Cheryl Pedisich. “Our district is incredibly proud of our students’ musical growth and success, and we look forward to continuing to enhance the music experiences we provide through our participation in the New York State Department of Education’s Individual Arts Assessment Pathway program.”

To qualify for The NAMM Foundation designation, Riverhead Central School District answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music programs. The responses were then verified by school officials and reviewed by the Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“Music education is not just about hitting the right notes; it is about fostering our students’ creativity, discipline, and resilience,” said Riverhead Central School District Director of Fine Arts Jason Rottkamp. “By investing in music programs, our district enriches the cultural fabric of our community and cultivates confident, well-rounded individuals prepared to excel in all aspects of life.”

The Riverhead Central School District offers a wide range of music programming, including challenging courses that develop students’ skills and knowledge to clubs that help students engage with their passions and talents. Students in the district’s music programs have been recognized by the New York State School Music Association, the New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education, the Suffolk County Music Educators Association, the Hampton Music Educators Association, the Music in The Parks festival, and other notable institutions and competitions. The Riverhead High School honors music ensembles recently performed in the 2024 Festivals of Music in Virginia Beach, Virginia in March and were awarded the festival’s prestigious Esprit de Corps Award.

“Research into music education continues to demonstrate children who make music receive cognitive and social skill benefits,” said Mr. Rottkamp. “These students show substantial improvements in reading scores and how their brains process speech, as well as stronger listening skills. Researchers have also found that these students are more likely to graduate high school and college, and later in life, individuals who took music lessons continue to show enhanced neural processing of sound.”

For more information about the Riverhead Central School District, please visit the district’s website at www.riverhead.net. Happenings in the district can also be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/riverheadCSD. #BlueWavesPride.

About The NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 15,000 global member companies and individual professionals worldwide. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit https://www.nammfoundation.org/.


Riverhead NAMM

Riverhead Central School District is named one of The NAMM Foundation’s Best Communities for Music Education