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.

Our Music Curriculum

ChorusOur curriculum is designed to integrate with the classroom curriculum and is based on the Orff-Schulwerk approach. This approach embraces the philosophy that experience should precede conceptualization. It is an inductive approach in which multiple experiences involving speech, rhythm, moving, and singing, and playing instruments are integrated so that students make and participate in music before learning how it is notated. A culture of community is created in this approach because every student is involved as an active participant rather than merely a spectator. Using solfege and a sight reading website, students learn how to sight sing traditional notes and rhythms. Our song of the month lets us explore traditional folk songs and keeps us working together as a team.


Xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiels, and a wide variety of unpitched percussion instruments create an exciting "hands-on" environment for weekly music classes. African style tubano drums are a particular favorite! We use ukuleles to introduce form and chord structure in third grade. In fourth grade, students study the recorder and start reading traditional melodic music notation.

Cross-Curricular Integration 

Listening, moving to, and discussing all styles of music is also an important part of the curriculum. We discuss the title, composer, time period, and instrumentation. Through each piece, we explore other countries, cultures, and periods of history.


Percussion EnsembleIn addition to weekly music instruction, older students may participate in music ensembles where we focus on the fundamentals of good choral singing, including posture, breathing, diction, tone quality, and singing in parts. Fourth and fifth graders may join Beaverdam Chorus, which rehearses during the school day. Performances include winter and spring concerts, Leadership Day, community events, and the Hanover County Arts and Science Festival. 

Fifth graders may also participate in a percussion ensemble, which rehearses after school on Tuesdays from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. We perform songs from cultures around the world, using both pitched and unpitched percussion instruments. Students may audition during regular music class. Performances include winter and spring concerts. 

Annual Talent Showcase

We encourage all our students to audition for the Beaverdam Annual Talent Showcase, each June. We always have a wide variety of acts from Irish dancing to Taekwondo board breaking to rock bands. Our Beavers definitely have talent!

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