Pirie Elementary School (Music)

Pirie’s school vision is to establish and emphasize the connection between the fine arts and the core subject areas through ongoing educational experiences.

Pirie’s music specialist joined the Portfolio Design Project during the second year of programing. Due to CPS budget cuts the music program was not continued for the 2013-2014 school year.

John T. Pirie Fine Arts & Academic Center is located at 650 E. 85th Street, Chicago.  The school opened in 1962 in the community of Chatham, which is made up of primarily single-family homes of Black middle-income families and has had a stable population for more than 20 years. The school's goals are committed to integrating the fine arts and literacy throughout the core curriculum.  Our mission is to create a safe and nurturing atmosphere that challenges ALL students to strive for excellence.  We aim to produce an excitement and a desire for literacy, which cultivates intellectual, creative, & social skills, accomplished through the fine arts, professional development and parental support.

Robin DaSilva is the general music teacher at Pirie.  She teaches music to students in Pre-K through sixth grade and choir for 3rd - 6th.  She oversees the Drum line ensemble and coordinates all of the assemblies that occur throughout the year at Pirie. She also collaborates with the classroom teachers to integrate music in the core curriculum.


Kate Drown is the teaching artist for Pirie's (music) Portfolio Design Project. She has a degree in Clarinet Performance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Since 2007, Kate has been teaching a variety of music and arts appreciation classes in Chicago public and private schools. She also teaches piano and clarinet to students of all ages. Kate works with many elementary students at a handful of schools in Chicago each year, and is a faculty member at the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic/UIC Jazz Academy.

Year Two

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