Visual and Performing Arts

Music, Art and Theater!

We are thrilled to announce a new partnership with Emory University’s Theater Department and once a week Drama courses with our students!

MUSIC History, Theory, Music & The Brain, Music in Our Lives

Music History
• Where did music begin and how?
• The first instruments
• What role(s) has music played throughout history,
in different civilizations and societies?
• How has music changed throughout time?

Music Theory
• Sight reading music
• Reading sheet music
• Learning about the different notes/rests etc. and
their values
• Piano
• Voice

Music and the Brain
• What happens in our brains when we listen to and play music?
• How is it that music is able to elicit feelings?
• Music’s ability to hold memories

Discovering and exploring the role(s) music
plays in each of our own lives:
• Rhythm work
• Body mapping
• Cross body movement
• Dance
• And so much more!

Example Study: Gregorian Chants

Our students have been working fervently to compose their own Gregorian chants in music class. This process took several weeks of dedication. Students began by choosing a church mode to write their chant using the appropriate notes associated with that mode. They composed their chants in treble clef and transcribed them on paper. Each student chose to write a short phrase to be repeated as their lyrics or one phrase to encompass their lyrics.

Gregorian Chants, different from today, were always composed on 4 line staff. Today’s music, however, is composed on a 5 line staff. Because each student originally wrote their piece on a 5 line treble clef staff, the students were taught how to transpose their piece into Gregorian Chant Notation. This is not an easy skill. Transposing required students to look at the notes on their piece, figure out the correlation between that note and solfege, and then use that information to move their notes appropriately to the correct lines on the new staff.

ART History, Culture & Study

Study Art History
From the Ancient World through The Middle Ages to The Renaissance
Create Art
Painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, clay, photography and more
Experience Art
Art critique & reflection and field trips into the community


Ancient to Modern Times

In this unit, we studied Australian Aboriginal Art from ancient to modern times. Student’s learned that art from the Indigenous people of Australia is the oldest and longest running consistent tradition of art in the world! With its rich history dating back so far it makes it tricky to place it in any sort of timeline. We really could have studied it at any point this year because of it being such a long-standing tradition, from Prehistory, to the Ancient Arts, and beyond. Pretty cool, huh?!

Our unit culminated in a fun and challenging multi-step, mixed media art project, ‘Aboriginal Inspired Animals.’ There were many steps to completing their masterpieces over several weeks of classes. Students practiced drawing their animals, step by step with the help of teachers, to break down their images into line and shape. EVERYONE participated and created unique and original images.

A major theme of our final art project was learning to “see like an artist” and to “draw what you see, not what you know.” Learning to turn a three dimensional image into a two dimensional, realistic drawing is not easy! Breaking it down into simple shapes and lines helps to simplify and demystify this drawing process. Drawing is a learned skill, like reading and writing. It may come more easily to some, but it’s a skill everyone can learn and certainly try.


Aboriginal Symbols & Iconography

In this activity students viewed, studied, labeled and practiced drawing select Aboriginal symbols.

Aboriginal Inspired Animals

Art Project Steps:

  • Choose your animal (students chose from a select number of photos of animals native to Australia)
  • Draw the animal large on the paper (Practice drawing in sketchbooks)
  • Draw the animal, again, large on the paper. Add a horizon line.
  • Paint animal and background using warm and neutral colors only- Use reds, browns and yellows (or colors created when mixed)
  • Use oil pastel and/or silky crayons to add pattern and texture on top of the paint. Outline your animal in black last.
  • Use white paint to add dots, lines, and other geometric patterns.
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