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Performing Arts in 4th Grade


Third through 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 4th Grade, students continue with the recorder and as students' skills develop, it is integrated into song units in which the students rotate through multiple parts.

Students in 4th Grade will:
  • Continue reading notes off treble staff
  • Move expressively to live and recorded music
  • Use solfege to understand melodic shape, sing melodies in solfege
  • Play a wide variety of classroom instruments (pitched and unpitched)
  • Perform two and three part Orff accompaniments to vocal songs
  • Improvise simple songs using pentatonic scales- Orff instruments
  • Decode and perform more complex rhythmic patterns
  • Reinforce proper embouchure, breath support, and fine motor skills through recorder performance
  • Critical listening to music recordings
  • Perform vocal rounds (two and three part)
  • Perform two-part vocal harmony
  • Build social skills - cooperation, teamwork, adaptability, resilience, and risk-taking through performance in Spring Musical
  • Pantomime
  • Memorize lines and choreography
  • Learn stage directions
  • Learn strategies for successful public speaking
  • Play improvisational theater games
  • Discuss character development
  • Learn to clearly articulate when speaking in front of an audience
  • Integrate recorder skills into song units and musical performances
  • Perform in a musical theater production