We believe knowledge and appreciation of the arts is an essential part of the intellectual, social, and emotional growth of every child.
The arts program at Hillbrook encompasses music, visual, and performing arts. Our arts curriculum is designed to foster flexible, divergent, original, fluent, and imaginative thinking that focus on three key areas.
Essence of the Physical World: Art offers the experiences necessary to observe and extract the essence of the physical world and translate its components into works of music, visual, and performing art.
Artist as Historian: Exploring the historical and cultural significance of art provides the opportunity for the students to view the artist as historian, revealing the cultural beliefs and standards of the time.
Connecting with Themes: Music, visual, and performing arts are often integrated into thematic studies within each grade level. Students make masks during their study of Africa in second grade, dance during the study of Ancient China in third grade, and sculpt life-sized busts of significant historical figures in the study of the Middle Ages in sixth grade.
The Hillbrook music program stems from the philosophy of Carl Orff and Zoltan Kodály. This multi-faceted approach is characterized by active involvement in music-making through the body, voice, dance, and playing on specialized Orff instruments and other percussion. The Orff approach recognizes the many doors through which a child can enter the musical world and provides opportunities for aural, visual, and kinesthetic learners to be successful in music.
Our goal is to teach the elements of music from around the world through singing songs, playing instruments and musical games, dancing, improvising, and composing original works of music and movement.
We encourage children to enthusiastically experiment with art materials and investigate the ideas presented to them through visual arts instruction. Students learn to work with various tools, processes and media, and coordinate their hands and minds through an exploration of the visual world. They learn to make choices that enhance their ability to creatively and critically express their thoughts and ideas. As budding artists, students make choices and bring to life projects that enhance the communication of their ideas, promote their own inquisitiveness, and learn the value of perseverance.
As they move from kindergarten through the lower school, students develop skills of observation and learn to examine the objects and events in their lives. Learners also grow in their ability to describe, interpret, evaluate, and respond to works and artefacts in the world of visual arts. In reflecting on their own work as well as that of others, times, and places, students unravel the essence of artwork and appraise its purpose and value in the visual world in which they live.
Through the lens of television, film, and popular music in today's world, performing arts has enormous importance in helping students examine fundamental human issues and delve into the world of communications. At Hillbrook, theater arts is key to developing and maintaining a sense of community. It brings us closer together through the shared experiences of music, dance, and drama.
A cross-disciplinary learning opportunity arises when the practice of language arts interweaves with performing arts. The foundation of our theater program begins early on in Junior Kindergarten as children develop their personal communication skills. Imaginative play and role playing are integral parts of each grade's thematic curriculum.
Student’s growth in their understanding of performing arts communications culminates in 8th grade when the entire class takes responsibility for production of a full length musical, including vocal training, acting coaching, choreography, set design, production, and stage management. Under the gentle guidance of expert mentor teacheres, students enjoy fun and rich experiences in teamwork, communications, and time management.