OTES offers music class once a week for grades K-3, which include learning how to sing, create, read, and move to music. Students have a chance to experience a wide variety of music and activities in their younger elementary years. When learning to read music, we start with basic rhythm instruments to read simple passages, and by third grade we read notated music on the staff to play the recorder as a “pre-band” instrument.
Our grade 4 students are introduced to chorus, and we meet in the morning on “day 5”. Chorus is the same for grade 5, and we meet in the morning on “day 6”. Every student in grade 4 and 5 participate in the chorus. Our goal is to work as an ensemble to perform several songs at our winter and spring concerts. We take a more in depth look at how to produce a good sound with our voice and how to work as a team to make the best performance we can for each concert.
In grade 5, students will be introduced to musical drama by the second half of the year. Students who are involved in the musical are by volunteer, and recommendation by teachers. They are given the opportunity to work both during school, and outside of school towards their performance in the spring.
Our band program starts in grade 4, where students learn in a small group setting by like instruments during the day, then we meet as a large group after school at the First Year Band, for the full band ensemble experience. In grade 5, we continue lessons once a week, then we gather for band during “day 5” as the Second Year Band. Students can be at all levels and in order meet the needs of students who are moving ahead, sometimes fourth grade students are asked to join the fifth graders. We also have an enrichment band for grade 5 that meets every Wednesday after school, which is called Symphonic Band. The symphonic band also travels to New Hampshire to perform at the Great East Music Festival each spring. All band ensembles perform at the winter and spring concerts.