District Administration October 2017 - 22

CurriculumUpdate

For many youths growing up in the age
of Kendrick Lamar, Justin Bieber and
Ariana Grande, the choice between
taking orchestra, band or choir often
misses the point. Building a school's
music instruction around more recent
artists and hits offers an alternative to a
curriculum that's often based on classical, jazz and marching bands.
"For music education to have the
greatest impact, it needs to be relevant,"
says Lynn M. Tuttle, director of public
policy and professional development
at the National Association for Music
Education (NAfME).
Students who participate in music
programs-compared to those who do
not-have a higher graduation rate, better attendance and higher standardized
test scores, according to research from
the NAMM Foundation, the charitable
arm of the national music merchants'
trade organization. "For many districts,"
Tuttle says, "it comes down to less flute
and more guitar classes."
Little Kids Rock
For Ryan Zellner, national program
director at Little Kids Rock in New Jersey, modern band strikes a more powerful chord with Generation Z youths.

ON THE SAT TEST,
STUDENT MUSICIANS
SCORE ON AVERAGE
31 POINTS HIGHER
ON READING,
23 POINTS HIGHER
ON MATH,
31 POINTS HIGHER
ON WRITING
Source: NAfME

22 October 2017

By Brian Nadel

DONN JONES PHOTOGR APHY

Making music instruction
more relevant to Gen Z

FEELING THE MUSIC- Future rock stars at Glencliff High School in the
Metro Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee trade riffs.

Pop songs have a better chance of catching a child's imagination and inspiring
them to learn more about music.
The nonprofit group focuses on helping K12 educators teach everything
from reggae to hip-hop to Latin to
rhythm and blues. It hosts more than
150 local workshops, where teachers
participate in band activities and learn
the Little Kids Rock way of teaching. The teachers then go back to their
schools and create bands.
Little Kids Rock also gives schools
more than 10,000 instruments per
year-mostly guitars, basses, keyboards,
drums and, increasingly, ukuleles.

HIGH SCHOOL
MUSICIANS ARE
52 PERCENT
MORE LIKELY TO
GO TO COLLEGE
Source: Little Kids Rock

The program coexists alongside
traditional band, orchestra and choir
curriculum at Connecticut's Bridgeport
Public Schools. The students are excited
to play songs such as Ed Sheeran's
"Thinking Out Loud," says Tania Kelley, Bridgeport's director of performing
and visual arts.
Bridgeport also doesn't rely on the
most traditional methods of music
instruction. Instead of using sheet music
with the standard five-line staff, Bridgeport's music instructors give students
"tabs" that show them which fingers to
use to play notes and chords.
The program has brought dramatic
change in just three years: About 600
Bridgeport students play in a rock
band, with about one group in each of
the district's schools.
Children in command
You don't need to change the entire
district's arts curriculum to update
musical instruction, you can just add a
recent hit song. That's exactly what pop
star Pharrell Williams did, developing
District Administration



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration October 2017

District Administration October 2017 - Cover1
District Administration October 2017 - Cover2
District Administration October 2017 - 1
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