Musical Explorers

Musical Explorers is a semester-long, curriculum-based program for grades K-2 that focuses on three local ensembles, each representing a musical style and cultural community. Developed in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, the program builds basic music skills as students learn songs from different cultures and reflect on their own communities. 

Musical Explorers is a free program open to K-2 classroom teachers and elementary music teachers.


  • Irish Music with Jill
  • African American Gospel Music and Spirituals with Danielle and Ananias
  • Early Rock ‘n’ Roll Music with Billy


  • Register your classroom to participate. Registration will open on Friday, September 18, 2020.

  • Attend a professional development workshop to learn about incorporating the Musical Explorers curriculum in your classroom. This year's Professional Development webinar will be available Monday, February 1, 2021. Teachers receive printed curriculum guides with lesson plans, a CD and other resources to connect with select state standards from grades K-2.

  • Integrate Musical Explorers lessons in your classroom.

  • Participate in a year-end concert that can be enjoyed on demand as a digital experience at your school.  Although the students will not physically be at the Holland Performing Arts Center, you should empower them as audience members to fully participate with the concert by singing along, dancing and interacting with the artists and host. To get ready for your Digital Concert Experience:

  • Familiarize yourself with the concert ahead of time so that you can better facilitate throughout the performance.
  • Prepare all the adults beforehand for what this experience will be. Share what the Musical Explorers program is about and the connection that your students have to the artists.
  • Invite guests to join the digital experience. For example, you might invite students who will be doing the program in the following year to get them excited about the experience, or family members who have learned about the program from their children. Your Musical Explorers students can lead those attending in song and movement.
  • Issue “tickets” to your excited concertgoers.
  • Hold a digital experience in your auditorium or a larger space outside of the classroom.
  • Act as a co-host for the concert. For example, at the beginning of each Musical Explorers concert, the host usually directs a question to the audience members. As the co-host at your school, we encourage you to engage your students in that and other questions that arise.
  • Invite students to perform on your stage! For example, during each Musical Explorers concert, the host invites three students to join the prepared dance onstage. Model this at your event!
  • Encourage participation from all attendees! By modeling participation—standing, singing, and moving to choreography—you and your colleagues can demonstrate engagement with each song during the concert.


    Questions? Email


    Sponsored by Richard Brooke Foundation, Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Memorial Foundation, Dixon Family Foundation, Hamann Family Fund, Holland Foundation, Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Bellevue Community Foundation, Ike and Roz Friedman Foundation, The Pottawattamie County Community Foundation, Presenter's Circle, The Rebensdorf Family Foundation, Parker Family Foundation,Amy L. Scott Family Foundation, John A. and Dianne M. Scott Fund, J. William and Ruth Lind Scott Fund, and Lori & David Scott Foundation



    Get a glimpse of the fun!

    Watch this recap video of the 18/19 Musical Explorers year!

    Musical Explorers

    “Musical explorers allows us to be creative, to explore and to enrich the lives of children. It really allows us to create those connections in the community and to let them be who they are going to be.  Their creativity is endless.”

    -Krista Johnson, Musical Explorers Teacher at College View Elementary