The Arts in K - Fourth Grade
Kindergarten through Third Grade
In kindergarten through third grade, the fundamental visual "alphabet" is woven into a vocabulary from which greater clarity of visual communication evolves. Through the integration of art history, the categories of self-portraiture, still life, landscape and abstractions are developed as a platform on which to construct a larger, more refined internal and external visual vocabulary.
The fourth grade program begins to emphasize a larger and stronger application of the visual vocabulary necessary for higher-order creative thinking. By adding the elements of critique, the concept of transitions, objective and subjective perceptions, and learning through internal and external observations, students demonstrate their deeper understanding of art through the creation of formal and informal pieces.
Kindergarten music students develop their singing voices and learn melodic patterns. The solfege tones and hand patterns of so and mi are emphasized. While students continue to experience the beat, they also recognize the "rhythm of the words." They read rhythms by clapping and moving to rhythm patterns that include quarter notes, eighth notes, half notes and quarter rests. Orff instruments are introduced and add another dimension to the creative process experienced in music class.
The first grade music program continues the focus on singing while expanding studentsí solfege tones to include la as well as so and mi. Students are also involved in playing instruments, moving to music, and listening to and reading rhythms.
The second grade music program provides more opportunities to interpret the music experienced in the classroom. All types of instruments and props are available to enhance creative expression. The program also includes a grade-level choir, which emphasizes proper vocal technique, choral blending and music reading.
Third grade music students learn to identify whole notes and rests, dotted half-notes and sixteenth notes, and to label treble clef lines and spaces. Students learn more notes and repertoire on the recorder, as well as more challenging voiced and un-voiced instrumental works emphasizing ostinato, simple bordun and correct mallet technique. In music history, the focus is on Baroque and Classical composers.
In fourth grade music, students identify more complex rhythm patterns, including syncopated rhythms. Students continue their study of time signatures with an introduction to 6/8. They recognize ledger lines, scales, and label sharps and flats and begin to play split ostinato and learn multi-part works on the instruments. The recorder family is introduced as students learn more notes and more challenging music.