Music in Our Schools Month Spotlight: A Look Inside KIPP Scholar’s Musical Community

Music in Our Schools Month Spotlight: A Look Inside KIPP Scholar’s Musical Community

For over 30 years, the National Association for Music Education has designated March as Music In Our Schools Month to raise awareness of the importance of access to music education for all students. 

Research shows that music education significantly benefits students academically and social-emotionally, and California voters recently made it clear they wanted to increase access to music and arts education programs with the passage of Proposition 28. Yet, many programs, especially in low-income communities, continue to be impacted by ongoing budget cuts.

KIPP Scholar Academy, one of only a handful of Performing Arts-focused middle schools in Los Angeles, has promoted creativity, self-expression, and self-confidence through its robust music program since 2012. From drumline and cheer to step teams and choir, KSA has always been deeply connected to the transformative power of the arts.

At KSA, all fifth-grade scholars learn to master basic piano skills, such as proper fingering, scales, and reading notes on the treble and bass clef. They also participate in a fifth-grade choir, where they learn to sing various songs from multiple genres. 

From there, students select an instrument to master from sixth to eighth grade and train in a specialized way. KSA offers a wide range of quality instructional options to serve students’ musical interests and learning preferences while they master their instruments.

Similar to how communities have relied on the arts to tell their personal and collective stories and to explore their cultural identities, KSA relies on its music program to build strong connections and create meaningful experiences for our KIPPsters. This year, KSA’s cheer and marching band performed in the 2023 Kindom Day Parade, which aired on ABC 7. They will also be performing at this year’s tenth annual KIPPstar Awards at Universal Studios. 

KSA Founding School Leader Tiffany Moore has been pivotal in creating a joyful, collaborative, and music-centered school community. As a school leader, Moore always recognized the importance of exposing our students to the arts. 

"In many cases, Black and brown children don’t have access to high-quality education and performing arts programs,” said Moore. “I became a school leader because I couldn't sit back and let my community suffer any longer. Our children deserve excellence, and there's no reason why they can't have it.”

Moore and the KSA team go as far as putting together a music video every year to encourage, empower and motivate students before taking their annual Smarter Balanced Assessment System (SBAC) tests. Last year, they produced their tenth music video, “Big Test Energy,” which has garnered over 2,000 views on KSA’s Instagram. 

Because of enrichment programs, like KSA’s performing arts program, our scholars are prepared with the necessary knowledge, creativity, determination, and skills to equip them for success in high school, college, and beyond.

Learn More About KIPP Scholar Academy