Arts in the Lower School
Children love art because it's fun and provides them with authentic self-expression: The freedom of choice, thought, and feeling. Art teaches important skills for living and develops young minds. The US Department of Labor recently published a report that supports these views by concluding, "Arts education helps students develop skills needed for most jobs in later life, including creative thinking, problem solving, exercise of individual responsibility, sociability and self esteem."
- Visual Art in the Lower School
- Music in the Lower School
- Theater in the Lower School
- Dance in the Lower School
We offer a discipline based art program, creating projects in all mediums: painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, and photography (Grade 4) with components in art history and student critiques.
Line, color, value, texture, shape and form are explored more deeply. The concept and practice of space in two dimensional and three dimensional projects is introduced along with the principles of design of balance and emphasis. Projects include the building of Medieval castles, African textile weavings, and self-portraits.
Lower School Music is centered around musical exploration. Students explore various Orff instruments, improvise vocally and instrumentally, participate in a three year recorder program, sing collaboratively and individually, and prepare for numerous concerts. Students also learn age appropriate theory including treble clef notation, and composition. Our recorder program is conducted from Grade 1 through Grade 3. Grade 4 students participate in formal chorus classes and handbell study.
Kindergarten starts the musical process with a focus on rhythmic echoing and creation. Students participate in drum circles using various Orff instruments where they improvise rhythms within specific guidelines. Kindergartners also prepare for the Eric Carle Museum, where they set his books to music and additional holiday concerts.
Grade Three is the final year for students to play their recorder. The program at this level is much more rigorous than the younger years; third graders prepare to play a song at the Halloween Spooktacular Performance and a recorder accompaniment to the Lower School Veni Emmanuel Christmas Performance. Students also begin to study vocal practices in more detail at the third grade level.
Grade Four visits the Music Room twice a cycle; once as an individual class and once for Chorus, which includes the entire grade. The students are study musical genres in much more detail and complete composer research projects utilizing technological resources. Grade Four also begins playing hand bells in the second semester.
Grade Three is the first year students study theater. We begin the year with an introduction to early theatre history, a basic theatre vocabulary, a study of the stages used by ancient actors. We act during every class using pantomime and creative movement to tell stories independently and in small groups. In December the students present an “Open Class” and in February they perform a short play for the Lower School and their parents.
At the beginning of the 3rd tri-mester the third graders memorize and act out poems and nursery rhymes. Later they are introduced to the folk tales and theatre of a particular culture. They create masks in class and retell the stories to the Pre-School children.
Stuart offers a variety of dance classes through our Extended Day Programs including after school classes and during Stuart's Vacation Camp. We offer Preschool, JK, and Kindergarten Creative Movement/Dance class as well as a Ballet and Jazz Combination Class for Grades 1-4. Tap Dancing workshops are offered during the Vacation Camps.