LS Visual and Performing Arts
Lower School Visual and Performing Arts Overview
The Bullis Lower School Program is an active, process-based arts curriculum with meaningful opportunities to perform and present.Through interdisciplinary learning and collaboration, students discover the connections between culture, history, music and art. Students also develop a foundation of emerging skills and artistic literacy through kinesthetic, visual, theatrical, and musical experiences.
The Bullis Visual and Performing Arts Signature Program fosters an appreciation, understanding and application of the arts grades 2-12. Students explore the value of convention and innovation by engaging in challenging and dynamic artistic experiences. Students develop independent thinking and personal voice through the acquisition of core skills, collaboration, problem solving, and risk taking.
Signature program activities in the Lower School provide students emerging experiences that emphasize curricular integration, with a focus on literacy (reading, writing, and math). The Visual and Performing Arts curriculum highlights visual art skill development and general music at each grade level. Third through fifth grade students also participate in one music ensemble: chorus, band, or strings. Fourth and fifth grade students may have an additional option to perform with the Middle School jazz group. In each grade, students participate in theater productions which build on performing arts skills taught throughout the year. Performed for the rest of the Lower School and parents on the stage in Howard Auditorium, the productions may be musicals or plays and often feature the support of the technical theater department, giving our youngest students the opportunity to perform in an age-appropriate production similar to those presented by older Bullis students.
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.
Kindergarten 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.
Third, fourth and fifth grade students may elect to participate in a choral ensemble as 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 encouraged 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, viola, cello or string bass. Private lessons are offered after school and or a group class is offered once a week within the school day. These lessons are taught using the Suzuki approach.