Patience is a virtue for 270 kindergartners and first-graders who have waited four months to take the stage of the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts.

Patience is a virtue for 270 kindergartners and first-graders who have waited four months to take the stage of the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts.

A performance slated for February was delayed because of snow, but 12 classes from the New Albany K-1 school will take the stage at 6 p.m. tonight (May 1).

The performance will feature four blues songs penned by the students. Music teacher Tiffiny Montes said students wrote the songs during an artist-in-residency program.

"In February, we had a three-week artist-in-residency by Jazz Arts," she said. "This is the third year with them. The focus of this year's residency is the blues."

The songs written by the students began with AAB-form poems but expanded to songs with the help of the five musicians of the Jazz for Kids group.

"(Students) learned the 12-bar blues," Montes said. "The kids picked the style of the song, the instruments."

This will be the first year for the children to perform for a large crowd. Montes said that in past years, the students did smaller performances.

"Each year, we take it to the next level," she said. "We expand upon what we've done the year previous. This year is a lot more hands-on. The kids take a lot more ownership this year."

Montes said students were assigned rhythm instruments or will sing or dance during the performance.

Students learned the routines in February, Montes said, but they didn't need much refreshing for today's performance.

"We have been talking about how much kindergartners and first-graders retain information," she said. "They've done a great job."

Although the retention of the songs and dances impressed Montes, she said students gained other lessons for the artist-in-residency program.

"In addition to music, this hit other content standards in other areas of the curriculum," she said.

Students learned about brainstorming, finding patterns and language arts, among others.

The free jazz performance will begin at 6 p.m. today (May 1) at the arts center, 100 Dublin Granville Road.