We believe that experiences in the arts are essential and that they are a value for one's entire lifetime. The abstract, symbolic nature of the arts are a valid and powerful means of searching for and sharing fundamental questions and truths about the human experience. Participation in the arts inspires creativity, fosters the development of problem-solving, critical-thinking, and literacy skills, and builds self-esteem and character. We host several art events throughout the year, bringing our community together to celebrate the accomplishments of our students.
The mission of our visual arts program is to help students fulfill their inherent creative potential and develop confidence using their artistic voices. Your child will connect with art in a variety of ways, including through independent and guided exploration, technical instruction, and the study of art's role in reflecting and influencing culture throughout history.
Our goal is to make visual art a comprehensible language. Movement, song, drama, and games are a few of the elements that enhance both the classic and uncommon themes explored in the classroom. On a stroll through the art room, one might observe students working with clay, studying perspective, doing still-life studies, weaving with traditional and non-traditional materials, or acting out scenes from famous works of art.
Our students showcase their learning at two Spring events, the Elementary Art Show and the Artist Wax Museum. The Wax Museum is a cross-curricular research project that includes language arts, visual, and dramatic art components for students in the 4th and 5th grades.
Whether trekking to a major museum, visiting a local artisan shop or studio, or delving into the inspiring natural landscape our campus provides, students discover that art is everywhere, in many diverse forms, and is accessible to all.
Movement is an important part of every music class, as is singing and developing rhythm, and our songs most often incorporate instruments. We improvise, create, play, and dance our way through a carefully created scope-and-sequence of music learning. There are many opportunities for joyous performance, both during the school day and in planned performances. On any given day, a visitor will find our musicians happily playing beautiful xylophones, percussion instruments, and keyboards, or singing in chorus with friends. The music program is enhanced by our afterschool private lesson program.
Sparhawk students learn to read music on the staff, sing solfege, explore melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre based on the Orff Schulwerk and Kodaly methods. Your child will be exposed to a wide range of music and styles from traditional folk songs to contemporary and original works. Our students have opportunities to perform using xylophones, glockenspiels, percussion, etc. Students improvise, compose, listen to and analyze music, understanding its relationship to history, culture, and other arts.
Our teachers use theatrical and drama elements as experiential tools for teaching and learning. Dramatic experiences are collaborative and interactive, giving students the opportunity to explore this important form of artistic communication.
Examples of dramatic learning:
- Bird-naming ceremony- class names are presented to the community through student-generated skits.
- Our teachers create community time experiences where students are truly immersed in learning through role playing.
- Multi-grade performances and historical re-enactments explore thematic topics from sea shanties to world mythologies.
- Enrichments (Grades 2-5) include movie making, improv and puppetry.