Arts integration is the use of the arts in core curriculum classrooms. Art integration is seamless — the interplay between the art and subject is fluid as one flows into the other. It is important in the curriculum because of the power of art to engage students in experiential learning. It is the process for making meaning directly from the learning experience as opposed to academic learning. Children thrive on the study of the arts as it opens doors to creativity. The arts nourish critical thinking and innovation. Important new technologies also add to the scope of the arts. An Arts Integration approach is naturally engaging to students and to teachers. Almost everyone has one art form (visual art, music, dance or drama) with which they connect and use to make sense of the world.
Creating a self-portrait. Singing a song. Making a character come to life. These are just a few of the activities students enjoy in the school’s Arts program which emphasizes the Visual and Performing Arts. From preschool through eighth grade, students develop their talents and skills in the Arts.
In the early childhood program, our young learners use various media in their daily learning experiences with painting as a highlight. Elementary students meet with the art teacher in structured classes, focusing on creating a positive environment for students in their journey of artistic development. The basic elements of art (line, shape, color, value, texture, space, and form ) are introduced and highlighted throughout the year. Using a variety of art mediums, students have the opportunity to explore and learn different techniques, as they create their own art. Their unique pieces become part of the students’ year-long portfolios.
In middle school, fifth graders take a course entitled “Artists and Movements” where they find inspiration from key figures and movements in art history, starting with Impressionist artists Claude Monet and Mary Cassatt, as they create their own masterpieces. In sixth grade, students take “Elements/Principles of Art” where they explore common principles in art through different media as they create original artwork and continue with their creative growth.
Filmmaking is another elective offered to seventh and eighth grades. Writing, acting, directing, and editing are just some of the skills students learn in this class. A special screening of the films takes place at the annual Middle School Arts Fest.
Classes in music are provided by a music specialist for preschool through Grade 6. Students learn to read notes, sing, and play instruments. Lower schoolers perform twice a year at the Winter and Spring Concerts while middle schoolers perform at the Choir Concert every January. The after-school Musical Theater Club gives elementary students another layer of performing experience with a fun-filled musical.
Acting is offered as an elective in seventh and eighth grades. Students prepare a one-act play with a culminating performance at the MS Arts Fest. This class is taught by an acting teacher with special skills and knowledge in this area.
The MS Arts Fest is the spring showcase of various arts activities from the year. The Acting Elective performs its one act play while Filmmaking Elective screens its films. Other arts elements may also be included such as a visual arts slide show or display.