About Kohler Music

Music Education at Kohler

The Kohler Public School music department provides opportunities for students to study and perform music of the highest quality. The school was recently identified as one of the top 100 places to live for quality music education in America and was also identified as a GRAMMY Signature School with the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. Recognized by the Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin School Music Association, and the Wisconsin Music Educators Association as pioneers in the field of music education, the Kohler music program provides a balanced education, complimenting the other academic field subjects. Students have opportunities to perform in various performing ensembles. Although group oriented, the music program truly focuses on individual development. Beginning in first grade and continuing through high school, students are taught to become independent performers and continue to develop as individual performers.   

Kohler music students have demonstrated mastery and excellence in many different ways. Performing ensembles have consistently earned the highest ratings at music festivals. Kohler has one of the largest numbers of solo & ensemble entries within the conference, with many participants advancing to the state festivals. The music program has produced several of the areas best high school musicians, many of whom continue pursuing music study at major universities and conservatories.With the assistance of the Kohler Performing Arts Parents Organization, band and choir students have the opportunity to participate in performance trips throughout the United States.

The music department has created a comprehensive and sequential curriculum, surpassing the state and national standards in music.

Students in grades 7 and 8 must choose at least one of the music courses: band, chorus and/or general music. Choir and band are full-year courses; General Music is a semester course.  Students in grade 9-12 must complete a graduation requirement of .5 credits of either Fine Arts or Applied Arts.

Kohler Music Awards & Recognitions

In both 2001, 2007, 2016 and 2022 Kohler Public Schools was recognized as one of the 100 Best Communities in America for Music Education by the American Music Conference, Music Teachers National Association, National School Boards Association and the National Association of Music Merchants.

The music department was honored with the 1999 National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences GRAMMY Signature School Award. In 2007, Kohler was recognized as a Finalist for the GRAMMY Signature School. The award recognizes quality music programs throughout the United States.

Band Director Richard Tengowski is a Herb Kohl Educational Fellowship Award Recipient and was recently inducted into the Wisconsin Bandmasters Association

Over 75% of the school population is involved in music education, with most music students enrolled in both high school band and choir.

In 1998, Kohler elementary music students were invited to perform on stage with Judy Collins as part of the Kohler Distinguished Guest Series.

The music department continuously has the largest number of students involved at the annual WSMA District Solo & Ensemble Music Festival in the Big East Conference and the highest number of students receiving first ratings to qualify for state music festival.

The Department of Public Instruction has recognized the Kohler Pubic School music department as a model music program. Many teachers from surrounding schools visit the school to observe, learn and see how new teaching techniques and strategies are being applied to today's music students in order to reach the new Wisconsin Music Standards. The music department has successfully piloted several projects for the Music Educators National Conference and the Department of Public Instruction, including the highly regarded Arts Propel Project. In addition, the music department maintains a k-12 music portfolio assessment system and is a leader in comprehensive musicianship through performance.