The Integrated Arts Academy (IAA) at the H.O. Wheeler School is an arts magnet school, one of six public elementary schools in Burlington.
The school has up to 285 students from 23 countries, speaking 30 languages, and it houses the district STEP program for newcomers. They are a Title 1 school where more than 50% of our students qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch. ONE (Old North End) Strings provides in-schools strings instruction and related activities for students at the school, seeking to eliminate traditional barriers to instrument instruction. The program is inspired by El Sistema, a worldwide educational movement that has been called “the future of music.”
In a typical year, all 4th and 5th graders at IAA have group violin lessons twice a week for 20 weeks with violin teachers Kathleen Kono and Rachel Keyser. All 3rd graders have a 6-week introduction to strings in the spring. Soovin Kim, LCCMF Co-Artistic Director, often visits the school, and our Resident Ensemble and participants in our Young Composer Seminar also make frequent classroom visits. This program has been made possible thanks to a series of grants from the Vermont Community Foundation and the Amy B. Tarrant Foundation, as well as the support of private donors and of the school’s PTO.