Performing and Visual Arts
Creativity is in the air in the Lower School. Visual, hands-on projects are an integral part of the learning experience starting in nursery.
Formal studio art begins in kindergarten. Students explore the key elements of art—color, line, shape, and composition—through projects in a variety of media, including paper collage, watercolor, acrylic paint, colored pencil, and clay.
Music class begins in nursery. Through their experiences in Lower School music class, students learn to sing with confidence, be comfortable on stage, read music, memorize lines, and study rhythms, melodies and musical forms through singing, moving and playing Orff instruments and recorders.
Starting in kindergarten, students can participate in the dance program. Kindergarten and grade 1 students can join Petite Paws, which meets weekly for ballet fundamentals. Students in grade 2 and 3 are welcome to join Cubs, a two-hour block of high energy training in ballet technique and jazz basics.
Our performing dance companies are an audition only dance experience open to students in grade 4 and above. Students in Pounce (grade 4) and Pride-2 (grades 5 - 6) receive intensive instruction in theater dance, ballet, lyrical, and tap. The Wild Cats is a boys hip hop group open to students in 4th grade and above. Dance classes meet after school and on weekends.
Beginning in 1st grade, students may also choose to take piano lessons. Working individually with a piano teacher, students strengthen their ability to read music and practice the technical skills needed to be successful on a keyboard instrument.
Beginning in grade 4, students can choose to participate in this year-long arts elective. In band, our young musicians learn technical skills such as correct fingering, how to read music, embouchure (mouth position), breath control, articulation (how to begin and end a note), and how to refine their sound. The program includes weekly small group instrumental lessons in addition to full band rehearsals.
Band students can choose to study a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument, including:
- Alto Saxophone
- Tenor Saxophone
- Baritone Saxophone
- Baritone Horn
- Bass Guitar*
*Students who choose guitar, bass guitar, or drums are also required to study a woodwind or brass instrument.
Beginning in fourth grade, students who choose to participate in this year-long arts elective gain confidence on stage, develop proper vocal technique, and gain experience working as an ensemble. Sight reading is encouraged as students become independent musicians and sing in parts. Rehearsals include one sectional and one large ensemble each week. It is an exciting opportunity to be part of a Spring musical, as well as to perform in the holiday concerts and numerous assemblies throughout the year.