For the sixth year, Winton Woods City Schools was selected as a 2021 Best Communities for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation. Every year, districts around the nation are selected based on their top quality programs in the fine arts and like previous years, Winton Woods exceeded expectations. “We have a dedicated group of hard-working passionate teachers who love the students and the community. It makes a difference,” said Winton Woods High School (WWHS) Band Director Danelle Ashbrook.
At Winton Woods, students are offered music courses as early as kindergarten and can continue through high school. “We have a band, choir, and orchestra. Not all districts offer these opportunities,” said Ashbrook. “In addition to that, we have a ukulele club at the elementary school. We focus not only on the national standards but also on enrichment for our students. We offer jazz band, a capella, fiddlers, chamber music, honors classes, and musical theater.”
In a year unlike any other and with the majority of it spent online, teachers adapted quickly and learned creative ways to engage students while virtual and hybrid. In the application process, NAMM Foundation inquired how they did that. Ms. Ashbrook said she was blown away by the resources that were provided to students to keep them excited about learning music. “From note reading to kahoot games, and creating songs in a music creation software, our music staff worked very hard to keep students learning and loving music. It made me very proud.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Winton Woods High School band and orchestra musicians performing in the orchestra pit during a high school show in the David Bell Performing Arts Center. Photo Caption by Drew Jackson.