New music curriculum about bringing 'joy in your daily life
P.E.I.'s Department of Education will start on a process in September that will bring a new approach to music education to the whole school system.
"Music is really about a lifetime of enjoyment and being able to express all sorts of things that they see around them," said Vicki Allen-Cook, the department's arts education specialist.
The curriculum will be launched in kindergarten next year, and will work its way up through the grades all the way through high school in the coming years. Curriculum development staff at the department spent the last two years studying curricula across Canada and around the world, as well as the latest research on music education.
The resulting curriculum is expected to have an impact on a broad range of education goals.
"We're looking at music, using it through speech and language development, and physical coordination, and we're looking at how they relate to each other and working in groups, and we're looking at them being able to self-express," said Allen-Cook.
As part of the new curriculum, the province has invested $300,000 in new instruments.
That will include rhythm instruments for the younger grades, and ukuleles, electric guitars and drum kits for the older elementary students. Allen-Cook said the success of the program will be measured by how the students are behaving in the schools.
"When we go into a school and we see that the children are singing and dancing, and we see that they feel self-confident," she said.
"We're looking at all those social skills. We're looking at being able to express and understand that music brings joy in your daily life for the rest of your life."
Some teacher training for the curriculum has already started, and will begin more intensively in the fall, she said.