PERFORMING ARTS CURRICULUM
All Bronxville School performing arts classes are designed to engage students in performing, composing, improvising, and critiquing musical and/or dramatic works. This “apprenticeship” model of instruction allows students to develop a personal understanding of artistic expression and helps students to avoid the barriers encountered when language is used to understand non-verbal art symbols. The adoption of this model means that there are no music or drama "appreciation” courses in the Bronxville School. All concepts are studied in the context of musical and dramatic works that students create.
The K-12 performing arts curriculum invites students to:
acquire the knowledge and skills needed to identify problems and create multiple viable solutions,
develop the ability to think without using words,
create meaningful interpretations that represent a variety of styles and aesthetic ideals,
recognize that personal thoughts and emotions have counterparts in the artistic expression of human beings in all cultures and across many generations, and
share in the joy of creating meaningful personal and collaborative performances.
Each student is encouraged to adapt the curriculum to his or her needs, and all available resources are brought to bear so that each child has the opportunity to develop to his/her highest potential. The performing arts faculty welcomes specific questions about the curriculum and encourages parents and students to contact them for additional information.
Elementary School students sing, dance, improvise, compose and play musical instruments. Classroom discussions center on the music being created, and are directed in such a way that students develop a vocabulary for discussing and understanding musical ideas. Music literacy skills are taught in developmentally appropriate ways so that students are empowered to independently engage in music-making. Beginning in fourth grade, all students learn to play a band or orchestra instrument and to sing in a vocal ensemble.
Every Middle School student participates in band, chorus or orchestra, performing literature representing a variety of style characteristics and time periods. In addition to this basic program of study, highly motivated students have the opportunity to participate in musical ensembles that meet outside the school day, including choristers, B-Sharps, jazz band and chamber music. All seventh and eighth grade students participate in a drama exploratory program during the school day, and all middle school students are invited to participate in the fall drama production, and the spring musical.
The High School performing arts program not only permits students to meet the graduation requirement of one unit of credit in the arts, but it also allows students to develop the advanced skills and understanding needed to perform the original works of the world's finest composers and writers. Courses include band, chorus, orchestra, advanced placement music theory, directing and acting. Extracurricular opportunities include jazz, band, Chorale, chamber music and the fall play. From January through March, student vocalists, thespians, and instrumentalists may expand their repertoire by participating in the production of a musical.