Curriculum

Kids’ Orchestra is guided by five core national music education standards. The curriculum is delivered through instruction by highly qualified musicians and educators.

I. Basic Literacy – Students will explore, develop and synthesize music-reading skills through lessons, rehearsals, and performances.

II. Performance – Students will employ the skills and techniques necessary for creating and performing music on musical instruments.

III. Linking Music to Culture and History – Students will begin to understand the relationship of music as it relates to history and culture.

IV. Evaluate – Students will use critical thinking skills to evaluate their own performance and the performances of others.

V. Improvisation – Students will improvise rhythmic and melodic variations and accompaniments.

FOUNDATIONS

Students in Kindergarten and first grade are placed in Foundations class, utilizing age-appropriate activities to begin developing their musical abilities and knowledge. Teaching artists use Kodály and Orff methods, combined with the Gameplan music curriculum.

GROUP INSTRUMENTAL LESSONS

Second through fifth grade students are offered lessons on violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, clarinet, trumpet, and percussion. In group lessons, students learn basic playing technique, how to care for their instrument, and beginner repertoire which they showcase in the Neighborhood Concert Series twice per year.

21ST CENTURY COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTER

Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, Kids’ Orchestra became a certified 21st Century Community Learning Center, a program of the U.S. Department of Education. The principles of 21st Century are to prepare students for academic and life skills success in a modern America. As an official 21st Century program, Kids’ Orchestra has expanded its tutoring services to include test preparation and homework assistance tied to state standards in addition to expanding such services from two days a week to four days a week. This academic focus is in addition to each students’ participation in music lessons.

HONORS PROGRAM

Advanced students are placed in one of three Honors Ensembles – Wind Ensemble, String Orchestra, or Symphony Orchestra. These ensembles rehearse twice a month outside of regular classes and perform two Honors Concerts per year.

KIDS’ CHOIR

The Kids’ Choir program is offered to all students grades 2 – 6 in the Greater Baton Rouge area. Students participate in group voice lessons and perform as an ensemble.

ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES

Through partnerships with other Baton Rouge arts organizations, including the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre, and the Louisiana Sinfonietta, Kids’ Orchestra students are provided with tickets to professional performing arts events throughout the year. The opportunity to see and hear expert musicians provides students with an inspiring example of where their current hard work may lead.