The professional development is delivered in the form of a summer institute, Music: A 1st Thing, held on the campus of the University of Kansas and continuing staff development at participating KCKPS school sites. Participating music educators and K-12 teachers, supported by grant stipends, attend professional development seminars that include the following topics:

1. Strategies for addressing student achievement.
2. Adapting instruction for students with disabilities and those who come from diverse cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds
3. Development of intellectual and leadership potential of participating teachers
4. Rigorous and sustained professional development that results in increased content knowledge and classroom effectiveness of music educators.
5. The use of technology innovations to deliver instruction in music.
6. Opportunities for educators to discuss and demonstrate new and/or effective teaching strategies with their peers.

     The intended outcome for the project is to bring music from the educational periphery to the core of learning, in order to provide new, highly integrated, sensory-enriched learning experiences to students whose learning styles necessitate accommodations and modifications of traditional approaches. While popular music often defines the lifestyles of students, most of our students are virtual “strangers” to the world of music. The majority of our students are one-dimensional in their interest in music. For example, most students “live and breathe” hip-hop and/or rap music, yet are unaware of the “roots” of this music in the rich tradition of Kansas City’s jazz and blues musicians. We want our students to be aware and have access to the rich diversity of musical forms and styles that are available. We also want music educators who can bring excitement into the learning environment by building on the student’s love of music.

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