Provide students with the tools that will enable them to express all that they can imagine.
Studio arts, dance, music and drama have always been a central part of life at Town. They do not simply coexist with the demanding curriculum, but enhance it. For example, a class that is studying Africa in history might be building safari animals in art class, studying African instruments in music class, or learning African movement in dance class. It is the aim of all artistic studies to provide students with the tools that will enable them to express all that they can imagine.
Children study art, music and dance every week in the Kindergarten and Lower School. In the Upper School students rotate by trimester between art, music and drama/movement in order to allow for more in-depth studies. In the Fourth and Eighth grades students work together on major musical theater performances, which draw upon all the artistic skills they have learned.
Classes develop children's skills in drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics and printmaking. Students are introduced to art history through repeated references to artists and periods relevant to the given project. The annual three-day school-wide art show highlights projects from every grade level.
Classes teach vocal, rhythmic, instrumental and notational skills. Lower School students use Orff instruments and learn to play recorder. Upper School students study historical periods of music and musical forms. In addition to regular music classes Lower and Upper School students have the option to participate in chorus, and Upper School students may participate in band, string ensemble or percussion ensemble.
Children learn to use movement as a means of expression, and are encouraged to choreograph dances of their own. Optional Lower and Upper School dance groups offer students an opportunity to deepen their knowedge and involvement in dance.
Classes emphasize improvisation and theater games that, in addition to teaching acting, improve self-esteem and enable students to speak comfortably in public. Children also gain experience with sets, costumes, props and lighting. Films, slides, museum visits and professional assembly performances complement the arts program. Students frequently perform on stage and have their stage scenery artwork displayed throughout the school.