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Farmingdale School District’s Music Education Program Receives National Recognition for the Eighth Year in a Row

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Farmingdale School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. In its 22nd year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement to provide music access and education to all students.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Farmingdale 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 with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“Receiving this award is a testament to the culture of pride that the Farmingdale music program is within our community,” said Farmingdale’s Director of Fine Arts, Greg Warnokowski. “It is only through the dedication, talent, and commitment of our teachers that keeps our music program strong. Special thanks to our community, parents, and school administration for their commitment to music education and ensuring that it is part of a complete education for the children of the Farmingdale School District.”

Since the passage by Congress in 2015 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have re-committed to music and arts education programs and found that in this time of a national pandemic, provides a valuable way to keep students engaged in school. ESSA provides designated funding for well-rounded educational opportunities through Title IV Part A Student Academic Success and Achievement grants. NAMM Foundation research has revealed that school districts widely use these grants to address instructional gaps in music and arts education access.

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. Students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school but also to attend college as well. Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically trained children than in those without music training. Later in life, individuals who took music lessons as children show more substantial 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. Not to mention, social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.

“Farmingdale's music program has continued to grow every year,” said Superintendent Paul Defendini. “I could not be any prouder of our hard-working students and our tenacious staff of professionals. Amidst the current pandemic, they still managed to keep our students engaged.”

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,400 members 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

Stompin' the Bayou with Symphony Orchestra April 2021


By The Numbers


Students Enrolled


Honor Roll Students


Student Athletes


Student Artists


AP Courses Available


Students in After-School Activities