Four Pillars Guide Music Education

Four Pillars Guide Music Education
Posted on 12/04/2019
First-Graders at Westmoor School rehearse for the Winter Sing.

Music education is based on the four pillars of creating, performing, responding and connecting. Music teachers Abby Blair (Westmoor), Kathryn Finch (Meadowbrook), Jeremy Bartunek (Greenbriar) and Anca Apetean (Northbrook Junior High) provided an overview to the Board of Education of the changes they have made to the music curriculum over the last two years to align with these four pillars and the Illinois Learning Standards for music education.

Elementary students in kindergarten through fifth grade have music for one hour twice a week. Students in sixth and seventh grade have music as part of a rotation of classes for six-week periods. Eighth-grade students have music as an elective.

Work under each pillar includes:


·   Seesaw is used by students share their creative works with others, including their buddy classes.

·   Students identify/create simple to complex rhythm patterns.

·   Students create their own songs using GarageBand software.


·   Ukuleles are used to explore harmony and chord progressions.

·   Kindergarten Spring Share focuses on the curriculum (expressive qualities). Students will analyze and choose their own repertoire.

·   Ukuleles, guitars and keyboards are used to teach chords and melodies.


·   Students engage in listening activities from a variety of composers and world music.

·   Students create their own meaningful rubrics to talk about music.

·   Students choose their own music to perform on ukulele, guitar and keyboard.


·   Mystery Musicians from the community share their craft.

·   Classrooms connect via technology to share learning.

·   Students work and perform in groups receiving feedback from their peers.


“We are so proud of the opportunity our children get in the fine arts and what is provided by our outstanding teachers,” said Dr. Kris Raitzer, assistant superintendent.

To learn more, watch the video below to see music classrooms in action.