The music departments at Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School have made a high priority of developing a continuous 6-12th grade music pathway. The prominent features of this pathway are:
- articulated course offerings from the middle to the high school level
- an aligned 6th through 12th grade music curriculum
- shared instructors developing long term relationships with students and families
- a unified booster organization supporting both programs
The primary goal of this level of intentionality is to help every student to achieve musical and academic success from middle school to high school, high school to college, and from college to beyond. The two music programs combined serve over 400 students in concert bands, marching bands, choirs, steel drums, piano, and jazz ensembles.
MUSIC PROGRAMS WITH A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
The Denny-Sealth International Music Pathway programs combined serve over 400 students in concert bands, marching bands, choirs, steel drums, piano, mariachi, and jazz ensembles. As International Schools, we put great emphasis on incorporating a global perspective in all content areas. In music, a global perspective is infused by:
- selecting music repertoire and experiences that encourage students to see themselves as musicians who are able to use music to appreciate differences and create connections amongst different groups of people.
- using music literature from various genres throughout the globe to develop music skills in students.
- considering how various cultures learn and make aesthetic choices about music.
- providing students with opportunities to experience and learn music from around the world in a culturally authentic way when possible.
- developing connections with middle and high school music programs in other parts of the world to develop musical exchanges, dialogue, and appreciation.
RECENT SUCCESSES AND CURRENT CHALLENGES
Chief Sealth International High School has had a drama program in the past, but it has not been active in recent years. This will be the first year in a long time that there will be a musical production at Sealth, and CSPA is actively supporting this venture. Our hope is that the drama program will become as rich as the music programs at Denny and Sealth and we envision a similar pathway from the middle school to the high school and CSPA will be instrumental in supporting this.
Despite the fact that over 50% of Sealth students and over 60% of Denny students are on free or reduced lunch, our schools place a high priority on providing our students with the same caliber of experiences as are available to students in our city’s most affluent programs. It is in light of this commitment that Denny and Sealth schools offer some of the most diverse offerings of musical classes in our state with classes in concert band, marching band, orchestra, jazz band, steel drums, mariachi, and choir. Our award winning ensembles perform in school and community events and travel annually to regional and out of state music festivals. Making these opportunities available to all students regardless of ability to pay is an ongoing struggle that can only be achieved with the generous support of our parents, friends, music boosters, and community sponsors.