ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rocester City School District was given an award from the National Association of Music Merchants.

It’s an award for the entire district, and this the third year in a row they’ve won the award.

The Rochester City School School earned the 2021 Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation. The award celebrates school districts for outstanding commitment to music education.

It also celebrates collaboration in the community.

“We partner with the Eastman School of Music, Nazareth, Roberts Wesleyan, RIT, RPO, Rochester Education Foundation, ROCMusic, Eastman Community Music School, you can go on and on and on,” said Dominic Pickard, Director of Arts for RCSD.

To take a look at the music programs in RCSD, News 8 went to School No. 4. It’ss a K-6 school, and because of social distancing concerns and cohorting, music is a “special” that rotates with other programs.

There are also naturally individual instrumental lessons over Zoom.

“Making things really fun, and not focusing so much on ‘by this week we have to know these fingerings,’ and this and that,” said Rachel Miller, a teacher for grades, 4-6 as well as band and orchestra.

They even shared their secret to their mid-pandemic success, A method they’ve both turned to to keep kids engaged.

“We’ve had to research different kinds of music,” said Rachel Dobbs, a teacher for the younger group of kids, mostly teaching general music. “To keep us moving along, since we cannot play ukuleles, and we cannot play recorders… Let’s find awesome performances of people who look like our students, or music from all over the world.”

For both Rachels, the award comes as a welcome reprieve.

“Part of me didn’t realize that this would be something that we would get this year, just because it’s been a ‘do your best,’ survival type feeling,” Miller said.