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Arts

Philosophy of the Art Curriculum at The Brandeis School

Visual Arts:

 

At The Brandeis School, the visual arts play an integral role in the overall curriculum with special emphasis on Jewish artists and art for the Jewish holidays.  The curriculum enhances the study of Jewish holidays and is fundamental to Jewish culture and values.

 

Our curriculum helps students to develop self-esteem, problem solving skills and fine motor skills.  Math and Science concepts are reinforced through study of patterns, symmetry and balance.  In other academic areas, students are faced with right and wrong answers.  In Art, students learn that there are no “right” or “wrong” answers - they are free to explore.

 

In our classroom, students use paints, oil and chalk pastels, markers, construction paper, crayons, fabrics for collages and papier mache.  Students explore all the different media while learning about the elements of art such as line, shape, color, form texture, space, value, rhythm, pattern and balance.  Techniques such as foreground, middle ground and background, and single paint perspective are taught.

 

The different art movements including Impressionism, Expressionism, Primitive Art, Pop Art, and Cubism, are taught.  Students learn about artists and vocabulary specific to enable them to describe various works of art.  We gain inspiration from those artists as well as our world.

Music:

 

At The Brandeis School we acknowledge the central place music occupies in our lives.  Our students are encouraged to express themselves through singing, playing, listening and composing.  

 

As we nurture the students’ musicality, we focus on singing songs from a wide-range of cultures, allowing the students to explore the world through their own musical experience.  Our teaching philosophy is to engage with each student’s imagination, and, from Early Education through Middle School, students explore metaphoric worlds of semantic connections and associate sound with narrative content.  Classes are highly interactive, incorporating movement, singing, listening, discussing, representing and creating music.  Gradually, music terms are introduced and students become proficient in speaking and analyzing music.  

 

As part of The Brandeis School experience, each class gives at least one annual musical presentation/performance that incorporates a chapter from the Jewish-Israeli heritage.  These performances enrich the students’ group solidarity and strengthen their cultural association.

Performing Arts:
 
For nearly 25 years, Brandeis students have had the opportunity to showcase their talents in our annual school production.  Led by Mrs. Zelda Kastin, productions have included Grease and Peter Pan.  The school-wide excitement that is generated as the play takes shape is palpable, as it has become a consummate project involving the entire school. In the past, generous private donors including the Susser Fund, have helped defray the considerable costs of the production.
 

The Brandeis Musical has served as a vehicle through which our students may shine in various ways.  Students tap into previously unknown talents for singing, spontaneous humor, choreography and set design.  Everyone involved contributes, whether on the stage or behind the curtain.  The love for this project is evident as alumni return not only to watch the play, but to participate in aspects ranging from music to lighting.

 

The Brandeis School recognizes the important role that arts play in a child's life, and by allowing our students to partake in this fun and light-hearted event, we not only teach teamwork but allow for children to shine in a way they may never have imagined.