The arts benefit students’ holistic development and help develop their appreciation of aesthetics and cultural diversity. “Arts education develops students’ critical thinking skills—including skills for comparing, hypothesizing, critiquing, and exploring multiple and alternative viewpoints.” (Heath, S. B., Soep, E., & Roach, Montgomerie, D., & Ferguson). Involvement with the arts is closely linked to higher academic achievement and the abilities to focus and persevere.
Creativity and skills development are at the heart of our Arts Program. Students learn to coordinate their hands and minds in exploring the visual world and to evaluate the merits of their efforts. They learn to make choices that strengthen their ability to communicate their ideas. Their natural inquisitiveness is promoted as is perseverance. Students are encouraged to express their sense of joy and their desire to learn as they make and share their works of art with others.To help develop students’ pride and self-esteem and to involve parents and relatives, we showcase all students’ artwork in Grades 2–12 on the website Artsonia. Friends and family can post their comments on a student’s artwork and become part of his or her fan club. Take a look at our art on www.artsonia.com.
Music is a form of knowledge that traverses cultures. It helps students develop spatial-temporal and reasoning abilities and is a source of multiple cognitive benefits. It has the power to uplift and to unite. Students in Nursery through Grade 6 enjoy two music classes each week. They learn music theory and appreciation and engage in learning that helps develop their auditory skills, tonal discrimination and sense of rhythm. They learn to play several musical instruments. From Early Childhood Education onward, children study the lives of both classical and modern musicians.
We place special emphasis on choral singing. Most songs are from other cultures and are based on themes taught in our Moral Education Program. Students also learn songs about important global issues such as environmental conservation. They perform their repertoire of songs in several languages at school and for the public. Our elementary children’s choir is well known in Brasilia and has had the honor of performing for both the Brazilian Senate and the House of Representatives as well as for national and international conferences.
Drama helps students develop tolerance and empathy. To play a role well, an actor must be able to put him or herself into another’s shoes. An actor must understand how the world looks through another’s eyes. Because communication and empathy are central to drama, those who experience it in the classroom can better understand history, current events, and life. Drama helps shape responsible global citizens. In Drama class, students in Grades 6–9 study the history of theater from its beginnings to modern times. They study the elements of theater from the creation of scripts to stage props to scenery. Students learn to be actors, playwrights, costume and set designers, producers, and lighting designers, through theatrical games, teamwork and interdisciplinary activities.
Grade 9 students produce and perform an annual play at the end of each school year. Students who enjoy theater can also join the School’s Drama Club.
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