The city of Seattle, Washington, has announced that K-2 elementary-school students this year will have access—for the first time in nearly 40 years—to music instruction in their classrooms. Spearheading the program is Creative Advantage, a public-private partnership between the city’s Office of Arts & Culture, Seattle Public Schools, and The Seattle Foundation. Creative Advantage’s long-term goal is to restore arts education to all Seattle classrooms by 2020. During the 2013-14 school year six K-2 general music programs will be developed in Central Pathway, which includes schools that flow into and out of Washington Middle School in central Seattle. The program includes the purchase of instruments, textbooks, and resources for the general music programs. Each school will have access to additional arts resources, including funds for artist residencies and integrated-arts professional development. The initiative is the result of a 2012 Seattle Public Schools survey that found students of color, English-language learners, and students receiving free or reduced lunch were far less likely to have music or arts instruction in their school day. Thirty of the school district’s 69 schools reported having no visual arts teacher, and 21 lacked music teachers. More information is available here.

Posted September 11, 2013