Art, Band, Music, Chorus, Orchestra, and Physical Education


Art Specialists:

The elementary art program of Fairfax County Public Schools is exploratory and conceptual in nature. Children are able to explore a variety of thinking processes, art forms, materials and techniques, and sources for inspirationsuch as observation, memory, and imagination. Students look at, talk and write about art from different cultures and times, as well as their own art and art of peers. Students use creative, critical and design thinking processes to solve problems or challenges to make meaning of their world.  The curriculum is designed to develop content knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • recognition of the role and importance of art and artists in society, culture, and history 
  • critical assessment of art works from aesthetic and cultural perspectives 
  • creative problem solving 
  • technical processes
  • personal expression through art production.

Because children change emotionally, mentally, and physically throughout elementary school, the elementary art program is designed with a sustained focus on "A Sense of Place" allowing students opportunities to question, explore, and document their personal growth.  "A Sense of Place" is an enduring idea that validates the experiences of young artists while challenging students to deepen their understanding of alternative perspectives.  The unifying idea of "A Sense of Place" is rich with opportunities for artistic exploration, creative work and dialogue. By examining their own lives and experiences, our students can consider the enduring idea of "A Sense of Place" from a personal perspective.  By examining the enduring idea from multiple perspectives, students can begin to understand what it means to be human and become more empathetic to the people, cultures, and environments they encounter.  The sequential art curriculum is based in the four disciplines:

  • art production 
  • art history 
  • art criticism 
  • aesthetics


Band Teacher:

Students at Cardinal Forest Elementary are able to join band in fifth grade and sixth grades.  Band instruments include Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Baritone, Tuba, and Percussion.  Prior to the start of classes, the director meets individually with students in the fall to help interested students pick the instrument that is just right for him/her.

Students receive small group instruction once per week (one of their two weekly music classes). Regular practice outside of class time is expected and the band generally performs twice per year in December and June. Additional performing opportunities are available such as the West Springfield Area Honors Band (advanced sixth grade students who audition in November) and District Solo and Ensemble Festival (April).

Please contact the band director if you have any questions about joining the band! 


At Cardinal Forest, we believe that music and the arts are a core element of the education of every student.  The foundation of our music instruction is a balanced, comprehensive, cumulative and sequential program of General Music that begins in kindergarten and continues through sixth grade.  Students receive a minimum of 60 minutes of General Music instruction per week from the General Music teachers.  This promotes the fundamental music processes in four related strands: perform, create, investigate and connect.

  • Perform: this is the participation piece of the General Music program.  Students learn to demonstrate mastery of music concepts through singing, playing instruments and moving to music.
  • Create: students learn to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings through music, and learn to use notational tools to do so.
  • Investigate: students explore the study and practice of music through reading and notation.  In addition, they learn to use critical thinking skills to analyze organization and characteristics of music in a variety of styles.
  • Connect: students develop an awareness and understanding of the commonality between music and other disciplines, including language arts and foreign languages, poetry, mathematics, science, history and social studies.

Beyond the musical aspect itself, the General Music program encourages cultural awareness and intellectual and emotional communication skills.  It is vital in developing positive attitudes towards school and lifelong learning.  In addition, the General Music program seeks to develop physical coordination, interpersonal skills, and a broader understanding of history and the role of music in various cultures. 


The Cardinal Forest Elementary School Chorus is made up of 90-100, fifth and sixth grade students.  The Chorus is an important part of the music program at Cardinal Forest. Under the drection of Mrs. Baeseman and Ms. Schick, the Chorus is featured at the school-wide Winter Program in December and at the Community of Caring Program in June.      

Students in the Chorus learn to use posture and breathing techniques to produce a vocal tone in unison and harmony.  They develop an understanding of the vocal anatomy and terminology related to producing accurate intonation and beauty of tone in singing.  They learn to respond to markings and direction for dynamics and tempo, and apply phrasing and melodic contour.  Movement is an important part of the elementary choral experience, as students learn to respond to music through movement and use movement to enhance styles of music.      

Each spring, eight chorus members are selected by audition to participate in the FCPS All-County Sixth Grade Choral Festival.



Students at Cardinal Forest Elementary School can start to play in Strings starting their 4th grade year.  There are three levels of orchestra - Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced. This program provides them with the opportunity to learn self-discipline and dedication.

Playing an instrument is a fun experience, but takes patience and responsibility.  Strings meets once a week, and students are required to bring their instrument and music to each rehearsal.  Since there is a week gap between classes, students need to practice at home to master and retain the skills taught in class.  There are two concerts a year - a Winter Concert and a Spring Concert.

The Orchestra Program sets the foundation for both the Middle and High School Programs.  Playing instruments can lead to many rewarding opportunities in life, such as trips around the country, exposure to new genres of music, and even scholarships in colleges, just to name a few.


Physical Education

Kindergarten classes will be demonstrating many types of skilled movements. They will learn to perform locomotor, non-manipulative, and manipulative skills. Students will also be learning about movement principles and concepts. As the year goes on students will learn personal fitness, how to use responsible behavior, and how to be physically active outside of school.

First, Second, and Third grade classes will continue their development of chasing, fleeing, and dodging skills. Students will be developing their balancing, dribbling, kicking, and striking and throwing skills that will help them perform the skills to play in active games in the future. During the year students will have an opportunity to learn the skills of tumbling and gymnastics. Towards the end of the year students learn a few dance and rhythmic movements including jumping rope that will help strengthen balance and spacial awareness.

Fourth and Fifth grade classes will be demonstrating competency in many movement forms and acquire proficiency in sports related activities and lead-up games. Students will be analyzing movement concepts and principles to enhance motor skill acquisition and performance. Students will also be able to plan and describe a personal fitness and wellness program that will help them achieve and maintain a health enhancing level of physical fitness.

Sixth grade students will be using the skills and movements that they have been learning since their first day of school in active game play. In prior years they have practiced and developed the skills of throwing, catching, kicking, punting, and many more. This year students will be using those skills while interacting in modified games.