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.

List of 1 items.

  • 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

List of 3 items.

  • Dance

    Sixth Grade - This class is designed as an overview of several styles of dance, an introduction to creating original choreography and the basics of creating a dance film. Students will spend time exploring ballet, modern, jazz, improvisation, hip hop, and various cultural dances. They will learn and perform a group dance, created by the instructor, and a cultural dance, taught by a guest instructor. They will create a short choreographic study and use that material to learn how to create a basic continuity dance film.

    Seventh Grade - This class is designed to have a more in-depth exploration of various dance styles, along with the opportunity to contribute original choreography to a class dance and create a dance film. Each trimester will focus on two different dance styles: Trimester One - Ballet and Modern; Trimester Two - Jazz and Improvisation; Trimester Three - Hip Hop and Cultural. Students will learn about the basic history of each of these styles. They will learn and perform a group dance, created by the instructor, and work with their fellow classmates and the instructor to co-choreograph an original class dance. They will also create a dance film, using original material.

    Eighth Grade - This class is designed to focus on how to create choreography. Students will spend class time learning about various choreographic concepts, as well as taking regular technique. They will learn and perform a group dance created by the instructor, as well as have the freedom to design and choreograph their own dances. Students are encouraged to continue developing within a style of dance that they feel confident in and/or take on the challenge of exploring outside of their comfort zone. They will work with their fellow classmates on developing their choreographic ideas. They will also create a dance film, using original material.
  • Drama

    Drama
    The Middle School drama class is designed to inspire the student who wishes to develop a love and appreciation of the theater. Classes are structured to provide the student a basis in theater skills, to offer a creative outlet, and to produce well-rounded performers. Concepts of design, direction, and theater production are integrated throughout the trimester. Public speaking skills are emphasized, and students use these skills as they make presentations in other courses. Students will work on play writing, audition skills, monologue and scene work. The students will have two performances in the course of the trimester. They perform monologues mid trimester and then they will create an original piece for the end of the trimester.

    Technical Theater
    In this trimester-long course students will be introduced to the basic concepts of technical theatre design and construction. Students will begin to explore the areas of scenic, properties, costume, wigs/makeup, lighting, and sound construction. Students will collaborate with their peers in other performing arts classes by providing technical support for their performances. Through these performances, in-class demonstrations, individual and group projects, and the final portfolio, students will learn about technical theater, have the opportunity to get hands-on with the various tools of the trade, and showcase their new skills.

    Musical Theater
    This class will give student performers an opportunity to look more closely at how they prepare and polish their performances in musical theatre. Focusing on basic acting skills and character development, they will also discover how song lyrics and accompaniment enhance and inspire their individual performances, giving them stronger skills when they audition or work on future shows. Time in class will be spent discussing and critiquing peer performances, while building each student’s individual repertoire. A small performance may also take place at the end of the term, featuring either solos, duets, or small group numbers.
     
     
  • Music

    Chamber Orchestra
    This performance-based course is intended for intermediate string students who enjoy making music in an orchestra setting. Students will hone their basic music skills and musicianship through playing an array of styles of music ranging from classical to pop. Orchestra members will have the opportunity to showcase their hard work by performing at four on-campus concerts throughout the school year and when we travel to the LA area to perform at Forum Music Festival in the third trimester. This diverse experience will allow students to become well-rounded musicians. Students will be graded on their attendance at performances, practice habits and improvement.Students who are new to the strings program will be evaluated and placed in a level that is appropriate for their ability.  

    Advanced Strings
    This course is open to 6th graders that play violin, viola, cello or bass. Students must have at least two years playing experience and demonstrate proficiency in the basic fundamentals of performance. Students must also show a strong interest in performance and possess a commitment to daily home practice. Private lessons are not required but strongly recommended. Musicians in Advanced 6th Strings will perform standard string repertoire at the Grade 2-3 level difficulty alone and Grade 4-6 with other advanced grades to form Lancer Orchestra. Students may enroll in this level with the teacher’s recommendation.

    Band
    Band is a full year course for woodwind, brass and percussion students. The band performs five concerts each year including the Holiday Concert and a music festival in Orange County. Students will develop technique through long tone exercises, scales and chords. The band learns and performs concert pieces, music from films, jazz and rock music. Developing each student’s musical abilities and building a high quality performing ensemble are the primary goals of the course.

    Chorus
    Students will develop the basic elements of vocal technique demonstrated through the use of warm-up exercises. They will sing in multi-part harmony, which will improve their sense of pitch and their ability to project the voice with confidence. Students will also learn the fundamentals of music theory and ear training, heightening their ability to sight-sing and read a vocal score. There will also be small group projects where 2-4 students pick a song they are passionate about and record it, make a video with their iPads, and do research on the song and artist. Solo projects are also acceptable. Regular concerts throughout the year will help students to mature in performance technique and stage presentation. Performing a varied repertoire (contemporary and classic pop, rock, with occasional excursions into Broadway, jazz and classical) will help develop an appreciation of a wide range of music.

    Percussion
    This class provides an introduction to percussion techniques, note reading,  rhythmic awareness, and ensemble playing techniques. We will use O Passo, a Brazilian movement-based method, to create a foundation for understanding rhythm and playing together as a group. We will also study the traditional American drum rudiments to facilitate the acquisition of correct stick technique.During the first trimester, we will focus on counting and understanding syncopation through the study and performance of Brazilian rhythms. In the second trimester, we will focus on reading and performing percussion ensemble music written in traditional Western musical notation. In the third trimester, we will study concert percussion instruments such as timpani, bass drum, and snare drum. We will also begin drum set studies. Students will perform as percussionists in ensembles including other instruments such as wind ensemble or rock band.

    Guitar
    Sixth grade guitar is an introductory one-year course with a focus on fundamentals in music. Students learn to read standard notation, tablature and chords in first position while playing in various ensembles with students of similar experience. The course will emphasize both classical and contemporary techniques of playing the guitar. The course also emphasizes team exploration as students choose their own selections for presentation in small classical and “rock project” ensembles during the course of the  year.

    Continuing seventh-grade guitar class is a one-year courses emphasizing both intermediate 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 course also emphasizes team exploration as students choose their own selections for presentation in small “rock project” ensembles at the end of the year. Students entering in seventh grade must audition and gain approval of the instructor to show mastery of sixth grade concepts.

    Continuing eighth-grade guitar class is a one-year courses emphasizing advanced 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 course also emphasizes team exploration as students choose their own selections for presentation in small “rock project” ensembles at the end of the year. Students entering in eighth grade must audition and gain approval of the instructor to show mastery of sixth and seventh grade concepts.
     
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