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Please provide information on the MCPS instrumental music program as compared to local districts with respect to the following:

Question#: 51

ANSWER:

QUESTION Howard Prince George’s Fairfax Montgomery
Which elementary grades (K-5) receive instrumental music education? How often and for how many minutes? Strings begin in grade 3 in all schools. Band begins in grade 4 in all schools. Twice a week for 30 minutes. 10 schools offer three times a week (two 30 minute sessions and one 60 minute session). Strings and band instruction begins in grade 4 in all schools.

Students receive instrumental music instruction twice a week for 30 minutes per session.
Grades 4 and 5 students may elect to participate in strings. Grades 5 may elect to participate in band.

Once per week for 45 minutes.
Strings and band instruction begins in grade 4 in all schools.

Students receive instrumental music instruction once a week for 30 minutes.
What model is used (large group instruction) or single instrument? Pull out design. Once a week single instrument and once a week large group for a total of two sessions a week. Pull out design. Single instrument session until winter break and then large group through second semester. The model is a mix of pull out and scheduled classes depending on the school. Grouped by ability level and then as best practice by instrument. Some schools are requiring mixed instrument groupings. Pull out design. Single instrument sessions for first year students. Advanced classes for second year students may be combined.
What is the average group/class size? Small group 2 to 15, large group 25 to 65. Small group 5 to 12 per class until winter break. Large group after winter break but still 5 to 12 students per class. Average class size for strings is 15. Average class size for band is 9. From 6 to 20 students per class.
What percent of students in those grade levels participate in instrumental music? 69 percent. 27.5 percent. 75 percent. 56.5 percent.
Do students also receive general music and choral music? If so, how often? Yes for general music, twice a week. Instrumental music students usually do not have chorus, however students in 10 of the 41 schools have access to instrumental, choral, and general music. Yes for general music, once or twice a week depending on the school. Chorus is not consistently offered across all schools. Yes. Students also receive general music from 45 to 60 minutes a week (2 sessions of 30 minutes or one session of 45 minutes). All students have an opportunity to participate in chorus, however, times and frequency vary greatly. Yes for general music, once per week. Chorus is not consistently offered across all schools.
Who purchases students instruments? (Students or school system). How much money does the school system spend on musical instruments per year? Mostly parents rent or buy instruments. There are instruments available to those families who cannot afford to rent or buy. One third of the elementary schools are allocated instruments which total approximately $70,000 per year. Preferred method is for parents to rent or buy their own instrument if at all possible. The district provides some instruments mainly for Free and Reduced-price Meals System (FARMS) students which is approximately $40,000 per year. Most parents rent from private vendors. The district purchases the large instruments for students. Students who are unable to rent or purchase an instrument may receive an instrument from the Instruments for All (IFA) program which is $690,000 per year. The majority of instruments are rented by the students’ parents. The district allocates $39,162 for elementary musical instruments under the "Elementary Disadvantaged Instruments Allocation." These instruments go to 4th and 5th grade students identified as FARMS students.
Who purchases the instrumental music books? Mostly parents buy a book. For those student who use a school instrument, a book is provided by the school. Parents are required to purchase the method book unless they are unable to do so (due to FARMS or Title 1). By Virginia law, workbooks can be purchased by charging students a consumable fee. The district provides every first year instrumental music student with a music workbook to be used for two years.

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