Elementary Curriculum and Offerings

Students in elementary school participate in general music, and chorus, visual art, STEAM, and have the option to enroll in the Instrumental Program starting in third grade. Students also have the option to participate in one of the District Wide Honors Ensembles by audition.

Visual Art

Students in grades one through four, have a 40 minute visual art class one time per week. Students in fifth grade, have a 60 minute visual art class one time per week. During this art class students create both two dimensional and three dimensional artwork and learn about the principles of design, color theory, patterns, texture, and artistic styles.

General Music
Students in grades kindergarten through five, have a 40 minute general music class one time per week. During this class students learn about pitch, rhythm, sound, and composition through a variety of activities that incorporate singing, movement, listening and analyzing, and/or playing instruments. In Third grade all students learn how to play the recorder as part of the curriculum. Students in Fourth grade attend the Boston Symphony Orchestra Children’s Concert as a field trip.

Chorus
In fourth and fifth grade, students have an additional 40 minute music class one time per week, where they perform in a large ensemble as a Chorus. During this class students hone their vocal technique and further develop their singing skills. Chorus also teaches ensemble skills such as following the conductor and working as team to produce a group sound.

STEAM
Students in grades one through three have a STEAM class, where they rotate through 8 week sections where they integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Music. The STEAM class meets for 40 minutes one time per week. Students actively participate in the Engineering Design process in these classes, exploring topics that are rooted in the Science curriculum. Each grade level is rooted in a different theme. First Grade studies Weather, Second Grade studies Sound, and Third Grade studies Earth.

Instrumental Program
Third Grade
Students are able to choose to study a string instrument (violin, viola, cello, or bass). Students receive group instruction one time per week for 40 minutes.

Fourth and Fifth Grade
Students are able to continue with their string instrument. Students are also able to choose to study a band instrument. Fourth Grade students receive a small group beginning instrumental lesson one time per week, and if they demonstrate the appropriate skills, are able to participate in a beginning full band starting in January. Fifth Grade students in their second year of instruction participate in a full Band class that meets one time per week.

Please note that all of the instrumental classes take place either before or after school. The schedule varies depending upon the school site.

Honor Ensembles

We have three Elementary Honors Ensembles which are open to all elementary students by audition. These ensembles are wonderful opportunities for students to participate in an ensemble with others from across the District. Our three honors ensembles are: Honors Band, Honors Chorus, and Honors Strings.

String Students may also audition for Town Orchestra which is an ensemble for grades Five through Nine.

To review any particular class or course curriculum and to see what our focus for student learning is, please click on Needham Curriculum Maps 
and search for the class you are interested in, such as Art Grade 1, General Music Grade 3, or STEAM 2


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