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Lower School Arts

We encourage children to express themselves from an early age. It’s our responsibility to show our youngest students how powerful their imagination and creativity can really be. That’s why our Lower School students have ample time to explore and develop new talents in art, music and performance spaces.

Igniting Creativity

Our Lower School curriculum strives to build self-esteem and promote openness to the ideas and expressions of others, while fostering foundational skills in visual art, drama, and music. Fine and performing arts instruction is an essential piece of our Lower School curriculum and is part of Seven Hills’ yearlong specials classes. Students soon learn to move outside their creative comfort zones, whether it’s when they’re improvising a puppet show, constructing a sculpture, or learning about the many types of music. Engaged faculty are with them every step of them, encouraging and inspiring students to hone their artistic potential. 

Visual Arts

Shapes. Patterns. Vivid colors. Creative self-expression is part of the daily routine. On special days, children travel to our art studio, using chalk, paint, and papier maché to hone design skills and craft products that make them brim with pride. The world of art gives our pre-kindergarteners the opportunity to discover and create. Our littlest artists feel the texture of paint, marvel at the mixing of colors, and create one-of-a-kind masterpieces. They connect with their creations and delight in their work.

In pre-kindergarten, students may:

  • Practicing fine motor skills
  • Expressing creativity
  • Building self-esteem
  • Exploring materials

In kindergarten, our students focus on the joy of creating. As they explore art materials and methods, we invite them into a world of discovery and imagination, where there is a constant hum of energy.

First-graders continue their journey of exploration in the art room, learning new skills, concepts, and problem-solving techniques through projects that are more intricate and advanced. In the process, they learn to love and appreciate creating and sharing their art.

In second grade, students are immersed in creative projects that delve deep into all forms of color theory. While drawing, painting, collaging, sculpting, and creating 3-D ceramic projects, they learn that art is a form of self-expression and that self-discovery can happen in the art room.

Our third-grade students experience art in many shapes and forms. They build creations from the ground up, work with plaster and paint in teams, and learn about the different types of self-portraits. It is a time of creativity and risk taking, guided by passionate teachers excited to broaden students’ artistic horizons.

Fourth-graders dive into art each week, discovering the skills and creative imagination found in drawing, painting, plaster sculptures, ceramics, and group installations. They create individually and collaboratively, using advanced skills and techniques.

Fifth grade is a journey of artistic growth. Students learn to take risks in projects, learning from their mistakes and fine-tuning their work through the artistic process. Their work in groups and as individuals becomes more complex and advanced, as they are challenged to take unexpected approaches and create beyond what they think they are capable of.

Drama

Pre-kindergarteners are ready for creative play and the structure of a drama class in a safe environment makes acting fun. Pretending to go different places and become different characters is a major part of the drama fun.

In kindergarten, students have fun flexing their imaginations. They come to every drama class excited and ready to take on another adventure.

Acting together means that everyone is a part of the team. In first grade, students look past their individual selves and become part of a whole as they develop their teamwork and collaboration skills. They explore and experience empathy during creative play, having fun all the while.

In second grade, actors and actresses gain experience and improvisational skills by taking on roles that call for spontaneity and listening. Memorizing lines is also part of the work, but play is the emphasis every day.

By taking on more intricate improvisational forms, students in third grade learn to go beyond the expected and inspire each other. They learn to plan and collaborate with their peers as they improve their long-form improvisation skills.

Students in fourth grade work in small groups, taking on tasks like scene construction and character conflicts that stretch their acting skills. Projection, focus, and collaboration are celebrated with each successful class.

In fifth grade, students experience full play production for the first time and continue to challenge themselves and others during class. As they become more comfortable and confident, they tackle more complex acting roles, working individually and collectively to reach a common goal.

Music

Music in pre-kindergarten is an exploration of sounds made by playing rhythm instruments, singing songs and moving to music. The children discover steady beat, pitch, and tempo while making their own music.

In pre-kindergarten, students may:

  • Experience the movement, rhythm and tempo of music
  • Discover and use a variety of instruments
  • Explore sounds made by a variety of instruments including one’s own voice
  • Experiment with improvisation

Our kindergarteners learn about music by singing, moving, playing classroom instruments, and listening. From the very start, they explore and discover music from many different cultures and in a variety of styles.

First-graders discover, explore, and experience music through singing, playing rhythm and Orff instruments, movement, and dance. By working with their voices, as well as non-pitched and melodic instruments, they enjoy themselves as they learn the basic language and elements of music.

Students in second grade encounter and study a variety of musical styles from around the world, helping to reinforce their understanding of musical concepts.

In third grade, students strengthen their knowledge of music through singing and dancing, as well as reading, writing, and creating music. Additionally, they begin to learn to play the recorder and discover how to tell a story using Orff keyboard instruments.

 

Fourth-grade students identify, write, and play music on drums, nontraditional percussive instruments, and Orff keyboard instruments. They learn to sing in harmony and read musical notation, and study musical expression through dance. In addition, students experience music from a variety of cultures and time periods, with the goal for each student to develop a love and appreciation for music.

In fifth grade, students deepen their appreciation of music through a varied repertoire and expand their understanding through improvisation, composition, singing, choreography, and musical notation. Their year culminates with a fifth-grade musical production for their parents and peers.