Empathy and creativity are critical tools for adapting to an ever-changing world, so we weave artistic expression and imagination throughout our curriculum. We believe that the study of visual and performing arts is a vital component of a well-rounded education. Through the study of music, visual arts and theater, we encourage our students to take risks, build confident self-expression, develop sensitivity to cultural differences and respect the work of fellow students.
We encourage students to experiment with art materials, investigate the history of art, and explore the ideas and themes of different movements and periods. As they move through the curriculum, students learn how the elements of design — such as line, shape, form, texture, color and space — can be manipulated as they express themselves visually.
Themes for art projects often integrate with other aspects of the curriculum to creat a richer academic experience. We visit museums and historical sites, meet artists and, of course, creat our own art. We learn to understand the visual world around us and to recognize the meaning and impact of different works, artists and ideas. We have two dedicated art studios with resources and materials to support drawing, painting, sculpture and ceramics (with two kilns located on-site).
Music is an important part of life at Trinity. Whether our students are performing or listening appreciatively, everyone experiences music as a regular part of school life. In Lower School, our curriculum for younger children provides the building blocks to explore music independently. Students learn to read and notate music and have multiple opportunities to sing, move and play instruments. Our annual Christmas pageant and spring musicals — often tied to the social studies curriculum — are community favorites that give all students experience in performing music for an audience of students, family and invited guests.
The middle school years are especially critical in students' musical development. In fifth and sixth grade, students learn to sight-read music and perform harmony. The curriculum includes a study of Western classical music history and the development of blues and jazz. In seventh and eighth grade, students may choose to take advanced choir, music composition or instrumental classes. All choir, hand bells and orchestra students students participate in the Lessons & Carols service around Christmastime, and we provide many opportunities for solo or small-group performance in chapel services, athletic events and other community events.
Knowing the effect that music has, it brings me joy to teach this subject. Music is a part of all of our lives, but many people never learn anything more than a passing awareness. Because all of our students take music, I am excited to teach each and every child how to be aware of music, and how to appreciate it.
Dr. Pieter Crathorne, Lower School Music
Our students begin to explore the performing arts at a young age as they learn the importance of drama in developing personal communication skills. These small experiences pave the way for Middle School Theater classes when students explore the roles of actor, director, playwright, technician, researcher and designer through many avenues. Students study the art of pantomime, voice and speech, and creating an original character. Later, students have the option of creating a technical theater portfolio, studying advanced scene-work and producing a one-act play for a small invited audience. In Lower School, theater is part of the music department. In Middle School, theater and music are separate courses of study.
Many of our students are natural performers, though they may never have had the opportunity to be on stage. Others are drawn to the performing arts but would prefer to stay behind the scenes. The Middle School puts on a Broadway-style musical production every spring. Students take leadership roles in stage management, lighting and sound, and the cast benefits from working with professional choreographers and musical and artistic directors, which prepares students for performing arts in high school.
Fine Arts Electives in Middle School
For grades 5 and 6, we split fine arts into three basic categories: visual arts, music and theater. Beginning in 7th grade, students can pursue more specific interests, like Multimedia Art, Music Technology, and the PSIA One-Act Play competition.
Fine Arts Faculty