Lower School Arts
Promoting creativity and strengthening academic learning
Teachers encourage students to imagine, invent, and construct using a wide variety of media, including collage, clay, drawing, painting, and woodworking. Class sizes are kept small so that students can receive hands-on assistance when needed. Skills practiced in the visual arts include focusing, planning, and carrying a project through to completion. Works from artists from around the world are introduced as they may relate to a particular assignment or in conjunction with a social studies unit.
Student artwork reflecting the rich visual arts curriculum is displayed throughout the lower school. These can include works such as brightly colored clay animals in the reception area, beautiful monoprints in the stairwells, wooden vehicles outside the language therapy office, and vivid paintings in the cafeteria.
The whole school looks forward to Arts Night every spring, when students share what they have accomplished in their classes with friends and family. Students from lower through middle and upper schools showcase their creativity and hard work with displays of paintings, drawings, and sculptures.
The music program enhances the curriculum by allowing individual creative expression and sharpening the students’ skills for academic learning.
The first instruments students learn to use are their voices, as members of the lower school choruses. These choruses perform together at school events. All lower school students attend music class once a week. The youngest students learn basic music concepts and skills using a variety of percussion instruments.
As students progress, they learn to read music, continue to develop their vocal techniques, and learn to play recorder. Students are introduced to instrument families and musical genres, including classical, jazz, country, pop, rock, and musical theater. They learn a variety of songs, including rounds and call-and-response pieces, from around the world.
The oldest students in the lower school create music together in rock bands — one of our most exciting lower school activities. During the fall, they become acquainted with the guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard. In January, each student chooses one instrument to study as part of a six-member rock band. They have great fun performing in a rock concert at the end of the school year.