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Fine arts include music, visual arts, dance, and drama. Music and visual arts are required courses in Kindergarten to Grade 6, while dance and drama are optional.

In every fine arts course, students develop foundational knowledge and discover their artistic sides. There are opportunities to create, present, appreciate, and respond to the art form they are studying.

In each fine arts course, students explore inherited traditions and great works throughout history. This inspires them to consider diverse viewpoints, while developing critical-thinking and communication skills.

Students may develop a passion for one or more of the fine arts, which could lead to fulfilling careers or hobbies.

What is new

We are continuing to take a balanced and measured approach to piloting and implementing the draft K to 6 subjects based on insight and advice from the Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group.

We are taking additional time to incorporate feedback from stakeholders. A draft fine arts curriculum will be made available at a later date for further engagement with Albertans and education stakeholders before the draft curriculum is piloted and then implemented.

Find out what is next for K to 6 curriculum renewal.

Engagement timeline

  • Open

    Accepting feedback on updated draft subjects until Feb. 2023

  • Results under review

    Survey and virtual engagements complete

  • Completed

Resources (updated April 2022)

Shifts in K to 6 fine arts

When comparing the draft fine arts curriculum from December 2021 to the current curriculum, these are the main shifts in knowledge and skill requirements.

  Draft curriculum Current curriculum
Skills development Clear and detailed knowledge, skills, and artistic processes in each course that challenge students and help them develop an appreciation for the arts. Focus on basic skills development.
Art media Opportunities for students to explore various modes and media, and discover practical skills to engage with the world. Details about the media students must learn. However, art, music, and drama are outdated and do not include multimedia art forms such as digital and social media.
Diverse cultural perspectives Students connect with world cultures and experience diversity through the four fine arts courses. There are limited opportunities in the four fine arts courses to examine world cultures.
Art history Students analyze fine art forms and disciplines from a historical perspective to develop knowledge that helps them learn in other subjects such as social studies. Limited links to history in the four fine arts courses.

Snapshot by grade

In the fine arts, students will learn about foundational elements and principles, presenting and creating, and appreciation connected to drama, dance, music, and visual arts. The highlights indicate updates made to the draft curriculum in December 2021.

  • Kindergarten
    • Explore sound in music.
    • Investigate play in drama as a social and joyful activity.
    • Explore colours, shapes, and lines in art.
    • Examine the purpose of drama in daily life.
    • Investigate how line is used in art.
    • Create art using different elements.
    • Explore the body and movement.
    • Explore and present ideas through movement.
  • Grade 1
    Grade 1
    • Examine musical sounds related to rhythm, melody, harmony, dynamics, and form.
    • Learn about dramatic play.
    • Investigate the purpose of drama and music in ancient China, ancient Egypt, and present day.
    • Understand how the body moves in dance.
  • Grade 2
    Grade 2
    • Understand that art can be used to communicate.
    • Explore expression in drama.
    • Learn about drama and music in various cultures, including ancient Greece and in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures.
    • Connect the body with various dance movements.
    • Compare tone and duration to rhythm, melody, harmony, and dynamics.
    • Examine how line and shape can communicate an artist’s idea.
    • Learn music from Francophone communities like En roulant ma boule and Frère Jacques.
    • Update: In music, clarity around specific terminology, such as accent, will help students move from theory to practice.
  • Grade 3
    Grade 3
    • Identify how tone and duration affect music.
    • Learn how drama was valued differently across cultures throughout history.
    • Compare music and drama from ancient Rome and New France to modern day.
    • Experience and discuss the significance of a round dance for First Nations.
    • Understand how dancers communicate ideas.
    • Examine colour as an element of art.
    • Update: In music, clarity added around specific terminology, such as Italian terms like allegro and treble clef.
  • Grade 4
    Grade 4
    • Identify the effect of colour in artworks.
    • Examine different messages in artworks.
    • Understand elements of music, including rhythm, melody, harmony, dynamics, and form.
    • Learn how dances in Alberta can reflect the history and traditions of their communities, such as First Nations’ round dance, Métis’ jigging, French-Canadian dances and Ukrainian dancing.
    • Examine the role of time and force in dance.
    • Examine different messages in artworks.
    • Update: In music, additional clarity in relation to rhythm will help students move from theory to practice.
  • Grade 5
    Grade 5
    • Examine how various elements of music can be organized or combined.
    • Investigate how history has shaped music.
    • Understand that colour can communicate various messages, ideas, and feelings through art.
    • Understand the inspiration behind a piece of art.
    • Investigate voice and staging.
    • Investigate how history has shaped drama.
    • Understand the inspiration behind a dance and an improvisation.
    • View a variety of Canadian artworks as an inspiration for talking about and creating art.
    • Update: In music, students will learn specific terminology, such as pentatonic scales, key signatures, and the bass clef.
  • Grade 6
    Grade 6
    • Analyze elements and pieces of music.
    • Discuss the effect of historical events on how people relate to music.
    • Examine how various elements of art can be organized or combined.
    • Demonstrate understanding that art is created with purpose.
    • Use voice and staging when developing characters, roles, and situations.
    • Relate change to historical events and the evolution of drama.
    • Students will learn cultural dances like the lindy hop, the jive, the jitterbug, and the boogie-woogie.
    • Update: In music, clarity in relation to melody will help students move from theory to practice.

Stay informed

Stay informed about K to 6 renewal and feedback opportunities.

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