Fine Arts: Channeling Creativity and Expression
Our fine arts program (2D mixed media, sculpture ceramics, photography), music program (singing, guitar, ukulele, songwriting, and performance), and theatre arts program (performance and stage production) provide opportunities for students of all grade levels to express themselves and explore their creative sides. Through arts and technology courses, we expose students to a wide range of creative outlets, allowing them to discover their artistic voices and find confidence through their self expression.
Through in-depth exploration of the arts in their various historical, cultural, and personal contexts, students build a solid background so that they may successfully apply the various components of the art form and develop their personal expression. The art program also strives to help students connect their own lives for inspiration.
Students are asked to look inward as well as into their local and global community when developing their artistic pieces.
In visual arts, the main theme spanning the entire program is the emphasis on the elements of art and the principles of design -- what each element means and how to incorporate it into a work of art to create a successful composition.
A variety of media is explored (clay, paints, pastel, sculpture, collage, etc.), and subject matter is drawn from personal experience, observation, imagination, and most importantly, inspired by the ideas and works of artists throughout history and within different cultures. Students gain an understanding and appreciation of the arts not only as a means for personal expression, but also as a means of communication and as an important and integral role in society.
Singing, dancing, and music-making can be heard throughout Cascades Academy on a daily basis. Not only do our students develop tangible musical skills, but this program also supports learning in all other academic areas.
In the Lower School, the goal of creating a sense of musicality while fostering creativity is achieved through the exploration a variety of instruments including ukuleles, xylophones, and shakers. Students create melodies through improvisation on the vibraphone, singing solos during musical games, and practicing rhythms with percussion instruments. Students in PK-5th grade take a look at music from a historical perspective, listening to early rock and roll, the British Invasion, early American folk-rock, and reggae music, while singing and dancing along to the classics to gain an appreciation of a variety of genres and iconic musicians.
In the Middle and Upper Schools, the goal is to expose the students to as many areas of music as possible. This begins with the basic fundamentals of rhythm and melody, including singing together and performing in a drum circle in order create this foundation. From there, students take on instruments of their own and have the opportunity to write and record their own songs, exploring chords and lyrics. The study of music history continues through examining the roots of students' favorite music, including the genres of blues and jazz and their influence on the popular music that we all listen to today. While they work on their individual instruments (guitar, drums, bass, vocals), students come together in a Rock Band to learn the challenges and rewards of performing as a group.
In our theatre program, students are encouraged to open up to their creative impulses while performing. By learning from the earliest opportunities to make choices on stage, and exposing the students to a variety of genres and performing opportunities, students are able to apply the valuable tools to all aspects of their personal and academic life. In order to re-create a fully realized character on stage, the actor must choose to live fully while observing the actions and reactions of themselves and others. Collaboration, communication, working to a deadline, trustworthiness, individual responsibility, finding a sense of self, and making bold choices without fear are some of the few skills we aim to impart.