Our visual, musical, and performing arts programs provide students with opportunities to find and express their individual voices, as well as with chances to work together in creative teams. Students work on process-oriented projects to gain confidence in their abilities to produce great works of art.
In grades K-8, students have weekly art instruction with an art specialist. Our sky-lit art room provides a welcoming environment for creativity and experimentation. Students are introduced to the fundamentals of art, and work with a wide variety of materials and tools. Often, art projects are integrated thematically with academic topics being studied in the classroom, allowing students to approach the material from a completely different perspective. Students explore techniques with a wide variety of artistic media, working with pencil, ink, charcoal, oil pastel, watercolor, clay, fabric, wood, and other materials. The tactile approach of the younger grades makes way for more self-reflective artistic expression, once students mature. Older students learn about the elements of design and engage in sophisticated visual observation and analysis. Visits to art exhibitions and gallery tours enhance the study of art, and students are proud to display their own masterpieces on the walls and in the halls of our school.
Music is a central part of our educational program, playing an important role in school-wide holiday celebrations and individual class performances. Students learn musical concepts and appreciation through songs in English, Hebrew, and Ladino. Over the years, students build a repertoire of songs reflecting their American and Jewish identities, grounded in communal values. Exposure to music from other times and places provides insight into varied cultures and communities. Students learn core concepts such as melody, harmony, and rhythm, and explore elements of being musical in a group. Music class provides a wonderful opportunity to create community through song, and as a result, our school is filled with the joyful noise of spirited children.
Participating in dramatic and musical performances builds self-confidence and encourages teamwork, allowing students to grow academically and socially. Beginning in kindergarten, each class works with a performing arts specialist to create a curriculum-themed production. Emphasis is placed on the process of working together and being one's best, and the end results reflect those goals; each student has the opportunity to shine, and the excitement of seeing it all come together is palpable. Middle school students engage in a three-week intensive effort to produce a musical theater play. Students are involved in all aspects of the production, from designing and creating sets to stage managing and costumes. On the academic side, students study the play's time period and context, and explore the themes of the work, heightening their appreciation of the material and enriching their performances. Past productions include: Fiddler on the Roof, Annie, Peter Pan, and The Wizard of Oz.