a DCPS/Washington Performing Arts collaborative curriculum and teacher development project


DCPS Arts is implementing an ambitious plan to develop students as creative, communicative and innovative individuals through arts education.  We approach arts education as language development.  DCPS Music Education is focused on developing students’ understanding of music as a vehicle of expression and investigation, teaching capacity for composition and improvisation.  

The base of this philosophy is DC Keys, an educational approach that places the keyboard at the center of elementary music instruction.  Unlike traditional piano education, students will experience the keyboard as a musical tool, engaging in a process of experimentation and composition from the earliest grades, while developing more traditional music knowledge.  As students develop, the keyboard becomes a gateway between analog and digital music production.

The program was launched in schools in October 2017 and now, 25,000 students across the city are learning to play the piano keyboard.