The philosophy of the music department is to allow each child to discover the joy of music through active participation in making music. Singing skills are encouraged at the earliest age, accompanied by a variety of melodic and rhythmic instruments.
Students learn to play instruments both through reading music notation and by enhancing their natural aural skills. As they progress through the grades, the classes learn to play Boomwhackers, hand bells, Appalachian Mountain dulcimers, Irish whistles, ukueles, classical guitars, and Afro-Caribbean music for marimbas and drums.
The students enjoy many performance opportunities throughout the school year with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the Spring concert being the highlights. Weekly music meetings give classes the chance to be part of the music shared by the entire student body.
The lifelong principals of teamwork are reinforced in a unique way as students learn to express themselves personally while supporting their fellow classmates as they work together in ensemble musicianship.
Visual Art Program
Study in the arts has been documented to increase problem solving and critical thinking skills. We are fortunate to have a visually stimulating and well equipped studio in the main building. All students in Pre-Kindergarten through Eighth grade work in the studio each week throughout the year. Every class begins with a mindfulness technique called palming. We create in an atmosphere of relaxed attentiveness. Among the areas of study are drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, two and three dimensional design, and digital media. Lessons regarding art history, contemporary art, and multicultural studies are woven into the curriculum. The students often work collaboratively and partake in cross- curricular projects. Student artwork is displayed on campus and in the wider community through art exhibitions and public installations.
One of the best ways to learn about art is to see great art. Each year, middle school aged students view original works of art. We have visited museums and galleries including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, the Rodin Museum, and Grounds for Sculpture.
Additionally, students in first through eighth grades attend our "Looking at Art" slide lecture every Tuesday morning, guided by the Visual Arts teacher. Parents are encouraged to attend!