In 2016, the Cypress School District built new state-of-the-art classroom facilities on all of our school campuses to support STEM and music instruction for students in transitional kindergarten through sixth grade. The STEM facilities are furnished to support hands-on, project-based learning experiences, while the music classrooms are acoustically designed for vocal and instrumental music instruction.
These facilities support the district’s ongoing efforts to…
STEM is an acronym that represents the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. When it comes to being prepared for the jobs of the future, we know our students will have a competitive advantage if they possess a strong background in STEM-related areas of study. While there is no single, universally accepted definition of what constitutes a STEM-specific job, we know more and more professions encompass elements of STEM, including law enforcement, education, marketing, and even the creative arts. Studying STEM also promotes the development of important 21st-century skills, including critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication. Our students’ ability to use these essential skills to solve the problems of tomorrow will not only support their own future success in the workplace, but will benefit our society as a whole.
Research shows a strong relationship between music instruction and academic achievement. Studying music is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill, as well as improvements in motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. Credentialed music teachers provide weekly music instruction for all students in transitional kindergarten through sixth grade. At the primary level, students study the basic elements of music and explore and create music through voice and a variety of rhythm instruments. As students work their way through the program, they learn to read and play music, using the recorder in fourth grade. Eventually, students self-select a musical pathway to pursue, choosing to study either vocal or instrumental music during fifth and sixth grade. The excitement students display during music instruction is inspiring, and the talent they exhibit is inspirational.