PCSD music program honored again

PCSD music program honored again


The Pulaski Community School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for the ninth time 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 for providing music access and education to all students. 

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, the PCSD 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 district previously received the designation in 2023, 2022, 2020, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2008.

“This is a testament to the teachers, administrators and community and their continued support for Music Education,” said Michael Guerrero, PHS associate band director. “On behalf of all PCSD music teachers, thank you for all you do to support us!”

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. 

In addition, everyday listening skills are stronger in musically trained children than in 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. Not to mention, social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism. 

The PCMS music program, with help from the Pulaski Music Boosters,  has provided opportunities for students to perform around the country. Most recently, the band and choir performed at the 2024 Tournament of Roses Parade and associated activities, in Pasadena, California. This was the fourth time the PHS was selected for the parade. The band and choir performed at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, in 2022, 2015, 2005 and 2001. In 2019, the choir and band performed in New York city in the St. Patrick’s Day parade and in a Carnegie Hall performance. In 2003, the band performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. The marching band performs in multiple Wisconsin community parades throughout the summer and at halftime of PHS football games. 

Students also have the chance to perform in annual concerts, the annual Red Raider Showcase and PHS and PCMS musicals, among other opportunities.