Home Program Fine Arts
The Arts are embedded throughout the K-8 curriculum. In class, students illustrate science projects and stories, learn songs to complement cultural studies, write plays to explore different perspectives in history, and have constant opportunities to grow as artists and creators. Students perform and present multiple times a year, often writing their own material as a way to demonstrate their learning.
Drama provides skills not just for actors, but also for all people learning life skills. Drama-centered projects and games invite students to make the silly seriously, to fail big, to care as much about peer work as their own work, and to be curious about everything. Using performance and theater as a classroom tool allows each individual to be seen, heard, thrive, and take risks in the creative process of the stage and life. A variety of strategies are used throughout the grades including: reading, writing, projects, presentations, problem solving, movement, and scene work.
In Middle School, drama is a core class offered three times a week, and students work together as an ensemble and with partners throughout the school year. Upper grade performances and projects from past years include student-written scenes, as well as close-reading and performances of literature studied in Humanities, including most recently Macbeth and Anne Frank.
The music program at Park Day School inspires, cultivates, and trains students to embrace music, and to explore and celebrate themselves as musicians. The curriculum is grounded in six elements of music—voice, rhythm, movement, instruments (drums, xylophones, ukelele, recorder), theory/musical vocabulary and culture—at the heart of which is improvisation and creative exploration. Park Day School uses the Orff-Schulwerk approach, alongside Dalcroze and Kodaly music methodologies. Performance and group collaboration is a key element of the program.
In the lower grades, students attend music class once a week in half groups, while Middle School students take music twice a week for half a year in 6th and 7th grades. 8th graders may choose to specialize in music and participate in a three-day-a-week ensemble class. Music is also offered in the After School Activities Program, and through the Middle School Electives program.
Students are introduced to a range of artists while participating in a robust exploration of world art, and art as social justice work. Students have opportunities to research, analyze, emulate, and critique various works of art. Through this process they learn both technique and principles used in individual pieces. Art conversations support student awareness that art is a part of everyday life and surrounds us no matter where we go or how we live. It is typical for projects in the art studio to complement academic units in the classrooms. Artistic installations may be non-permanent, or revolve around group pieces in celebration of school themes. Creative thinking, experimentation, and the exchange of ideas are integral to the work.