Our students’ musical education begins with singing as a natural joyful expression of life. In the earliest grades, music is an intimate classroom experience with recorder playing, singing, games, and movement. In the third and fourth grades children learn to read music, and by fourth and fifth grades, each student participates in a string orchestra, supported by instrument lessons offered during the school day. As students mature musically, wind instruments and percussion are added to the orchestra.
The Handwork and Woodwork curriculum is extensive and is scheduled as a weekly class in the lower school and in concentrated blocks in the high school. The work is done with an appreciation for the aesthetic quality of each piece, and encourages the student to work patiently and carefully, and develops the abilities to think in the non-verbal languages of color, form, and material.
Eurythmy is an art of movement developed by Rudolf Steiner that makes speech and music visible. It is taught from the early childhood years through high school. Through characteristic gestures, the sounds of language and music become visible as movement. Eurythmy requires group awareness, a kinaesthetic sense, individual co-ordination and social awareness. In our modern, hectic world, this is an art that encourages a measured pace and an awareness and sensitivity for others.
Painting and Drawing is an integral part of the child’s experience from the early years through graduation from High School. In the Lower School, the class teacher guides the class through painting on a weekly basis, beginning with wet-on-wet watercolor paintings in the early grades. Middle School students learn new techniques of watercolor painting, use of pastels, and charcoal drawing. Students begin to be trained in drawing from observation, and learning to work with light and shadow. In the High School, students draw and paint in concentrated blocks. The ninth grader focuses on black and white drawing and observation. In tenth grade, the students are introduced to new media such as acrylics or oils, study color theory, and paint from the still life. Eleventh grade students learn landscape painting, and in the twelfth grade each student paints a self portrait.
Simple modelling, related to the curricular content, begins in the Lower School with the class teacher. By High School, this has developed into more formal courses in clay modelling and stone and wood sculpture. Blacksmithing is taught in the ninth grade to develop craftsmanship and for students to experience the traditional source of all metal-working. Students learn to work at a coal burning forge with hammer and anvil producing hooks, gouges, knives, and other metal projects.
Drama is an integral part the school experience. Every class performs at least one play per year. In the Lower School these plays are directed by the Class Teacher, but in the High School the Drama Department takes on the responsibility for the productions of the High School classes as well as the whole school performances and musicals.