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Visual & Performing Arts

photo of student artwork in the style of Kadinsky: colorful round cut circles 
and black pen to make flowers

The Laurelwood staff believes in meeting the needs of the whole child. We therefore encourage children to participate in a number of creative arts activities:

Students have the opportunity to explore their creativity as they learn to use various art media. Our PTA sponsors visual art lessons for every grade level.  Each class in grades k-5 receives 4 specialized visual art lessons per school year, within the school day, from a certificated teacher who specializes in art history and design/technique.

The PTA also sponsor STARTING ARTS which consist of six week rotations, twice per year, for every classroom, within the school day. This year our students will participate in dance and vocal music in K-2.  Grades 3-5 will participate in music and theater arts.

The school district provides instrumental music instruction for upper grade students.  Each 3rd grade classroom receives instruction within the school day, inside their own classroom, with an instrumental music teacher.  Students in grades 4 and 5 have the option to participate in instrumental music lessons for both string and band instruments, in a pull-out program (i,e. outside of their regular classroom- time is dependent upon their instrument of choice), but within the school day.

In addition to specialized instruction, the arts of drama, visual art, literature, and speech are highly incorporated into daily instruction in many of our classrooms.

During the month of December, through the guidance of volunteers and staff members, the school puts on a special Nutcracker Musical. Laurelwood students in grades 3-5 may audition for this production in the fall and voluntarily give up their recesses, before, and after school time, for practices and rehearsals.

photo of 2nd grade student artwork of both Kadinsky style flowers adn chalk 
Instrumental Music: 4th & 5th Graders

The deadline for 4th and 5th grade students to sign up for band/orchestra for the 2017-18 school year is Wednesday, August 23, 2017.  Any students new to Laurelwood will be given the opportunity to join if they were taking instrumental music at their previous school.

If your child has chosen to participate in Instrumental Music this year, please review the attached brochure with them to see what this year's music class will entail.
Also, please sit with your child for a few minutes every day while they practice! Extra eyes on posture and positioning will help a lot!  (10-15 minutes of practice each day is enough).
Below this are links to short introductory lessons for each instrument.  These lessons are a great place to begin! 
Thank you for your help and support.  I'm looking forward to another amazing year in instrumental music!
LW's Instrumental Music Concert will be on May 17, 2019 at 6:30pm (6pm "call time" for performers)
-Cliff Rawson
scusd music



1  opening case, parts 3:49

2 making a sound on head joint 6:33

3. the flute together 3:49

4. how to hold the flute, home keys 4:52

5. first note (D) 4:50

6. 2nd note (Eb) and Shark Attack! Song

7. low F to high F with embouchure 3:27



1. opening case, parts 3:21

2.1 Assembling the Mouthpiece, Barrel, and Reed 8:10

2.2 to make a sound! (embouchure, band face, and first sound) 4:40

3. to put together (assemble) the clarinet 4:21

4. to Hold the Clarinet & Home Keys  5:17

5. First Three Notes 5:31


Alto Sax

1. the case. 3:20.

2. the mouthpiece/reed. 2:53

3. together the saxophone. 3:39

4. to hold the saxophone, home keys 3:28

5. a B 2:38

6. an A 1:15

7. a G.  1:11

8. cross buns. 6:07



1. buzzing, breathing exercises, right/left hand positions, open C, open G, F.  9:59

2. producing a good tone. 8:09

3. 3 tonguing. 8:17

4. and playing notes (reading starts at 5:20). 9:38.

5. playing songs. 6:24



1.  Assembly, how to hold. 10:34

2. sounds. 6:28

3. the slide. 9:30

4. and F. 2:43

5.  6:32

6. and Sliding. 3:33

7. five notes. 8:38


Snare Drum

1. and playing position. 2:21

2. grip. 7:24.

3. stroke. 4:41




Taping the fingerboard(ONLY WITH PARENTS)

Tuning the instrument (ONLY WITH PARENTS)


1. the instrument (guitar style), pizzicato with thumb. D major scale, twinkle twinkle. 13:34

Sheet music download

2. Holding the violin (on the shoulder)

3. Holding the bow, (exercises) 4:59

More advanced lessons:

1. note finger patterns

2. club notation animation

3. vibrato (wrist and arm). 6:42.


Applying Fingerboard Tape (ONLY WITH PARENTS)

Tuning the instrument (ONLY WITH PARENTS)

1. 1 part 1. Parts of the cello, parts of the bow, holding the instrument, right hand arm motion, bow grip, 

2. 1 part 2. Bowing open strings (various exercises)

3. (first half of video)

More advanced lessons part 1, major scales. 7:01. part 2. 7:52.

String Club Notation Animation (this is a good site for continued online study)