Lower School Creative Arts classes help students become more visually and aesthetically aware. Students learn the basic art elements and language as they grow in their appreciation of art. They gain confidence and skill in using two- and three-dimensional art materials and become familiar with the work of various artists. Guest speakers and visual presentations enhance the program.
Lower School Dramatics – Through improvisations, pantomimes, theater games, puppetry, play-making, scene study, and playwriting, as well as seeing professional performances, boys learn to express their intuitive dramatic insights and gain appreciation for the work of classmates and professionals. Each grade focuses on a body of literature as the source for dramatic activities.
Grade 1 – fairy tales, fables, folk tales, and contemporary children’s literature
Grade 2 – Greek myths
Grade 3 – King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable, and contemporary children’s literature
Grade 4 – stories from Shakespeare and Shakespeare’s theater
Lower School Music – Lower School Music students in grades 1 through 3 are actively involved with the elements of music through singing, listening, moving, creating, performing, and evaluating. They explore the process of building ensembles through an adaptation of Orff-Kodaly techniques and the use of instruments. They are exposed to various styles of music performances and receive beginning recorder instruction.
NOTE: At the conclusion of Grade 3, a selection process takes place to aid the placement of students in choir, creative music, or stringsfor fourth grade.
Novice Choir – This group of fourth-grade boys shares a special aptitude for singing and an interest in accelerating their vocal skills. Choir members study the performance and notation of music and develop vocal techniques. They learn the rudiments of singing and sight-reading through principles developed in Anglican choirs through the centuries. The boys lead singing in chapel and participate in the St. Mark’s Choir.
Preparatory Strings – This class is for fourth graders who have not had previous instruction in playing a string instrument (violin, viola, and cello). A traditional music reading approach is used, with emphasis on correct technique and playing position. Instruments may be rented from the School, and there is a performance by the strings group in the spring.
Music Exploration – Fourth-Grade Music Exploration class is a continuation of the spiral music curriculum which began in Grade 1. It includes the musical exploration on melodic and non-melodic percussion instruments. There is a weekly study of music theory, notation, and sight reading. The study of composers and their music continues on a monthly basis. Singing, dancing, listening, and composing, as well as continued study of the recorder are elements of this class. At least two performances take place each year.