Arts Appreciation is one of the five SPS School Keys, and is a foundational tenet at the core of how we educate our students. The Arts Blog, which is updated weekly, provides a peek into the inspiring works of studio, musical and theatrical arts our students are creating and performing.
Our students are exposed to a range of mediums including painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, metalworking, fiber arts, and other mixed media. Projects are student-centered in that skill, as well as expression and exploration, are significant. In addition to this, art both local and global are studied and historic as well as contemporary artists and art movements are utilized. Cross curricular projects weave themes from social studies, science and language arts into the art studios, deepening the students’ understanding of the material and allowing them to creatively explore another facet of their coursework. Arts based field trips around Philadelphia are planned with input from students. Rotating exhibits of student artwork are on display in the schoolhouse throughout the year, culminating in an all school art show in April showcasing one or two pieces of artwork from every student in Preschool through Eighth Grade.
Drawing from the Orff Model of music education that aims to engage the mind and body through experience first, then conceptualization, the Early Childhood Division and Lower School students engage with percussion instruments, xylophone, ukulele, and of course, do lots of singing. Throughout their time in the Upper School, cohort students continuously grow as young musicians and members of rock/pop bands and homogeneous ensembles, learning guitar, bass guitar, drum set, piano, and handbells. Additionally, students learn about essential musical concepts, the cultural and social impact of a wide variety of genres, and perform in a number of settings including, Battle of the Bands, seasonal concerts, and graduation. And unique to St. Peter’s, many students learn how to operate our onsite professional-quality recording studio.
Our younger students are introduced to theatre through creative play, team building, and storytelling. The combination of social-emotional learning and drama allows students to express themselves without pressure and judgment, and obtain new perspectives about the world in which they live. These Performing Arts opportunities also develop confidence in skills of public speaking and projection, and spark creativity. Upper Schoolers continue to develop confidence in skills of public speaking and presentation through Declamation, learn new styles of dance in preparation for May Day, come to understand story structure, learn proper singing technique while singing different genres and styles in chorus, and explore the different jobs in theatre, including stage management, set design, costumes, props, lighting.
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