Performing Arts

The Music, Dance and Drama Departments focus on teaching each student to develop their talents to the best of their ability. Each student is encouraged to continually improve their skills through participation in individual practice and private lessons. The departments are also committed to providing the students with an understanding of music, dance and theater from a historical and global perspective.

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  • What a Grade 8 student will know and be able to do in performing arts:

    • Students will have developed the ability to recognize stylistic elements, musical form, and artistic intention appropriate to their grade level.
    • Students will have the ability to read an instrumental or vocal score and are able to identify and define standard notation.
    • Students will be able to sing or play an instrument in a variety of musical styles and demonstrate ensemble skills appropriate to their grade which will allow them to perform in vocal or instrumental ensembles at the high school level.
    • Students will have had exposure to music from a variety of historical periods.
    • Students will have developed knowledge and understanding of music from a global perspective.
    • Students will be able to objectively make critical judgments, both written and oral, about a composition, other people’s performances, and their own performances.

Performing Arts Curriculum by Grade

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  • Dance Program Grades 6, 7, 8

    Boys and girls alike have fun while learning a variety of dance styles to increase flexibility, coordination, rhythm and confidence. Students will create original choreography using dance moves taught in class. Dance skills learned carry over into other activities, including sports, theater and academics.

    This class encourages self-expression, creativity and stage presence through three annual dance performances: "Parker Dances," (winter), Spring Dance Concert (spring) and "Final Leap" (end of school year). In these productions, dance students perform dance pieces choreographed by the teacher, as well as their own original dance compositions on the stage in J. Crivello Hall.
  • Drama Program Grades 6,7, 8

    The drama program is designed to promote the development of each student's imagination, knowledge, problem-solving ability, understanding of human relationships, and communication skills. The goal of the program is develop and enhance students’ self-confidence, presentation skills and knowledge of theatre.

           Areas of Concentration:

    • Storytelling
    • Improvisation
    • Acting Technique
    • Scene Work
    • Movement and Voice
    • Monologue Work
    • Creative Writing
    • Film Production
    • Character and Play Analysis
    • Self-Assessment
    • Set Design

    The middle school drama program is in adherence with the California Standards for the Performing Arts.
  • Music Program Grades 6, 7, 8

    Students of all band instruments are grouped with others of similar experience in a course geared to develop the skills necessary to perform as part of an ensemble. The course fosters growth in technique, note reading, rhythm, intonation and musical expression. Opportunities for performance occur throughout the year. The ensemble performs music written specifically for concert band, arrangements of classical pieces, music from films, and arrangements of pop, rock and jazz music.

    Grade 6 guitar is a one-semester introductory course with a focus on fundamentals in music. Students learn note reading and chords in first position while playing in various ensembles. A beginning one-semester introductory course is also offered in the fall of grade 7. Continuing grade 7 and grade 8 guitar classes are one-year courses emphasizing both Classical and Contemporary styles of music. Students play in ensembles with students of similar experience, heightening personal technique, awareness of music theory and skill in reading music. The courses also emphasize team exploration as students choose their own selections for presentation in small ensembles.

    Middle School Chorus
    Students rediscover the human voice as the primary instrument for personal music making in the context of choral ensemble singing. Students experience the fundamentals of music with the integration of rhythm, melody, harmony and theory while also learning basic singing technique demonstrated through vocal exercises and warm-ups. The repertoire covers a wide variety of styles and the students are encouraged to contribute suggestions. Emphasis is placed on performance preparation for several concerts given throughout the year.

    String Ensemble
    Students learn fundamentals of sound, technique and musicianship in small groups with others of similar skill and experience. Regularly scheduled performances provide focus for classroom work and help students develop poise and confidence. The study and performance of Renaissance music forms a part of the seventh grade curriculum in conjunction with the annual Renaissance Faire. The program includes such appropriate cross-curricular elements as the acoustics of sound and the history of music.

    Advanced students may wish to participate in Lancer Orchestra, an audition only 8-12 strings ensemble. Practices are held before school. 
Francis Parker School is a private, independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 from across San Diego County. Founded in 1912, the Lower School is located on the Mission Hills Campus with the Upper and Middle Schools on the Linda Vista Campus. Parker's mission is to inspire a diverse community of independent thinkers whose academic excellence, global perspective and strength of character prepare them to make a meaningful difference in the world.

Mission Hills Campus Lower School

4201 Randolph Street
San Diego, CA 92103

Linda Vista Campus Middle/Upper School

6501 Linda Vista Road
San Diego, CA 92111
858 / 569-7900