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Unionville High School Receives National Recognition

Unionville High School has been honored with the SupportMusic Merit Award from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.  

The SupportMusic Merit Award recognizes individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

To qualify for the SupportMusic Merit Award, Unionville High School answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music-making programs, Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“The Unionville High School community is so honored to be recognized as a SupportMusic Merit Award recipient by the NAMM Foundation,” stated Mr. Jimmy Conley, Unionville High School Principal.  “This award acknowledges Unionville Chadds-Ford School District's commitment to provide all UCFSD students with access to the highest quality music instruction. I would personally like to thank the Unionville High School Music Department members: Mr. Jason Throne, Mr. Eddie Otto, and Mr. Leo Zumpetta, for their tireless commitment and countless hours that they spend with their music education students during the school day, and in our music extracurricular activities.”

This award recognizes that Unionville High School is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.  

“Music is essential to a child's education,” stated Mr. Jason Throne, Unionville High School Music teacher. “It helps them to develop language and reasoning, gives them discipline and is key to their creative thinking.  Music nourishes the human soul and gives students a way to build imagination and intellectual curiosity as well as an outlet for their musical expression. We are thrilled to be able to share that love of music and performance with our students every day, and it is an honor to be recognized by NAMM for these efforts.”

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. After two years of music education, the research 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. Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically-trained children that 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. 

About The NAMM Foundation

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