The Performing Arts Program has long been a source of pride for PNCS students. Children develop confidence and public speaking skills through drama, dance, and a variety of school plays throughout the year, including performances at Harvest Festival, Christmas, Project Night and Graduation.
Theater (Drama) at PNCS
One high spot in the school year is the Middle School Play. Most years, we are treated to an original play written by Caroline David. One recent play was entitled "A Play on Words", in which each student WAS a word. We saw characters like AND, a restaurateur with a gift for making connections between people, and SURREPTITIOUSLY, who was the guy you turned to when something needed to be done under the radar. In prior years, productions like "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Then and Now" have been big successes, too - great fun for students, families and friends (and the students can actually read Shakespeare now and savor it!)
Music at PNCS
The Music Program provides a wide variety of musical activities for all students. The students get chances to play for appreciative audiences several times a year, including an annual schoolwide music recital.
We have fun with music at PNCS. We've been really lucky to have generous alumni and friends who are music-lovers. They have supplied us with some really nice instruments, e.g. some beautiful African drums, and tone chimes, and big pieces of bamboo, for a Filipino tinikling dance, and much more.
In Pre-K and Kindergarten, music is part of circle games and dances. We use songs to help learn the alphabet, and days of the week, and months and seasons. We learn to find the beat in songs, and how to move in time to the music. We learn to make the music loud and soft, and fast and slow.
In elementary school, we build more basics of musical knowledge. We do sight singing, and repeated rhythms. We learn about basic melody, and then harmony, and how to tell what harmonies are being used. We learn various musical forms, too. We use Orff instrumental techniques, and the Kodaly system for sight singing. As the students are ready, we teach them to sing in harmony, too, which they really like.
As with other art classes, we try to integrate what we're doing in music with other topics that the students are engaged in. For example, we might learn songs about polar animals when we're studying the polar regions in science class, and various folk songs when studying our neighbors around the world.
The older students get to do African drumming circles, and recorder ensembles, and boomwhacker songs, and tone chime groups, and some folk dancing. The results can be really exciting! The middle school girls put together a traditional tinikling dance, followed by a more modern dance that they choreographed themselves, still using tinikling bamboos as a basis. It was a big hit at the talent show! Middle School also students get to try composing, and do some research in music history, e.g. doing an independent project to find out about a famous composer. Recently, the students have done some music videos, too, which gave them a chance to mix music and technology.