Art & Music
Evidence shows that arts education provides students with the skills needed to think creatively and to become tenacious learners, who can solve complex problems. Furthermore, students who receive a quality arts education are likely to have fewer behavior problems and greater academic achievements.
With that in mind, art and music are woven into the fabric of school life at SAR. Students are exposed to different styles and elements of the arts, and they’re encouraged to explore their own talents and interests as well.
- Learning to Look (Grades K - 5)
- ART (Grades 1-3)
- Shira L’Tefillah (Grades 1-3)
- Recorder program (Grade 3)
- Choir (Grades 3 - 8)
- Voice & Choice (Grades 4 & 5)
Learning to Look
(Grades K - 5)
Our “Learning to Look” program teaches students how to look at art so that it can be more exciting and accessible to them. Each year, the program focuses on a theme like Impressionism, 18th century or Modern art. During lessons, students first learn about famous pieces of art, and then they create their own work in the same style they’ve just analyzed. As part of the program, students also go on a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where they see the actual pieces of art that they studied.
Learning to Look is staffed solely by trained parent and grandparent volunteers, who attend lectures and are given a detailed curriculum to follow. Previous art history or teaching experience is not required -- just a love of art and children.
In the art room, students experiment with various media including drawing, painting, collage, clay, and three-dimensional materials. During their weekly art class, students also learn about the elements, techniques and the unique styles of different artists.
Many art projects are coordinated with the General Studies and Judaic Studies curricula. For example, first and second graders design their respective Siddur and Chumash covers; third graders create three-dimensional animals from recycled materials for their rain forest unit; fourth graders paint landscapes while learning history; and fifth graders use acrylic on canvas to illustrate family artifacts for Intergenerational Day.
In Grades 1-3, students participate in Shira L’Tefillah, a curriculum designed to teach traditional and modern melodies along with the meaning behind tefillot.
In first grade, students explore traditional songs based on the words of Tanakh and tefillah. Second graders focus on the meaning of our daily tefillot, and in third grade, students learn the melodies of Hallel, selected Shabbat tefillot and zemirot. Students also learn the nigunim and stories of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and how he was able to use his melodies to transform modern tefillah.
We believe that Shira L’Tefillah helps our students develop a more meaningful davening experience, and as a result they become more actively engaged in shul and strengthen their own connection to Hashem. Tefillah tunes are also recorded and then shared electronically with our families so students can become more engaged in their own Shabbat tables.
Third grade students learn to play the recorder in weekly music classes. And to celebrate their achievements, they perform at Carnegie Hall together with a symphony orchestra.
Students also develop the skills necessary for creating, performing and responding to music. These skills include improvising rhythms and accompaniments, ‘finding the song within’ through composing, leading others through conducting, and listening to and analyzing music from different cultures.
Voice & Choice
(Grades 4 & 5)
After being introduced to art and music in the lower grades, older elementary school students are ready to go beyond the basics and build on their talents. Our program offers 4th and 5th graders a wide range of offerings for their twice weekly sessions. Students can concentrate on areas like basic drawing and painting. For their music classes, they can choose a musical instrument or focus on composing and singing. Although students are expected to meet “core requirements,” they are encouraged to use the freedom to explore and develop life-long skills and passions.
In the spring, all students will participate in a Night of Music and Art to celebrate what they’ve learned.