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Diversity and Rigor of Music Education Showcased in IPS Songfest

Hundreds of IPS students gathered for a celebration of excellence in music education this week at the annual IPS Songfest! About 250 students from 10 elementary schools across the district showcased an entire year's worth of work in the Northwest Community High School gymnasium.

Students participate in annual IPS Songfest. Music instructors from Washington Irving School 14, Brookside School 54, Eliza Blaker School 55, Clarence Farrington School 61, Wendell Phillips School 63, Raymond F. Brandes School 65, Ernie Pyle School 90, George Buck School 94, Meredith Nicholson School 96 and Sidener Academy for High Ability Students brought their classes together for an hourlong concert spotlighting the variety of instructional methods exhibited by our fine arts teachers every day. Students sang in English and Spanish, performed folk dances and played recorders and percussion instruments throughout the evening.


“This program highlights the best practices of our elementary music curriculum in alignment with state and national standards," said Fine Arts Instructional Coach David Newman.


Newman oversees all of our district music educators to ensure students receive high quality instruction that meets the following standards:


  • Singing alone and with others
  • Performing on instruments alone and with others
  • Improvising melodies, variations and accompaniments
  • Composing and arranging music
  • Reading and notating music
  • Listening to, analyzing and describing music
  • Evaluating music and music performances
  • Understanding relationships between music, other arts and disciplines outside the arts
  • Understanding music in relation to history and culture



From Duke Ellington to patriotic standards, Chinese folk songs, Mexican anthems and more, the IPS Songfest showed off the diversity in our musical education offerings. Thanks to our students, teachers and staff for sharing your gifts with us!


Don't forget to follow the latest on the future of the arts in IPS as our Community Arts Team makes progress on Any Given Child, a partnership with the Kennedy Center to increase equity in arts opportunities for our K–8 students.