Schools update their music curriculum not touched in decades

orchestral strings musical instruments

Music curriculum in most Public Schools haven’t been touched in decades, and a lot of these schools are updating their music curriculum to clearly lay out what students should know at the end of each grade.

These schools are looking at everything – best time to introduce certain instruments based on the physical limitations of younger children, how to handle pullouts for individual lessons (pullout lessons involve withdrawing certain students from their regularly scheduled class for the purpose of instrumental study), best way to incorporate historically religious music, etc. in order to develop a comprehensive curriculum.

Several music teachers have defending the continuation of the practice (of pullouts). While several schools have eliminated pullout music lessons — pulling students out of classes in order to provide individual or small group music instruction — certain schools have retained the practice (some have reduced the number of pullouts but not totally eliminated the practice).

While certain kids can own a top quality instrument, and afford to take private one-on-one lesson outside the school day, for other kids that option is not feasible for several reasons (cannot afford, crowded buses, and so on). Most schools are working out lessons structure considering such limitations.

The music curriculum in Norwalk’s Public Schools hasn’t been touched in nearly four decades. In spite of that, Norwalk’s high schools have consistently boasted award-winning bands and choirs, and hosted marquee events like Candlelight for years. The new music curriculum lays out guidelines for PreK-12 education. “Part of our professional development sessions was to talk to the other people in the room, find out from an eighth-grade choral teacher what they’d like the fifth-graders to know when they come into middle school. And you can compare that for band, what the high school band people want the incoming sixth-graders to know when they sign up for band. All these discussions were really valuable in putting this together,” said a chorus teacher. Now, it’s up to the Board of Education to approve the new music curriculum.

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