Lower School Arts
Arienne Hood, LS Music Teacher
Sierra Key, Director of LS Musical
Brooke Fulton, 5th Grade Theatre Teacher
Stephanie Smeltzer, 5th Grade Choral Director
Michael Hough and Leslie Clowes, 5th Grade Band Directors
Adrian Gordon and Ashley Flower, 5th Grade Orchestra Directors
Learning about the wide world and history of music enables Lower School students to become lifelong lovers of music. The TK-4 music program is designed to teach children to be active and critical listeners and participants. Classes incorporate singing, moving, and playing instruments, and students interact with classical, popular, and global music.
Music classes are grounded in a sequential curriculum that helps students gain music reading and performing skills. Students are encouraged to experiment with percussion instruments both collectively and individually while applying fundamental note-reading skills. Students in 4th grade also learn the recorder, further developing their note-reading skills.
Students in TK-3rd grade perform in the annual Grandparents’ Day presentation. The performance involves well-rehearsed songs and choreography from each grade level.
Fifth grade students enjoy a Performing Arts immersion experience with the opportunity to be a part of an ensemble and to participate in a theatre class. Fifth graders are required to choose one of three music ensembles: Band, Chorus, or Orchestra. These are all beginning-level classes so no prior experience is needed to join. All three 5th grade ensembles join together for a concert in both December and in May where they perform for each other and for their parents.
5th Grade Theatre:
5th grade Theatre is offered as a special area class for one semester. The curriculum focuses on performance basics for the actor, including facial and vocal expression and movement. We build positive collaboration skills and learn about various theatrical jobs and terminology. Students mount short skits for performance in class.
5th Grade Band:
In 5th grade band students can learn the basics of music through the performance of a band instrument (flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, and percussion). Students learn basic instrumental techniques, how to play as an ensemble, basic music theory skills, and critical listening skills. The group performs a minimum of two concerts per year.
5th Grade Chorus:
The 5th grade chorus presents programs for the lower school students and their parents in the fall and early spring, as well as two more formal concerts in December and in May. Music genre ranges from contemporary and traditional choral music to Broadway and pop music. Singers are introduced to proper vocal placement, singing in two-part harmony, and recognizing notes and rhythm within the choral staff.
5th Grade Orchestra:
In 5th grade orchestra, students can learn the basics of music through the performance of an orchestral stringed instrument (violin, viola, cello, or bass). Students learn basic instrumental techniques, how to play as an ensemble, basic music theory skills, and critical listening skills. The group performs a minimum of two concerts per year.
How I Became a Pirate will be the 2023-24 season Lower School production with auditions being held September 11-13, 2023.
4th and 5th grade students have the opportunity to audition for their own production. This show is always a musical and is typically offered in the fall. Past performances include Disney's 101 Dalmatians, Disney’s Aristocats Kids, Disney’s Cinderella Kids, and Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids.
Students in TK-5 learn about the visual arts using techniques in a variety of media designed to bring out creativity and stimulate their imaginations. Lessons are frequently paired with art history as they are inspired by regionally and nationally significant artists, and students’ work may be found on display in Lower School spaces throughout the school year.