Music instruction begins in the Lower School using the Orff musical approach. This is a multi-dimensional, multi-sensory approach to music that involves activation of the students with singing, moving, dancing, speaking, instrument playing, rhythmic training, improvising, reading and writing. It is an all-inclusive philosophy that seeks to reach the whole child. Musical productions are performed throughout the school year. In Middle School, students receive a six week music appreciation course through the “Exploratory” curriculum. They are introduced to the fundamentals of music theory, major composers and their respective periods in music history. Upper School students who wish to continue in the study of music take part in Chorus, an extra-curricular activity that is performance driven. In this experience, students gain the skills and confidence to participate in community and church vocal ensembles, to support “music as an art” activities after graduation, or to pursue a career in music if they so choose.
Lower school students receive instruction with an art specialist in the lower school art studio. Students discover the elements of art as they work with different materials both two dimensionally and three dimensionally. Art history is introduced to enhance the lessons and help students connect the arts with other areas of the curriculum. Middle School students attend art during the exploratory block. The middle school art curriculum builds on the skills learned in the lower school as students continue to explore and create. Instruction advances to the principles of art with continued emphasis on art history. In the Upper school students schedule art as a class which meets daily for a semester. A Foundations course is the prerequisite giving students an opportunity to determine the areas of focus for future courses. Upper school students prepare portfolios specializing in graphic design, printmaking, drawing, painting, ceramics and metallurgy. A.P. Studio Art is offered for students planning to pursue a career in the arts.
Lower School students experience the basics of storytelling, theatre production, dance, puppetry and pantomime. The student will also learn how to communicate and demonstrate knowledge of narrative through participation in a theatrical production. The goal is to have the student perform comfortably before peers and adults in structured situations.
Middle School students experience script analysis, production roles, technical theatre, and play writing and performance technique to develop finished dramatic productions. They also learn how to write monologues and scenes, create characters, analyze text, act, direct and design for plays. The overall goal of the collaborative Visual Arts/Theatre Arts exploratory class is to create a strong ensemble through teamwork, collaboration and an understanding of theatre and art as a collaborative art form.
Upper School students learn acting as a craft, technical theatre as a skill and critical thinking as a tool through the practical application of the theatre and film production process. They are evaluated through journal entries, writing assignments, performance technique and use of stage and film production vocabulary. Advanced drama students learn how to write critiques for live theatre performances in the area, write plays/screenplays and storyboard and film their own screenplays.