The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra & Conservatory of Music (ASO) is committed to the arts education experience of the children in Acadiana, by creating new and innovative educational programs that assist in school readiness and promote successful skills for reading at grade level.
That is why in the fall of 2012, the ASO launched the piloting of Do-Re-ME! (DRM). DRM is a comprehensive music education course for children in Pre-K and Kindergarten. The course deploys a proven approach called arts integration that teaches not only music but boosts the instruction of academic subjects. The John F. Kennedy Center defines arts integration as "an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject and meets evolving objectives in both."
The DRM curriculum focuses on the impact music and musical instruction can have on early academic development for young children.
The DRM music curriculum developed by faculty members at the ASO Conservatory of Music is an arts-integrated 30-minute class/week that is structured around the existing LA Comprehensive Curriculum (academic), and the new requirements of Common Core. Supplements to the curriculum include age-appropriate, hands-on and media-rich materials, including live musical performances, creative listening activities, games, and instruction through movement.
The objective of DRM is that all students will meet or exceed requirements of Louisiana state readiness testing within the following areas:
• Reading Comprehension and Verbal Memory
• Listening Skills
• Vocabulary, including for English Language Learners
• Phonological and Phonemic Awareness
• Writing and Print Awareness
• Impact on Children with Disabilities
The program goal is to see a 20-40% increase in preparedness test scores. Initial results show a 60% improvement in the academic achievement, a 50% improvement in social behavior, and a 40% improvement in parental involvement with students in the pilot project. With such impressive results, the ASO was encouraged to broaden the scope of the project; hence, Do-Re-ME! was born and expanded into Acadia Parish. To date, this local effort has garnered public-private partnerships and serves 1,000-1,500 students in Lafayette and Acadia Parish school districts.