Visual and Performing Arts
As part of their study of culture and practical life skills, the youngest children become acquainted with range of materials, crafts and techniques, and develop fine-motor coordination. Their artworks tell stories, describe scenes, engage their imaginations and instill an appreciation for nature. Woodworking is part of their program. In kindergarten, the children begin more formal art instruction with the art teacher. In Elementary, students use an array of materials such as charcoal, pastel, watercolor, ink, textiles, papier-mâche, clay and wood. They explore line, form, surface, light and perspective. They work independently and collaboratively on artworks that require thoughtful design, detailed planning and careful execution. Their projects may re-enforce their study of history, geography, nature or culture. Recent examples include designs based on the kente cloth of West Africa, illustrations of bridges based on a science project, three-dimensional illustrations of birds and ceramic tiles depicting ocean life. An annual Art Show displays their work.
Young children love music, and our music teacher gives the three- and four year olds an opportunity to enjoy singing, dancing, movement, finger plays and percussion instruments. These lessons help children develop their coordination, their awareness of sounds and rhythm and their understanding of music structure. The Elementary students learn to use their voice as an instrument, singing clearly without tension and with clear intonation. Students continue to develop their sense of rhythm and timing, and learn to recognize visual and aural rhythmic patterns.
In kindergarten, children begin studying the violin with our strings specialist. They learn about the parts of the violin, how to hold rest position and how to use the bow. In the Elementary years,violin class is available to all children as part of the curriculum.
Children begin to write and perform skits in the Primary program. They learn simple dance choreography and movement. In Elementary, the students continue to write and create skits related to their classroom study, and in Upper Elementary, they perform in the Upper Elementary play under the direction of our drama and dance teacher. Every child has a part and the rehearsals extend for a five-week period. Recent performances have included Dear Edwina, Seussical, The Music Man, Honk!, and Allie in Wonderland, an original musical commissioned by the school.