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DC Keys DC Keys DC Keys DC Keys DC Keys

The DC Keys program—created and produced in partnership with DCPS—introduces piano literacy and composition skills to elementary and middle school students, guided by the imaginative teaching styles of DCPS music teachers and locally-based teaching artists. Cohorts of DCPS music teachers work together to create and revise the curriculum so that it best suits the needs to teachers and students.

DC Keys Quick Facts:

  • Piloted in the 2016/17 school year, received district-wide implementation in 2017/2018, and has continued to grow with the addition of middle school content and curriculum.
  • Impacts more than 27,000 students from every Ward of the city.
  • As a DCPS cornerstone program, the program is part of the core curriculum in all elementary school and middle school music classes.
  • For the 2020/21 school year, the program features online classroom instruction on how to use a keyboard, general musical terms and techniques taught via keyboard music, and basic composition.

WAMU: Music A Key To Early Learning? Piano Program Expanding To All D.C. Elementary Schools

For more information on DC Keys, please email education@washingtonperformingarts.org.

DC Keys activities and programs are funded by Pepco, An Exelon Company, and Verizon.

The DC Keys curriculum developed in 2021 has been made possible through the generous support of Dr. Gary Mather and Ms. Christina Co Mather, in loving memory of Carol Ann Co.

Pepco, An Exelon Company


Education programs at Washington Performing Arts are made possible in part by the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities; U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs Program; Jacqueline Badger Mars and Mars, Incorporated; The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; Park Foundation, Inc.; Mr. Bruce Rosenblum and Ms. Lori Laitman; Mr. Tom Gallagher; Mary Jo Veverka; Events DC; Her Excellency Shaikha Aisha AlKhalifa, Spouse of the Ambassador, Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain; Prince Charitable Trusts; Mr. Peter Buscemi and Ms. Judith Miller; Dr. J. Stephen and Mrs. Kathryn Jones; The Estate of Josephine S. Huang, Ph.D.; The Greene-Milstein Family Foundation; Nancy Peery Marriott Foundation; Mr. James J. Sandman and Ms. Elizabeth D. Mullin; Linda and Isaac Stern Charitable Foundation, in memory of Isaac Stern; Verizon; Québec Government Office in Washington; Mr. and Mrs. Brian Coulter; Dimick Foundation; Frank Islam and Debbie Driesman; Kanter Kallman Foundation; Dr. Robert Misbin; Pepco, An Exelon Company; and George Wasserman Family Foundation, Inc. Includes gifts of $5,000 and above as of April 20, 2021.