Impact Stories

  • LPIE

A Spotlight on 5th-Grade Music: An Inflection Point in Our Students’ Musical Journeys

When LPIE was founded, a key component of our mission was supporting Music Education. In 1980, California schools saw many music classes cut following the passage of Prop 13. LPIE’s founders felt very strongly that Music Education, at every grade level, was essential, and it has continued to be an important focus area for the foundation. LPIE is proud to fund music classes from TK through 12th grade, with 5th grade being a pivotal moment as students transition from General Music to Music Core — Band, Chorus, or Strings.

Students build a solid foundation in TK through 4th grade with weekly Music Classes that focus on movement, music listening, developing music literacy skills, and evaluating and analyzing music. Students also learn to play a wide variety of pitched and non-pitched instruments, including Orff Instruments and World Drums.

In 5th grade, students transition to Music Core Classes where they select an area of focus — Band, Chorus, or Strings. This year, with the return to in-person schooling, 5th graders started off in a Music Rotation, moving through Band, Chorus, and Strings classes to gain hands-on, in-depth experiences. This will enable them to make an informed decision when selecting a Music Core Class. These classes meet twice a week. Mr. John Speers teaches Band, Miss Angela Borba teaches the Chorus classes, and Mrs. Liz Brummel teaches Strings. LPIE Music Instructors support learning through small group instruction within the Music Core Classes.

5th-grader Tess at Burton Valley Elementary is currently deciding between Strings and Chorus. She says that she enjoys the hands-on exploration in the Music Rotation classes: “This experience has allowed me to focus on making a choice. I am excited to learn more about the instruments.”

Burton Valley Principal Meredith Dolley explains that Music Classes provide children the opportunity to bravely express themselves as individuals, while utilizing their skills in different ways, and being part of a collective experience. She adds, “Students build confidence and self-worth through Music Classes, which is invaluable.”

Because the foundations of music literacy start in early childhood, students are granted great opportunities and experiences by the time they get to middle and high school. At Stanley, LPIE funds Band, Chorus, and Orchestra classes, as well as LPIE Instructors, a Choral Accompanist, a Music Assistant, and Guest Artists to offer increased differentiated instruction. At Acalanes High School, LPIE is proud to support both Choral Music and Instrument Music — be sure to read the Acalanes Music article in this issue of the LOOP to learn more.