Study of the arts is an important piece of a well-rounded educational experience. Many students with dyslexia are gifted artistically, and we are committed to providing them with instruction of the highest quality, allowing them to explore their talents to the fullest. In our visual arts program, children explore various materials and media, learning about the connections between these and various cultures and subject areas. They also learn about artists and art history. We will foster the appreciation of the visual arts and inspire children to create their own works.
We provide two music classes per week. One class is focused on general music, and the other is focused on playing instruments. The classes integrate Orff-Schulwerk, Dalcroze and Kodaly approaches to instruction, in keeping with national standards. We believe that a rich musical experience involves the exploration, study, and performance of music from diverse cultures. Our curriculum combines musical notation with music theory and history. Students learn folk songs by musical maps, and extensively study various musical styles, and experience practical application using voice, percussion instruments and music improvisation. Students gain competency in basic skills such as singing, rhythm, movement, and dramatic expression. As students deepen their musical understanding, both collaboratively and independently, they are able to demonstrate their abilities to apply musical knowledge and skills in context.
Playing music via an instrument is the best way to understand, enjoy and create music, so every student learns an instrument every year, including ukulele, recorder, and keyboard. Every instrument class concludes with a mini-concert, and every student has the opportunity for solo and group performance. All students participate in a number of performances throughout the year. Highlights include the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Talent shows as well the Closing Ceremonies.
In Dramatic Arts, students explore acting, improvisation, and play writing by learning the fundamentals of each of these fine arts. Classes include several exercises that focus on listening to scene partners, space and movement, quick thinking, voice, and physical flexibility. Students learn about scene study and character development. Students learn techniques of improvisation that lend itself to creative ideas and development of an understanding of comedic features on our classroom stage. Everything created in class must be original content by individual students or in teams with peers. During the last few months of the school year, each class works to create an idea for a final production in June. Students and teachers write short plays that tell an interesting story with unique characters. Students learn to memorize lines, implement their knowledge of movement for the stage, and also help with set design. This final production is a culmination of work accomplished throughout the year. Students build confidence and are eager to display their talents as the year progresses.