From the Chenango Forks Central School District:
BINGHAMTON, NY – The Chenango Forks Central School District has been honored with the Best
Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding
commitment to music education. Now in its 22nd 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, Chenango Forks staff 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.
“We as a District are very honored to receive this award and are very proud of not only our very
talented students but our dedicated staff as well,” said district Superintendent Dr. Lloyd Peck. “This is an achievement that we can all share.”
The 2021 award celebrates and recognizes schools and districts for their music education contributions and innovations during these extraordinary times. Districts were asked to share their stories and experiences of teaching through COVID-19.
At Chenango Forks general music classes continued as usual this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, although students were not allowed to use singing for class instruction due to social distancing requirements. Rehearsals of all band and chorus performing groups took place with 12 feet of distance between students, per NYS guidelines.
While this severely limited the size of our performing groups, the district’s staff adapted by using
auditorium spaces to include as many students as possible at all levels. Middle and High School groups also incorporated remote students through synchronous Zoom sessions. Even beginner students who are following a full remote schedule have been provided with lessons via Zoom, despite the additional challenges this poses for scheduling and performance concepts.
“During my tenure at Chenango Forks, we have consistently boasted a very high participation rate in our beginning band and chorus programs,” said district’s Music Department Chair Andrew Allport. “Thanks to this strong fundamental foundation our Middle and High School programs have also had remarkable success, and we have sent many students to our all county, area all state, and all state festivals through the years. Although our overall district population has decreased in recent years, our student participation in these groups has remained steady due to the increase in depth of our programs.”
Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. Not to mention, social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.
“We strive to educate the whole student through our performing ensembles, emphasizing concepts of character, cooperation, and each student’s individual responsibility to contribute to group
achievement,” Allport said. “Our students consistently score higher on standardized tests, enjoy their
entire school experience more, and successfully graduate at a high rate.”
The Chenango Forks Central School District is located at 1 Gordon Drive, Binghamton, NY, 13901. It has a total population of 1,357 students.