The Dark: A Concert By Third & Fourth Graders

Pangyo Elementary grade four students Chloe and Claire tell the story of two grades putting together a great concert.

The Dark lived in the same house as Laszlo, a big place with a creaky roof, smooth cold windows, and several sets of stairs.

Third and fourth graders worked with ambition on their November concert. Directed by Ms. Cayer and Mr. Woods, these elementary students worked hard to make a The Dark by Lemony Snicket come to life.

Just before the school performance

So how did a book become a whole concert? It all started one day when Ms. Cayer took out a book called The Dark. She opened the book and started to read. The book was about a boy named Laszlo who was afraid of the dark. Laszlo always turned on a little lightbulb when he went to sleep. One night the little light bulb broke, so the Dark leads him into the basement and gives him a new lightbulb. When Ms. Cayer closed the book she told our class, “Now with this book, we are going to make a concert!” We were all shocked by the news! When she told us that we were still going to use the songs we already learned, we were a bit relieved, but there was more to come.

Making a great concert takes practice and learning. Practice makes perfect, and this time, it really did. These amazing musicians worked for more than a month, getting ready for this concert. These students practiced with all their singing voices and with all their pride to show the school how hard they worked for this special concert. Mr. Woods talked about how much the students practiced for the concert.

Mr. Woods said, “I really enjoyed watching the growth in students. Seeing the growth of group the beginning when we started learning the music, to the final performance was the best to see. Students really pushed themselves and made music that was challenging, yet they performed it very well. I always love looking back at the progress that is made throughout the process of preparing for the concert.”  

During practices, we heard voices ringing through the air and instruments making the still air hum with excitement. We also saw the graceful moves of the dancing arms and legs swinging around the stage. As I said, when we were learning, we used songs that we already knew but learned new songs too. The teachers sang the new songs and we repeated until we got the whole song. We followed the teachers’ movements until we mastered the choreography.  It took us all of our effort to practice and learn.

“The concert was great, even though there were a few problems to solve,” Serena said. When you make a concert, there are always a few problems. One of the problems is stage fright. If you were in a concert, you would have stage fright. Your stomach can have butterflies and you can have clammy hands. “I was not confident about dancing on stage,” says Yun. All the fourth and third grade classes had a chance to have an important role in the concert, and a lot of students were not confident. This leads into feelings. “I felt nervous and bad,” quotes Tyson. Everybody has feelings, and a lot of kids in the concert had feelings of nervousness.

All students had a chance to sing, read, dance or play instruments during the concert

The most important thing was the concert. Everybody was ready after practicing for almost a month. Kids had feelings jumbling all over the place while the audience streamed in. We remembered when everything was silent, and the time we have been waiting for  arrived. During the concert, the music hushed the audience so only the beautiful notes could be heard. The people that told the story made the words last in the audience’s brain. “The proudest moment at the concert for me was seeing all of the students engaged in the music and doing their part to tell the story. I was so proud that all of the students were performing independently at such a high level. Knowing that the entire performance was a collaborative creation that didn’t exist before this performance is very exciting!” said Ms. Cayer. The concert ended perfectly.

The  concert was a dark concert outside, but the spirit of it was shining light.

Opening quote from The Dark by Lemony Snicket. Thank you Chloe & Claire for sharing such a great story. We’re proud of our grades three and four for their good practice and performance! For the full video, please take a look at Evan So’s YouTube post.

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