A music lesson provides opportunities for students to sing together, play instruments, and to listen to music of the great composers as well as music of the diverse cultures of our world. Students learn age-appropriate music theory and musical vocabulary. Students play singing games, which involve teamwork and group planning and learn social skills such as waiting for their turn and respect for others. Students learn history as we sing songs that from our American heritage as well as other cultures and countries as they sing and play musical games from around the world. Students practice language and reading skills by singing and analyzing the musical form of the songs we learn in class and even incorporate math when studying rhythmic value and notation. Through dance movements, students engage in physical exercise. Additionally, our students enjoy opportunities to see live performances provided by the Richmond Symphony’s Musical Ambassadors Program (MAP). 

Three WHES studentsContact

Mrs. Underdown, Music Teacher

Point System

Every class works to earn up to five points each week by entering the music room quietly, listening, trying their best, being kind to others, and leaving quietly. We post the points earned in the hallway on grade-level scorecards. The class in each grade level with the highest number of points at the end of a nine-week grading period receives special recognition during the morning announcements. The point count starts over at the beginning of each nine-week period. Through this reward system, we are working on mastering a state music objective, which is to work together to make music in a large group. We also recognize individual students in each class as “outstanding musicians.” These students receive a certificate to take home, so be on the lookout for the certificate!

In-Class Instruments


Each October, fourth and fifth-grade students begin to study and play recorders, an old, flute-like instrument, as part of their music instruction. Playing the recorder gives the students an opportunity to create and play music using traditional music notation. Students earn “recorder belts” (similar to a martial arts belt) as a reward for developing new playing skills throughout the year. By the end of the school year, fourth-grade students can earn their white, yellow, orange, and red belts, and fifth-grade students their red, green, blue, purple, brown, and black belts. 

Purchasing a Recorder

We require all students to have a recorder to use in class. You may order a recorder at our open house, but no later than the end of September when we place our order. The cost is $6.00, and we accept payment online at My School Bucks, a check payable to WHES, or you may send in the exact amount of cash. Please have your child give the cash or check to his/her classroom teacher who will record receipt and send it to the office. If you already have a recorder at home, your child may use that one. All recorder students will have an opportunity play in the Mega Musical Extravaganza Event held in May and will receive a “special” belt to add to their ring.


Fifth-grade students also have the opportunity to play on ukuleles during the second semester. This is a new adventure for WHES. We’ll see where it takes us!

Performing Opportunities

Students at every grade levels have the opportunity to perform on the stage here at school and also out in the community. 

Kindergarten and first-grade students present their show at the February PTA meeting. Look for an informational letter in early January.

The second and third-grade students perform their “Cool Cat Show” at the October PTA Meeting. Be sure to watch for the information and permission letter, and e-mail me your cat pictures for our slideshow.

Fourth and fifth-grade students have the opportunity to join our Holiday Chorus. We do not hold auditions; anyone who likes to sing may participate. This chorus practices during recess time on Thursdays, beginning the first week in October. We will learn favorite holiday songs to share in our community. Look for informational letters in September, and sign and return the bottom portion of the letter if your child would like to participate.

We will also have other performing opportunities throughout the school year for interested students.

We Need You

Attention parents: If you have a musical skill that you would like to share with us here at WHES, please let me know. It's a wonderful thing for children to see "grownups" making, creating, and enjoying music!

If you need to contact me about any of these performing opportunities or have questions in general about our WHES music instruction, you can e-mail me or call 723-2300, ext. 1021.

Looking forward to a “marvelous musical” year!

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