A Music-Infused Curriculum

WHIN provides a music-infused curriculum that encourages creativity, collaboration, and opportunities for authentic music-making across all areas of instruction. To achieve this goal, we offer:

Professional development regarding topics in musicianship and interdisciplinary connections

Ongoing meetings and discussions between Director of Music, music teachers, classroom teachers, and Instructional Leadership Team

Music-making connections included in classroom teacher lesson planning template

Faculty discussion groups and readings on El Sistema values and culture

WHIN student performing on guitar
WHIN music student composing music

Intensive Daily Music Instruction

With a uniquely challenging educational program that incorporates intensive daily music instruction, WHIN fosters innovative teaching methods, imbues students with a love of learning, and facilitates the development of our community through music, academic, and social inclusion.

WHIN offers two periods of ensemble music a day, five days a week, for all students, based in El Sistema’s principles of music as a vehicle for inclusion and social change. Our ensembles focus on vocal and instrumental music, with both strands building strong foundations of music literacy across all stages of musical development so students become authentic life-long and life-wide music makers. Alongside our ensembles, WHIN’s music-infused curriculum allows for authentic musical connections across all subject areas and disciplines.

Key Elements of Ensemble at WHIN

Music, Movement, and Expressiveness

Students use their voices, bodies, and instruments as expressive tools. We draw upon elements of Orff and Dalcroze methodology that help students see the connection between music, rhythm, and language.

Developing Music Literacy through Repertoire

Students deepen their musical skills through music literacy instruction based in the Kodály philosophy and Music Learning Theory which both follow the natural progression of learning a language. Students develop skills in reading, writing, audiation (“inner hearing”), composition, and improvisation through a carefully-sequenced curriculum that puts music children love at the center of instruction.

Paper Orchestra

Before joining the orchestra students, create a “paper orchestra,” a cross-curricular arts project in which they make their own paper-mache violins, violas and cellos. Through this process student practice holding and caring for an instrument, sitting in an ensemble and making music with a conductor.


We envision an inclusive orchestra of young musicians at mixed levels. At capacity, the WHIN orchestra will include strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Students will take on leadership roles as conductors, section leaders, and peer mentors. The orchestra will perform diverse repertoire representing a variety of cultures, styles, genres, and time periods.


We envision an inclusive choir of young musicians at mixed levels. At capacity, the WHIN choir will include repertoire in a variety of genres and languages. The choir will perform diverse repertoire representing a variety of cultures, styles, genres, and time periods.

Executive Function and Non-Cognitive Skills

WHIN students participate in musical ensembles that nurture their natural love of music while developing critical musicianship skills alongside executive functioning and non-cognitive skills.

Community Involvement

WHIN welcomes parents, community members, and anyone who has a love of music to contribute to the ensemble experience. Visiting musicians introduce students to the sights and sounds of the orchestra and to excellence and passion in performance.


WHIN gives students ample performance and “informance” opportunities across all levels of musical development, celebrating musical growth.

WHIN Ensembles by Grade Level


Percussion, paper orchestra, voice

1st Grade

Strings, percussion, voice

2nd Grade

Strings, recorder, percussion, voice

3rd Grade

Strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, voice

4th Grade

Strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, voice

5th Grade

Strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, voice

© 2021 WHIN Music Community Charter School

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