Third graders rock the house

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Lebanon - posted Tue., May. 24, 2011
Directed by music teacher Erin Shuman, Lebanon Elementary School third-graders perform at Third Grade Arts Nightr. Photos by Melanie Savage.
Directed by music teacher Erin Shuman, Lebanon Elementary School third-graders perform at Third Grade Arts Nightr. Photos by Melanie Savage.

This is a busy time of year for music teachers across the state. Consider Erin Shuman, music teacher at Lebanon Elementary School. In addition to serving the entire student body, right about now Shuman is also preparing for end-of-year performances. Thursday, May 19, it was the third-graders’ chance to shine. Third Grade Arts Night brought the three Lebanon third-grade classes together in the school’s gymnasium for an opportunity to show off what they learned over the course of the school year.

“The third grade does a program, the fourth grade has their own, and then we do a program where we combine the third and fourth grades,” said Shuman. “What we try to do is showcase what they do in music during the year.” Third grade is a pivotal time in the course of the musical education of Connecticut grade-schoolers. “This is their first year for instruments,” said Shuman. “They are introduced to playing the recorder.”

Shuman meets with each third grade class individually during the school year. “From September through January, they’re learning basic skills,” she said. In mid-January, the classes begin working together in preparation for their performance. Third Grade Arts Night presented eight different pieces, performed via a combination of choral, recorder and xylophone skills. As a result of a curriculum combining movement, listening, playing and singing, “The hope is that through music, they’ll find an interest that will speak to them later in school and just later in life,” said Shuman.


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