First Day of School is August 19
Limited Space Still Available at Our Emory Campus for Ages 2.5 to 4 Years
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People of all ages and in all cultures express their humanity, communicate their stories, share their feelings, celebrate their triumphs and grieve their losses through musical expression. At Arbor, the goal of the elementary music program is to guide young people to respond to the expressiveness of music, to teach them about musical concepts, and to introduce them to the works of various musicians. The Orff Schulwerk approach to music education, with its emphasis on language, singing, movement and improvisation, provides a stimulating framework for supporting the musical growth and development of each child in a group instruction setting. Children in lower elementary music classes sing, dance, and play percussion instruments and recorders. They improvise melodies, rhythms and creative movement and practice reading and writing standard music notation. Working primarily with pentatonic melodies and basic rhythm patterns, they build a working vocabulary of solfege (do, re, mi, etc.) and rhythm language which they use in a conversational manner to create their own music. As they encounter familiar musical elements in classical music, they add to their knowledge of music and musicians in other times and places by studying the stories of the composers. As they sing or play instruments in ensembles, children build their skill and understanding of music conventions such as how to rehearse, critique, begin and end a performance.
In upper elementary music classes, children continue singing, dancing, playing percussion instruments and playing recorders as they perform increasingly complex music. They extend their musical vocabularies to include diatonic scales and modes, syncopated rhythms, compound meters and functional harmony. Their classroom study of history prompts experience with music from other times and places, whether singing songs, listening to significant recordings, learning historic social dances or studying the instruments of a particular style period or culture. Continued ensemble work allows them to refine their improvisation, composition, rehearsal and performance skills.
Choral singing and vocal technique are part of the music class work, culminating in the Spring Concert performance by the Lower Elementary Chorus and the Upper Elementary Chorus.
Past soirées have included solos (on piano, violin, flute and guitar), family ensembles (featuring singing, dancing, guitar and bagpipes) and student en- sembles (featuring flute, violin, key- board and percussion). Whatever music your family likes to make together is welcome!
Parents provide light refreshments to follow the evening’s entertainment, and the performers graciously accept compliments and congratulations before they help restore the Music Room to its normal arrangement. All Soirées begin at 7:00 pm, and are usually over by 8:30. Performance order is flexible, usually starting with younger children and moving up through the years.
Arbor’s elementary art program reflects the Montessori philosophy of respect for the child’s innate desire to learn and create Observation,memory, imagination, innovation, interaction, reflection, problem-solving, and independent thinking are all involved when a child is engaged in the process of making his or her own images and forms. Making art provides a child with tools for interpreting life experience, builds identity and self-worth, and provides a form of non-verbal communication for expressing ideas and emotions.
Children in the lower elementary art classes are involved in gaining technical skills, learning to control a variety of media, and using visual symbols. They view art from many places and times and come to see that art plays a valued role in creating cultures and building civilizations. Lower elementary students are introduced to the stories of famous artists and view their masterpieces to learn about the elements and principles of art. They then apply what they have learned to their own work. They study and apply color, pattern, texture, line, and form. They draw with pencil, charcoal, pastels, crayons, and markers, and they learn to paint with watercolor, tempera, and acrylic paints. The children also experiment with printmaking, ceramics, collage and sculpture. Perhaps most importantly, they begin to experience the joy and satisfaction found in the creative endeavor.
In upper elementary art classes, students continue this hands-on exploration while they expand and refine their skills with media, techniques, and artistic processes. At this age they begin to create works of art that deal with ideas of personal significance. Upper elementary students continue to look at specific works of art for subject matter, themes, symbols, meaning, and purpose.
Throughout the elementary years, students spend a period of time in each art class engaged in silent work. This allows the child to become involved in his or her work without distraction and encourages the student to draw from within to seek his or her own counsel on aesthetic choices. In each session we look at the body of work that is created in class in order to learn to describe, interpret, evaluate and respond to the language of art.
Throughout the elementary years, it is stressed that there are no wrong answers in art and that there is an endless variety of solutions to any given artistic challenge. Student artwork is displayed regularly throughout the school year and at the spring art exhibit as a dynamic and visual celebration of the creativity and diversity within our community.