Our arts program encourages creativity, collaboration, and the confidence to take risks.
Studio & Visual Arts
The aim of the arts program at Green Acres is to create an environment in which students can explore, experiment, and give voice to their creative selves. Students explore the properties of art materials to uncover infinite visual languages with which they can tell stories and represent their unique experiences. They learn to observe and visually represent the world around them, and a diverse multitude of art experiences offers students the opportunity to extend their investigations and explore concepts. As students progress from Lower School to Middle School, they use workbooks to record artistic processes and write personal reflections, along with relevant information about art history and theory. The main goals of the art program are to encourage a sense of wonder through open-ended artistic exploration, to cultivate craftsmanship, and to familiarize students with a variety of artistic media and techniques.
Working with clay is a unique and specialized art form that has spanned many centuries and cultures. Using a hands-on approach, students in all grade levels have the opportunity to explore the nature of ceramics and the role it has played around the world. Using a variety of hand-building techniques, students create a body of work that includes functional and purely aesthetic work. Technical skills and imagination are the key ingredients, and both have an important place in the fun-filled ceramics room.
In Early Childhood, students sing, dance, and play music while learning about musical conventions, their world, and themselves. This exploration continues into 1st and 2nd grade, where students also engage with the basic elements of music: rhythm, melody, harmony, dynamics, tempo, timbre, and form. In 3rd grade, students learn to play recorder, xylophone, ukulele, percussion, and other instruments, and they also build skills related to instrumental technique, reading rhythmic patterns, identifying line and space notes, compassion, collaboration, creative composition, singing, and instrument care. In their last year of Lower School, 4th graders build on their musical literacy, instrumental technique, ensemble skills, and performance etiquette, helping to create and perform a mini-musical.
In Middle School, the music program enhances students’ enjoyment and understanding of music, often complementing studies in other areas. Through listening, singing, playing instruments, and performing, 5th and 6th graders learn about music as varied as classical repertoire, American folk music, Zimbabwean marimba music, and the Blues. Sixth graders receive basic guitar instruction. Seventh and 8th graders may choose guitar or digital music composition as music electives. Each spring, all 7th and 8th graders become the cast and crew of a Broadway musical.
Middle School drama offers many ways for students to be involved in theater. They work on projection, stage presence, and teamwork. In 5th grade, students work on a class production. Students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades may write their own plays or use published plays. Once a play has been chosen, students have voluntary in-class auditions, create scenery, costumes and props, and manage sound and lighting. Students have the choice in how they wish to participate in productions—either onstage or backstage. The drama program allows students to shine in new ways.
The photography program for 7th and 8th grades focuses on the creative and technical aspects of both the film and digital worlds. Students seek to find their unique vision in our state-of-the-art darkroom, and they also experience digital photography through Photoshop manipulations and experiments. Students create displays of artwork and exhibits and participate in professional critiques of their work.