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Grade 3 - Performing Arts

Performing Arts in 3rd Grade

3rd- 5th graders begin the year with a theater unit that culminates in January with a fully-staged musical. The theater curriculum is based on VAPA standards and strives to be process-based, students learn a wide variety of theatrical skills that can be applied broadly to performing arts and life in general. The goal of the theater program is to instill self-confidence, support team building and meaningful collaboration, and reinforce the importance of taking risks in a safe and inclusive environment.
During second trimester, students in 3rd- 5th grade transition to a more ensemble-focused curriculum. Recorders are introduced in third grade and reinforced in fourth, preparing students for wind, brass, and string instruments offered in fifth. Students begin reading notes off the treble and bass staves, literacy concepts are introduced and reinforced in ways that build off of the Kindergarten through Second Grade curriculum. Music play and creative movement still exists in the general music curriculum (3rd and 4th grades) but with more structure; games and creative movement are usually included as the last component of tiered Orff lessons. To enhance their social and personal development, students learn to share, cooperate, take turns, take risks, perform in front of their peers, and experience personal success through performance. 
In third grade, students are introduced to Recorder Karate, a recorder program that enables students to build their skills on this instrument.  The recorder is a fundamental instrument for improving musicality as a whole and is presented as an excellent pre-band instrument. 
In Third Grade, students will:
  • Learn to read notes off the treble staff
  • Learn the solfege scale
  • Understand how melodic contour translates to staff notation and how pitch is represented visually
  • Move expressively to live and recorded music
  • Play a wide variety of classroom instruments (pitched and unpitched)
  • Reinforce proper embouchure, breath support, and fine motor skills through recorder performance
  • Perform two-part Orff accompaniments to vocal songs
  • Improvise simple songs using pentatonic scales- Orff instruments
  • Decode and perform more complex rhythmic patterns
  • Critical listening to music recordings
  • Perform vocal rounds (two and three part)
  • Perform at different dynamic levels
  • Perform at different tempos
  • Memorize lines and choreography
  • Learn stage directions
  • Pantomime
  • Learn strategies for successful public speaking
  • Play improvisational theater games
  • Discuss character development
  • Learn to clearly articulate when speaking in front of an audience
  • Learn and practice pre-band skills on the recorder 
  • Perform in a musical theater production