Bullis School’s visual and performing arts program advances students’ appreciation of artistic expression. A student-centered, interdisciplinary approach balances the exploration of artistic traditions, the development of concepts and the building of skills. Using a newly acquired, aesthetic vocabulary, students learn to express themselves, create and problem solve. The Visual and Performing Arts Department cultivates inquisitive, independent thinkers who synthesize the greater world through the arts.
The intention of the Lower School Visual Art program is to guide the student into an informed appreciation of art and a life-long interest in learning more about art. The program covers four interrelated disciplines in art. These include perception, creative expression, culture and heritage and informed judgment.
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Third through fifth grade students focus on the elements of music—silence, melody, rhythm, timbre, dynamics and form—through a variety of activities which include singing, movement, listening, playing instruments, creating accompaniments, improvising and composing. Students master fundamental vocabulary to express their experiences of music. Elementary note reading and rhythm skills are developed. Songs and listening materials are chosen from traditional, non-traditional and multicultural repertoires.
Participation by all third, fourth and fifth grade students in a choral ensemble is part of the weekly music curriculum. Within this class, the children develop proper singing habits and sight reading skills. Special performance opportunities benefit the child in areas of stage presence and concentration. Most importantly, through performance in a choral setting, students experience the aesthetic qualities of music by sampling music from various cultures of the world.
Students in grades four and five may begin or continue study of a musical instrument in the brass or woodwind families. Private instruction is offered after school and is expected of all band participants. Experience in an ensemble is provided through membership in the Beginner or Intermediate Bands, each of which performs at events during the year. A group lesson takes place once a week during the school day.
Students in grades three through five may elect to begin or continue the study of the violin. Private lessons are offered after school and weekly lessons and a group class is offered once a week within the school day. These lessons will be taught under the Suzuki and Jump Right In methods.