Education and Community Engagement

POPS in Schools is a nine-year-old supplemental music education program serving twelve School District of Philadelphia schools and 3,000 students.  Each school has a unique program tailored to the expressed needs of its location.  The POPS provides bilingual music education materials and teaching artists to schools and after-school programs with a significant percentage of Spanish heritage students, beginning its first New Jersey program in 2019. 

All City Jazz is the high school program for ten School District of Philadelphia schools which culminates in the All City Jazz Festival, a full day of performance and educational activities in celebration of Jazz History Month. The POPS presented a Jazz Orchestra summer camp program for the first time in 2022 for students of the PSD at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.

About Us

POPS in Schools began on June 9, 2015 with a presenting partnership with the School District of Philadelphia for the All-City Jazz Festival.  Hosted by a graduate of SDP’s Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), Jacqueline Constance, the program includes Central High School, School of the Future, Franklin Learning Center, CAPA,  Julia R. Masterman High School, Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP), Kensington CAPA and The Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush.   POPS in Schools  will continue to visit these schools and provide choreographed educational activities.

All-City Jazz POPS in Schools @ Home
All-City Jazz POPS in Schools @ Home

POPS in Schools

POPS in Schools crafts the music leaders of tomorrow with mentorship from the music leaders of today. Launched in 2015, POPS in Schools is an EITC-Certified Program that enhances music education for approximately 3,000 students in the School District of Philadelphia by embedding Philly POPS Teaching Artists in schools to coach and mentor students.

Support POPS in Schools

POPS in Schools@Home

POPS in Schools@HOME continues the work of POPS in Schools normally presented throughout the school year at four elementary schools and 11 high schools. Look for new videos, activities, and instructional content – in English and Spanish!

LEARN programs are sorted by grade level, but everyone is invited to join this virtual classroom. HEAR the sound of student musicians who have participated in POPS in Schools to see how far they’ve come! NOTES are inspirational messages from artists we admire. MASTERCLASSES and LESSON PLANS are designed for each age group and are presented in a series of instructional videos, links, workbooks, and other educational elements. They are created to provide a more comprehensive exploration of a particular topic.

All video content is provided by the musicians, teaching artists, and staff of The Philly POPS.

Learn More

All-City Jazz

All City Jazz is the high school program for several PSD schools which culminates in the All-City Jazz Festival, a full day of performance and educational activities each year.  The educational component is vital to the development of student musicians and guarantees a flourishing future for jazz in Philadelphia. Each year, students are selected by audition to play in the All-City Jazz Orchestra, an honor band comprised of students from around the School District of Philadelphia, which performs during the All-City Jazz Festival.

Terell Stafford Byron Stripling All-City Jazz Events
Terell Stafford Byron Stripling All-City Jazz Events

Terell Stafford

In 2015, All City Jazz was the founding event for the POPS’ POPS in Schools supplemental music education program and began the POPS’ engagement with renowned trumpeter Terell Stafford. Today, Terell is the POPS Artistic Director for Jazz and director of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, as well as Director of Jazz Studies and Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University. 

Learn More About Terell Stafford
Learn More About Terell Stafford

The Philly POPS is bringing free music education programming for students – of all ages – right to your home.

POPS in Schools@HOME continues the work of POPS in Schools normally presented throughout the school year at four elementary schools and 11 high schools. Look for new videos, activities, and instructional content on this page each week.

LEARN programs are sorted by grade level, but everyone is invited to join this virtual classroom. HEAR the sound of student musicians who have participated in POPS in Schools to see how far they’ve come! NOTES are inspirational messages from artists we admire. MASTERCLASSES and LESSON PLANS are designed for each age group and are presented in a series of instructional videos, links, workbooks, and other educational elements. They are created to provide a more comprehensive exploration of a particular topic.

All video content is provided by the musicians, teaching artists, and staff of The Philly POPS.  

Meet Our Students

Each year, POPS in Schools reaches over 3,000 students and POPS in Schools @ Home reaches 47,000.

As we’ve worked with these students in the classroom, some have even come to work with us in the POPS offices and beyond! Get to know the students making a difference in the POPS offices and lighting up the stage!

Dan McCain John Meko
Dan McCain John Meko
  • The Philly POPS is a recognized and authorized participant in the EITC-EIO programs. As an Educational Improvement Organization (EIO), we can use awarded funds to support existing programs and develop new programs for our POPS in Schools in-school and after school educational activities. What does this mean to you? If you work for, or have a company that does business in PA, you are eligible to apply for tax credits for the support you provide for the POPS educational activities. See if your company qualifies for the EITC program on the Commonwealth’s website. The most beneficial option is to apply for a 2-year commitment, as this type of commitment likely qualifies for a 90% tax credit to your business. Details of the guidelines for applying and the link to the  online application can be found here.

    Please contact Joshua Thomas Vice President of External Affairs, at 215.546.3207 or via email at  jthomas@phillypops.org, about how you can support these initiatives with your tax dollars.