Fourth grade musicians at Moses Brown build musical independence through creative projects both alone and in groups. If they choose, they can also sing in an extra-curricular chorus, play in a beginner string ensemble, advanced string ensemble, or wind ensemble, and perform in the annual Lower School musical.
Children frequently perform their original work for one another, learning to give and receive respectful and useful feedback. They learn the art of creative compromise, making decisions together and realizing a collective musical vision.
They learn how to play popular songs on the ukulele, and research, rehearse, and perform music that connects to their study of immigration in Social Studies. They learn twelve-bar blues form, and how pop music is put together. This invariably leads to students writing their own original songs, and presenting their songs at a spring music event for their peers and families.
In wood shop each week, fourth graders develop versatility and control with hand tools while learning layout, assembly, and finishing techniques. They learn to plan (and follow) step-by-step directions, approaching tasks in a logical, orderly way, and maintaining a sense of continuity in their work. They learn to use plow planes to make grooves, and practice very precise measuring to produce a challenging and rewarding project–a storage box with a sliding top… and a secret compartment!
Art class follows the studio model, with a brief period of instruction followed by individual or group work. Fourth graders create papier mâché birds which they then feather with colored paper and glue. They study the design traditions and make their own wonderfully hideous figures out of kiln-fired clay. The children create self-portraits by collaging found paper–and paper they’ve made–and learn the basics of color theory by mixing primary colors to create a page that matches their own skin tone. 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.Inquire