5th Grade


At Moses Brown, fifth grade musicians use all the musical skills they have built throughout their lower school experiences to compose and perform original music. They develop and articulate their own musical preferences, allowing those preferences to drive their engagement with music. They collaborate artistically to put together a student-driven public presentation at a spring music performance for the Spring Concert, performing solos, and share sharing songs that are important to them. In class, they often study and perform music that supports their other classes, including songs from the civil rights movement and today’s struggles for justice and equality.

Fifth graders have a number of optional performance opportunities available to them including singing with chorus, playing with wind or string ensemble, and performing in the annual Lower School musical. Their maturity and strong performance skills allow them to take leadership roles in these experiences, building toward excellence and confidence in middle school.

In wood shop, fifth graders exhibit controlled, effective hand tool use and gain practical experience in basic layout and construction procedures.  They read measured drawings, prepare materials lists, and plan the sequence of construction steps.  A letter/napkin holder gives new students the chance to become acquainted with basic hand tool skills to create a straightforward, useful final product.  Many Moses Brown parents have a toolbox made by their fifth grader, and most report that they hold up under years of hard use.  All fifth graders are challenged to strengthen their manual control, constructively criticize their own efforts, and work with classmates in a cooperative, respectful atmosphere.

Art class follows the studio model, with a brief period of instruction followed by individual or group work.  In conjunction with social studies, the students work in teams to create models of utopian societies, and articulate the features and functions of their models.  Children study graphic design and how to create a hierarchy of information, as well as the techniques that package designers use to get our attention.  Children study the fundamentals of composition in black and white, using collages, pen-and-ink, and watercolors.  And in a capstone project, they create lidded coil jars that commemorate things that the students find personally important.  After firing, the children glaze these pots for re-firing, creating lasting mementos of their time in lower school art.

And with every project they learn proper critique technique, giving useful and respectful feedback to help their peers produce their best work.  At the end of class, it’s all hands on deck as they clean up, working together to make sure the art-making space is ready to go for the next class.


GarageBand EP Project

Creating music to share

Using GarageBand on iPads, 5th grade students created musical compositions based around a theme and gathered them together in EP collections which they shared with peers in music class.


Preparing "Annie KIDS"

Lower school’s musical production Annie KIDS was a great success. Watch this behind-the-scenes glimpse, including how so many students auditioned they created two casts!


Chad Putka

Lower School Music, Ethical Leadership Tri-Clerk


Chad Putka

Oberlin College – B.A.
Boston University – M.M.

Chris Hoyt

Production Manager, Woodman Center


Chris Hoyt

Greensboro College – B.A.
Brooklyn College – M.F.A.

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