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.
A defining feature of our Lower School curriculum is the inclusion of yearlong specials in music, art, and drama that students participate in each day. These experiences build poise, self-confidence, creativity, and a love of learning and exploring. This immersion allows children to grow from practice, try new forms, and dive deeper into certain subjects. Our arts instruction opens students to a variety of experiences in different forms, mediums, processes, and time periods. What resonates with them? What moves them to create their own work? Because when they are able to take that self-expression and channel it into tangible interests and disciplines, they likely discover a lifelong passion. With their own art and music areas, performance spaces, and designated classrooms, students have ample time and resources to develop new talents, express themselves freely, and build a strong artistic foundation.
Beginning in pre-kindergarten, our visual arts program sets students on a path of exploration and self-discovery that will serve them well throughout their lives. At the youngest age, children are introduced to visual information whether it be in real life or through digital platforms. How they understand and digest this information is crucial to navigating a constantly changing world. In the beginning, we introduce students to a wide range of materials and methods while teaching them new skills, concepts, and problem-solving techniques. As they get older, students are exposed to more advanced concepts like color theory and 3-D art. Along the way they gain knowledge in mediums like sculpting, painting, and drawing, and learn to work collaboratively and independently. By the time they finish fifth grade, students have completed a journey of artistic growth, skill building and self-discovery.
From improvisation, theater, and puppeteering classes to a host of performance opportunities, our drama program focuses on giving students the chance to explore their emotions, develop empathy for others, and gain confidence in expressing themselves. As they begin to have fun flexing their imagination and working as part of a team, students gain experience in concepts like improvisation, listening, and memorization. Through collaboration, they begin to support and inspire each other, helping build empathy and confidence in an open and comfortable environment. Our oldest Lower School students start tackling more complex roles in all areas of production, learning that working toward a common goal inspires deeper connections and tighter bonds. On their way to Middle School, our students have a nice foundation in performing, directing, and staging.
When students pick up their first instrument, sing their first song, or perform in their first show, it can be the start of a lifelong passion. After being introduced to music basics, students begin to learn key concepts like rhythm, movement, and vocal patterns while building a strong knowledge and foundation of musical language. Students begin to explore a variety of musical styles from around the world, learning to understand different cultures and the wide range of possibilities music has to offer. By the time they get to Middle School, they will have a strong appreciation of music while also having experience in writing, reading, composing, playing, and singing.
The arts are vital to a Seven Hills education, and all our students in our Lower School participate in arts programs as part of the curriculum. Many go beyond the classroom and develop their passions further, taking a particular interest in an instrument, musical theater, chorus, or some aspect of visual arts. Below, our student artists share how the arts have helped shape their Seven Hills’ experience.