The mission of the Performing Arts Department in Hanover County is to equip students with the skills to communicate through music and drama, with the understanding that these art forms are an important universal language and foundationally basic to our society and other cultures.

Music class using bellsAll Mechanicsville Elementary Cardinals attend music class once a week for 45 minutes. Students sing, dance, and play classroom instruments. They improvise and compose their own music. We also learn about the music of other cultures and various composers.

In-Class Instruments

Students begin their recorder study in fourth grade and continue in fifth grade, enhancing their music reading abilities. Students perform fun pieces and compose their own piece using a 20th-century compositional technique.

Thanks to a music grant, we have a class set of ukuleles. Students in the third and fifth grades learn basic chords, perform simple pop songs in class, and even compose their own ukulele piece.

Performing Arts

Fourth and fifth-grade students have the opportunity to participate in chorus. We rehearse during recess once a week and put on several performances throughout the year. Our MES All-County Chorus is comprised of fifth-grade students who audition and perform annually at the Hanover County Festival of Arts and Sciences. Students must participate in chorus in order to audition.

Fifth-grade students also have the opportunity to perform in the Orff Ensemble. This group performs at least twice per year. Focusing on rhythms and ensemble playing, students will develop skills that prepare them for middle school band or orchestra.

Performing Arts Philosophy

We believe…

  • Performing arts education is essential for all students.
  • Performing arts education is a sequential process integrated with other fields of study.
  • Music and theater function together as a universal language that reflects society.
  • Performing arts education teaches history, math, science, cultures, and aesthetics.
  • Performing arts education allows for the manipulation of the expressive qualities of each unique art form.
  • Performing arts education can and should promote the understanding and use of an artistic vocabulary for the purpose of evaluating both student and professional performances.
  • Performing arts education thrives in a safe and positive learning environment.
  • Performing arts education provides opportunities to increase a positive self-concept.
  • Everyone can learn successfully in a differentiated atmosphere.
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