KANSAS CITY, Mo. — New priorities in Kansas City Public Schools are getting orchestra music instruction to students much earlier than usual.
The district is spending $2 million to hire more teachers, buy instruments, and get other equipment needed to teach instruments like the cello and violin to students who might not otherwise be exposed to that kind of music for many years.
“I’m going for strings again because you can’t just change if you don’t master…one yet,” said student Santiago Olvera Zavala.
Olvera Zavala is at Trailwoods Elementary School where teacher Avigail Gomez said the program, funded through Blueprint 2030, is unique.
“It’s very unusual,” Gomez said. “I haven’t seen anything like this before, and it’s rare, especially in urban schools to have instrumental music in general.”
The program is available in 12 elementary schools right now but there are plans to roll it out in at least 12 other elementary schools in the district next year.
“Academically, I see these students improve a lot,” Gomez said. “Just because they’re using their whole brain, math, reading, all of these other things that really help them.”