Harriett’s Art and Performance Program for Youth
Sponsored by the Harriett Lake Family Trust
The HAPPY PROGRAM combines Jewish Academy’s theater arts programs
with other performance arts.
Our theater program is an extracurricular activity for third through fifth graders and is run by our Music Director. We believe theater is the most comprehensive performance art with acting, singing and dancing. It develops the students’ self-confidence, enhances their concentration, improves their public speaking ability, instills discipline and teaches teamwork. The students work all year toward this professionally-executed performance. This past year, we performed “Seussical the Musical” at the Wayne Densch Theater in Sanford. It was impressive!
The students perform music using instruments, their voices and their bodies. The instrument options are plentiful with an emphasis on tuned and untuned percussion, including world drums, which are specially made for child-size hands. Students explore group melody with handbells as well as the Joia Tubes, which are long plastic tubes each tuned to a specific pitch. In third grade students study the recorder; in-class solos encourage at-home practice, therefore increases the students’ self confidence.
Singing is an integral part of our music curriculum. The songs are selected carefully based on relevance to national standards, multiculturalism and age appropriateness. An emphasis is placed on Jewish songs during major holidays. Solo opportunities are given as well. We offer chorus to kindergarten through second grades as an after school activity. Students perform in many types of venues, from small assisted living facilities (also part of our mitzvot during Jewish Holidays) to outside festivals to large arenas. Add Solar Bears picture.Movement is also an important part of our music curriculum. Rhythm and meter are taught using fun stepping and jumping activities. Songs are often taught with hand and upper body choreography.
Students learn all elements of music theory including rhythm, tempo, note values, pitch, the musical staff, dynamics, time signature, articulation, expression and musical terms. We teach this through games and other fun activities.
All grades learn about music history and culture through recordings, engaging stories and singing and playing the instruments. Also, music from other countries is introduced. Our fifth grade focuses on western classical music, where they learn about the periods of music history, the lives of the famous composers and the family of orchestral instruments. A field trip to the Orlando Philharmonic makes this all come to life.
Older grades have access to MIDI workstations. Using programs like GarageBand, the students learn how instruments combine together to create a song. The MIDI keyboards allow them to record their own melodies into the computer and layer them with other sounds. This is a terrific tool for personal creativity and self expression.