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 visual arts curriculum enhances the study of Jewish holidays and is fundamental to Jewish culture and values.

At The Brandeis School, the visual arts curriculum helps students to develop self-esteem, problem solving skills and their 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.

The students use paints, oil and chalk pastels, markers, construction paper crayons, fabrics for collages and papier mache.  All 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.  They learn about the different movements in art including Impressionism, Expressionism, Primitive Art, Pop Art, and Cubism. They are introduced to a vocabulary that will enable them to begin to develop the skills necessary to describe various artworks. They learn how to use foreground, middleground and background to create space.  They learn single point perspective.  They learn about the artists and their lives.  We get our inspiration from those artists as well as the world around us.

Music: At The Brandeis School we acknowledge the central place music occupies in our lives. Through singing, playing, listening and even composing we encourage our students to express themselves. 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 personalized 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, musical terminology is introduced and students become proficient in speaking and analyzing music. As part of The Brandeis School experience, each class gives at least one yearly 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: Each year, the 8th Grade stars in a theatrical performance. Supported by the rest of the Middle School and the Elementary School choir, the 8th Grade earns another opportunity to shine before graduation. Rehearsing and preparing for this performance fosters teamwork, and enforces skills required to achieve long term goals with a singular purpose. The students employ fortitude and patience throughout the entire process. The parent and student body looks forward to this performance every year.