SSCSD Among The Best Communities For Music Education

NAMM logoSaratoga Springs City School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. The 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, Saratoga Springs City 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 by school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas. 

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.  

Saratoga Springs City School District Music Department:

  • Derek Bull- Greenfield Elementary School Chorus, General Music + Lessons
  • Jonathan Doyle- Maple Avenue Middle School Band, Lessons + General Music
  • Caitlin Drellos- Maple Avenue Middle School Orchestra + Lessons 
  • Melissa Ferry-Healy- Division Street Elementary School Chorus, General Music, Band + Lessons 
  • Nate Giroux- Lake Avenue and Dorothy Nolan Chorus + General Music 
  • Jeffrey Halstead- High School Music In Our Lives, MIDI Studio, Music Theory 
  • Karen Houlahan- High School Chorus + Lessons 
  • Carrie Jackson- Maple Avenue Middle School Chorus + General Music 
  • Andrew Janack- High School Band + Lessons 
  • Jessica LaBello- High School Orchestra + Lessons 
  • Kendra Lamb- Band + Lessons 
  • Heidi Levin- Maple Avenue Middle School Chorus + General Music 
  • Maura McNamara- Orchestra + Lessons 
  • Jennifer Minehan- Maple Avenue Middle School General Music 
  • Erica Nirsberger- Department Chairperson + Lessons 
  • Albie Pickens- Geyser Road and Dorothy Nolan Chorus + General Music 
  • Leah Seager- Maple Avenue Middle School Band, Lessons + General Music 
  • Ben Quiñones- Caroline Street Chorus, General Music, Band + Lessons 
  • Karey Trimmings- Dorothy Nolan Chorus + General Music  
  • Brooke Vincent- Orchestra + Lessons 

    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