The Arts

All students at Heritage Oak attend regular music and art classes as part of their weekly curriculum.  Through these important classes, children develop a deep appreciation for the arts while refining their academic skills in a hands-on environment.

Kindergarten Music Classes

Building upon the introduction to music classes taught in preschool and pre-kindergarten, kindergarten students attend music performance and theory classes twice each week with industry professionals. During these engaging sessions, students will do the following:

  • Increase their vocal range through warm-up exercises
  • Recognize different instruments and their families depending on their characteristics
  • Read and write basic rhythmic notation
  • Follow melodic and rhythmic variations with different music
  • Create cultural and historical variations through the music and biographies of famous musicians
  • Develop essential skills such critical and analytical reasoning, problem solving, and creativity
  • Develop an understanding in the areas of musical elements, productions and performance, and music appreciation.

Heritage Oak 1st-3rd Grade Violin Program

Building upon the current introduction to music program in preschool and kindergarten, all Heritage Oak first through third graders study the violin.  The children learn general music theory and history through hands-on experience with age-appropriate, custom-sized violins.  This innovative program empowers students to confidently express their individuality while inspiring them to enjoy a lifetime of music.

Heritage Oak not only values the arts but it also cultivates artists.  The school believes that the arts serve to develop one’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth by providing a safe forum for creative expression and discovery.  Through an interweaving of the psychomotor, affective, and cognitive domains of knowledge, the Heritage Oak violin program will offer “minds on” rather than just “hands on” learning.

Why Violin?

Violins are made in all different sizes, which makes learning easier for younger students.

Violin study strengthens critical thinking as children are guided to apply their own metacognitive abilities to explain the types of strategies used for remembering what musical symbols mean.

Violin study promotes problem solving as students are directed through skill mastery and then challenged to evaluate their own work and apply new understanding.

Violin study teaches global understanding as students learn how to view the world in a different light through exposure to a variety of diverse musical selections.

Heritage Oak 4th-8th Grade Band & Orchestra Program

Students in the 4th and 5th grade music program may choose to participate in either the Band or Orchestra program.  Students in the band program may select an instrument that is categorized as woodwind, brass or percussion instrument, and students in the orchestra program continue with the violin and/or other instruments of the string family (viola, cello, bass).

4th Grade Instrumental Students will begin learning the basics of how to play their instrument, music theory concepts,  and how to become a part of the ensemble with their instrument. They will have two major concert opportunities that are required for these groups – one in December for our Holiday Show and one in Spring for our Spring Concert.

5th Grade Students will continue with their instrument of choice for the following year.  Students in this ensemble learn at a much quicker pace than when they were in the beginning band, and begin to master their instrument, music theory concepts, and are challenged within the ensemble to strive for excellence in their musical repertoire. They will have three major concert opportunities that are required for these groups – one in December for our Holiday Show and two in the spring for our Spring Concert and music competition.

The Middle School Band and Orchestra program is a supplemental elective for students in grades 6th-8th Grade.  As the premier instrumental groups of HOPE, students are expected to achieve a high level of success and have additional responsibilities beyond the classroom.  Students will have the continuous opportunity to perform as well as developing strong leadership skills while learning music theory, history and ensemble performance.  They will have three major concert opportunities that are required for these groups – one in December for our Holiday Show and three in the spring for our Spring Concert, music competition, and Music Finale.

SmartMusic provides students with guided at-home practice sessions with immediate feedback to individual recordings, along with teacher comments/feedback to submitted assignments.

Why SmartMusic?

Research had determined that technology in music education facilitates self-regulated learning by (Summers, 2018):

  1. Demonstrating how to plan each practice session. Students can see how the teacher utilizes the computer program to map out their individual practice sessions at home. When asked to practice on their own, the assignments on SmartMusic serve as a guide for students to plan their own session.
  2. Motivating students to practice. Students are motivated to do well by achieving higher scores on SmartMusic. As a result, they practice more effectively to complete assignments to receive full credit and better grades.
  3. Evaluating immediately with instant feedback feature. Students can recognize immediately if their practice session is effective or not. The automatic-generated scores of the program inform students what they are doing right and wrong. They can practice their assignments several times and evaluate what needs to be done to accomplish the goal successfully.


Summers, E. (2018). The Effects of Parental Involvement and computer based music technology on developing independent musicianship [Doctoral Dissertation].

Visual Arts Program

At Heritage Oak, students will learn art techniques and concepts through instruction, example and encouragement. Art class will be used as a tool to build confidence, problem solve, create cultural awareness, gain personal satisfaction through individual accomplishments, exercise imagination, improve critical thinking skills, develop concentration, discover the joy of learning, and better understand themselves and the world around them.

Visual Arts Curriculum


Kindergarten students develop skills in the use of tools and techniques, such as how to hold a paintbrush properly and coloring in one direction. Students work with various mediums including crayons, paint, clay, and collage materials. The children use lines, shapes, and colors to make patterns, animals, faces and other exciting works of art.

1st grade:

The first grade students focus on drawing and painting techniques to make a landscape, still life, and portrait. The children learn about primary colors and how to mix and create secondary colors. Materials used include watercolor, tempera paint, chalk pastels, ink, and clay. Students study the master artists Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Pablo Picasso.

2nd grade:

At this level, the students learn how to communicate emotion and ideas through art. Children study balance and symmetry; identify patterns in nature and works of art; and differentiate the use of warm and cool colors to express feelings. The students use watercolor, tempera paint, oil pastels, and clay to create their masterpieces. The second grade students learn about master artist, Gustav Klimt contemporary artist/designer Laurel Burch, and marine life artist Robert Wyland.

3rd grade:

The third grade students learn about the illusion of space and create a composition showing foreground, middle ground, and background. They study the use of lines and how they can create a feeling of rhythm and movement. Students learn how to blend colors to create tints, shades, and the illusion of form. After viewing the works of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cezanne, and Wayne Thiebauld, the students create colorful masterpieces using the artists’ style.

4th grade:

The fourth grade students study the lives and works of artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Henri Matisse, Keith Haring, and Andy Warhol. Fourth graders demonstrate skills using complimentary color pairs, positive and negative space in a work of art, and use shading techniques to create depth. After a discussion on human proportions, the children create wire figures in action poses to show movement through the use of diagonal and curving lines.

5th grade:

The Heritage Oak fifth graders learn about optical illusions, perspective, and abstract art. Art projects include a one-point perspective cityscape or landscape, an abstract guitar collage, a cut paper self portrait, and a big cat painting. Watercolor, tempera paint, oil pastels, chalk, clay, and paper mache are all used this year.

6th grade (Elective):

Sixth graders use a variety of materials such as watercolor, pastels, paper mache, and clay. Art projects include Pop Art paintings, Origami, animal sculptures, and wire designs. Students have the opportunity to enter various art contests and exhibit their art skills.

7th grade (Elective):

Seventh graders use a variety of materials such as watercolor, pastels, tempera paint, aluminum paper, clay, and paper mache. Art projects include two-point perspective cityscape construction, still life collages, and mask making. The students also have the opportunity to enter various art contests and exhibit their art skills.

8th grade (Elective):

Eighth grade students take a deep look into the elements and principals of art. Students are introduced to a wide variety of styles and techniques which are incorporated into their own artistic work. The focus is on drawing, painting, and sculpture. Some of the materials include, paint, ink, clay, and plaster. Additional masterpieces created this year are pointillism designs, masks, and kaleidoscope designs. The students also have the opportunity to enter various art contests and exhibit their art skills.

Heritage Oak’s 4th-8th Grade Instrumental Music groups have placed first in various festivals including those held at Carnegie Hall in New York City and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.