new orleans music education

Dolores T. Aaron students Ty'ron Martin (left) and Donovan Dubart play trumpet in the school brass band.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

New Orleans’ culture is deeply connected to its music. The city is the birthplace of jazz, and the hometown of many great musicians, from Louis Armstrong to Irma Thomas. Many got their start in public schools. But those training grounds are under threat as schools change and become more focused on test scores in reading and math. Now, a group of veteran New Orleans musicians are trying to do something about it. 

Carver senior and drum major Mytrell Allen leads the band during Muses.
Natalie Yahr

High school marching bands spend months preparing to entertain Carnival revelers along parade routes and compete for prime spots near the front of the parade. One school with a rich marching tradition is George Washington Carver High School in the Ninth Ward. But the school was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, and it took several years for Carver to restart a marching band.