NAMM Foundation awards schools for orchestrating student success through music education

GGUSD Visual and Performing Arts Program
The Garden Grove Unified School District was among eight local districts to receive the NAMM Foundation’s Best in Music Education distinction. (Photo courtesy of Garden Grove Unified)

The NAMM Foundation is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Best Communities for Music Education Awards by honoring more than 1,000 districts and individual school sites that continue to embrace and support music education.

Eight Orange County districts were recognized this year for their dedication to providing exceptional music programs, earning a spot on the 2024 Best Communities for Music Education list. Additionally, a handful of local campuses received the SupportMusic Merit Award.

In all, the national awards program honored 975 school districts and 122 individual schools, encompassing public, private, charter and parochial institutions. Within Orange County, the Capistrano, Garden Grove, Irvine, Laguna Beach and Santa Ana unified school districts all made the Best Communities list, alongside the Anaheim Elementary School District, the La Habra City School District and the Anaheim Union High School District.

2024 NAMM Foundation Best Communities for Music Education

“Our unwavering commitment is steadfast in embracing and rewarding educators, administrators, parents and community leaders who applaud and support comprehensive music instruction as a fundamental part of core learning opportunities,” said John Mlynczak, NAMM president and CEO. “These leaders offer an extraordinary model of teaching that ignites a foundation of success we can all honor and celebrate.”

The hope is that the NAMM Foundation’s recognition will continue to inspire schools to increase their efforts to ensure students have access to music as part of a well-rounded education.

“We are excited to be celebrated once again as a leader in music education on a national scale because it demonstrates the exceptional quality of our Visual and Performing Arts program,” said Garden Grove Unified school board member Bob Harden. “GGUSD has earned this prestigious recognition for an impressive six consecutive years, which speaks to our amazing educators who go above and beyond to provide a high-quality program.”

In addition to the Best Communities list, 122 schools across the country received the SupportMusic Merit Award for their commitment to music education. This list includes Golden Hill School for Creative and Performing Arts in Fullerton, Moonlight Music Academy in Brea, St. Cecilia Catholic School in Tustin and Yamaha Music Academy of Fountain Valley.

Founded in 2006, The NAMM Foundation is a supporting organization of the National Association of Music Merchants, or NAMM, which dates back to 1901. The foundation promotes scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs.

The list of local winners is below. To learn more about the Best Communities for Music Education program or the NAMM Foundation, visit

2024 Best Communities for Music Education

  • Anaheim Elementary School District
  • Anaheim Union High School District
  • Capistrano Unified School District
  • Garden Grove Unified School District
  • Irvine Unified School District
  • La Habra City School District
  • Laguna Beach Unified School District
  • Santa Ana Unified School District                                  

2024 SupportMusic Merit Awards

  • Golden Hill School for Creative and Performing Arts
  • Moonlight Music Academy
  • St. Cecilia Catholic School
  • St. Norbert Catholic School
  • Yamaha Music Academy of Fountain Valley