As I previously reported, all MPS fifth graders play an instrument but many can’t continue when they move on to middle school because not every middle school has the ensemble appropriate to the instrument they started in fifth grade. A higher percentage of MPS high schools have band and orchestra than middle schools, meaning there’s a gap between elementary school and high school when many students stop playing their instruments. Oftentimes the only students to continue playing when their middle school doesn’t offer their desired ensemble is to take private lessons, which can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars per year.

Well here’s an interesting tidbit regarding instrumental music at the middle school level: a district document on equitable budgeting says that music at the sixth to eighth grade level will receive additional programming impacting all MPS students in this grade range. The note in the budget says that the goal is a “more diverse and accessible music curriculum for 9-12 students.”