Music and Theatre Arts

by Nikki Juvan and Andrea Beam (K-2nd Music Teacher)

Happy New Year! First we want to congratulate all of the students for a wonderful winter performance. Andrea and Nikki were so pleased with how hard they worked learning all of the music, and we were so proud of their performance. It was truly a wonderful evening of music which celebrated all of our students’ talents!

In grades K-2, in Music class, we began the year by learning to sing some popular campfire songs, and dance to “action” songs like the Hokey Pokey. The children have been learning to read rhythms and are reinforcing their knowledge through rhythmic games. Second grade has even begun to take the next step, becoming familiar with the staff and notes in the C scale. They have been using chimes in class to help with this, and will continue to utilize the chimes throughout the year, eventually composing and playing their own tunes. At the end of every music class, all classes listen to a piece of music which has included classical, blues, jazz, and marches, and the children discuss the imagery and emotions the music elicits. In the coming months, all grades will continue to read, write, and play rhythms, strengthen their ear through singing and pitch work, and grow in their appreciation of different music genres and styles. In Drama class, we have been learning about or reviewing the basics of being onstage and how we use our bodies, voices, and imaginations to create different characters. We practiced these skills through many theater games that also focus on working together to tell stories. In the months ahead, we will use short stories and fairy tales to create our own scenes as well. 

In grade 3, in Music class, the students spent the fall learning to play the recorder. This combined their knowledge of notes on the staff and rhythms as they read music and also created their own recorder compositions. In grades 4-5, students continued to learn more complex rhythms and were challenged with more difficult vocal repertoire. They also completed a study of opera where they listened to the Magic Flute. In Drama class, the children continued to practice their performance and stage skills. The 3rd grade wrote short scenes based on certain criteria, and the 4th grade focused on improvisation and creating scenes spontaneously. Each 5th grade student was assigned a monologue and worked with a partner as both actor and director before performing for the class. As we move forward in grades 3-5, the focus of both of our classes will be preparation and rehearsal for the spring musical, which will be The Music Man, JR to be performed on May 13th at Williston Central School.