Instrumental Music Standards of Learning are organized into four levels—Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, and Artist. These levels are based on the sequential development of skills rather than on grade levels. Since students in Virginia may begin instrumental instruction at varying grades, the use of these four levels allows for needed flexibility. These levels approximate Levels 1-2, 2-4, 4-5, and 5-6 of the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association (VBODA) Selective Music List for Solo Repertoire.
The standards are to be used as guidelines and benchmarks for student achievement. The four strands— Performance and Production, Cultural Context and Music Theory, Judgment and Criticism, and Aesthetics—provide the organization for all of the instructional strategies in the standards. Opportunities are provided for students to explore the relationship between music and the other arts and between music and disciplines outside the arts.
In New Kent County students may elect to begin taking band classes in the 6th grade. Sequential band courses are offered to students from 6th through 12th grades. The NKCPS band program offers multiple opportunities for performances through marching band, concert band, and small ensemble performances.