In Fairfax County Public Schools over 40,000 students are enrolled in the music elective programs of band, chorus, general music, orchestra and guitar. Our vocal and instrumental ensembles are seen and heard worldwide as well as throughout the Unites States. Locally our ensembles perform at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, George Mason Center for the Performing Arts, and the White House. Performing groups have been selected to appear at the American Choral Directors Association Conference, the Mid-west Clinic, the Music Educators National Conference, the National Concert Band Festival, the Virginia Music Educators Association Conference, and numerous other events.



Music, through its inherent ability to develop intellectual and emotional communication skills, encourages cultural awareness and enriches society. The FCPS music curriculum provides opportunities for students to attain the knowledge and skills necessary to be become musically literate, well-rounded individuals.

The FCPS Music Program of Studies is organized into four strands:

  • PERFORM: developing musicianship through singing, playing instruments, and moving to music
  • CREATE: using the notational tools of music to express ideas, thoughts, and feelings; includes individual approaches to improvisation
  • INVESTIGATE: utilizing the study of music theory for music reading; analyzing the manner through which music is organized; making informed judgments about music and arts
  • CONNECT:  awareness of the commonality between music and other disciplines


Music study is essential to the education process because it develops:

  • Intellectual skills required to comprehend the language of music
  • Interpersonal skills through participation in general music, vocal, and instrumental ensembles
  • A broader understanding of history
  • An understanding of the role of music in other cultures
  • Performance skills commensurate with individual ability and interest

 FCPS provides general music education for all students Kindergarten through sixth grade, orchestra instruction beginning in fourth grade, and band and chorus instruction beginning in fifth grade in every elementary school. In grades seven through twelve a wide variety of music course offerings is available to meet students' interests and ability levels.


Video Highlights

playMeet Drew Lisowski, Orchestra Teacher at Falls Church HS

playStrings Electrified, Annandale HS

playGerman Exchange Choral Program, Annandale HS

playSouth Lakes HS Band at Sunrise Valley ES

playMadison HS Marching Band

playStrings at Franconia

playMarshall Pyramid Choral Program

playMadrigals at Langley HS

playDistrict 11 Orchestra Festival at West Springfield High School

playCanterbury Woods Elementary School Musicians Perform at Kennedy Center

Course Offerings


Standard Course Offerings

  • Beginning Band
  • Intermediate Band
  • Advanced Band

Optional Course Offerings

  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Jazz Combo
  • Percussion Ensemble
  • String Ensemble
  • Brass Ensemble
  • Woodwind Ensemble


Standard Course Offerings

  • Mixed Chorus
  • Women’s Chorus
  • Men’s Chorus
  • Advanced Mixed Chorus

Optional Course Offerings

  • Vocal Ensemble
  • Intermediate Women’s Chorus
  • Intermediate Men’s Chorus
  • Intermediate Mixed Chorus 
  • Advanced Women’s Chorus
  • Advanced Men’s Chorus
  • Jazz Choir
  • Show/Swing Choir


Course Offerings*

  • Guitar 1
  • Guitar 2
  • Guitar 3
  • Guitar Ensemble 1
  • Guitar Ensemble 2

* Guitar is not a standard course offering in all Fairfax County Public Schools. Check with the guidance department at your student's individual school to find out about their particular Music course offerings.


Fairfax County Public Schools has one of the most recognized string orchestra programs in the country. Instruction begins in fourth grade and students are taught by certified string specialists. Over 20,000 students participate in orchestra in grades 4-12.

Standard Course Offerings - Middle and High School

  • Beginning Orchestra
  • Intermediate Orchestra
  • Advanced Orchestra

German Exchange Choral Program, Annandale HS:

German Exchange Concert

playPlay Video

Quick Links:

Instructional Services

Fine Arts


Visual Art



Institute for the Arts

Elementary Institute for the Arts

Video Highlights

Donate to Fine Arts in FCPS


Tamra Ferreira
Fine Arts Coordinator

BCME logo

Keith Taylor
Music Instructional Specialist - Band

Margie Woods
Music Resource Teacher - Choral

Deb Myers
Music Resource Teacher - Orchestra

Jeanette Essig
Music Resource Teacher - General Music

Webpage Curator

Rebecca Tenally

Last Updated

January 16, 2014