The visual arts are a vibrant part of every classroom at Hershey. Children ages 0-6 engage in a variety of art activities ranging from painting, to drawing, to crafting. In the elementary and adolescent years, ages 6-15, the lessons broaden to include a wide range of visual media and techniques, as well as art history and the fundamental elements of art.
Some examples include:
We view the arts as an integral part of the child's learning experience, and therefore, children are encouraged to incorporate the art techniques they learn into their academic projects and studies whenever possible. For instance, a report on Ancient Egyptians might be accompanied by a beautiful painting of an Egyptian sarcophagus. Though they are naturally prone to include those techniques that are their favorites, they are also encouraged to always try new media and foster as much creativity as possible.
Music is a part of our classrooms and community that naturally weaves its way into the fabric of the children's daily lives, starting at the very youngest ages we serve. For all the children this includes:
In addition to these classroom experiences, the elementary children receive weekly lessons from our music teacher on:
- singing songs both within their classroom community and at school-wide gatherings
- a curriculum of lessons on specially-designed materials called the bells and tone bars (both structured after a piano keyboard)
- music incorporated into movement lessons
- listening to, and learning about, different styles and genres of music
- learning about different instruments
The adolescent students have a variety of musical experiences and offerings over the course of the year including such things as:
- reading music
- various instruments and music from different culture
Our biggest annual school-wide event is the Holiday Program held each December, which showcases all the children and their musical talents.
- Guitar and drum lessons
- Musical recording sessions
- Musical theater (see more information about drama programs below)
Children are naturally drawn to drama as a form of creative expression, especially when their imaginative abilities flourish during the elementary years and beyond. In the course of their academic studies, children choose to summarize and share what they have learned with their peers through writing and performing small plays that bring the subject matter to life. This kind of endeavor is completely motivated, directed and organized by the children, with the teacher giving guidance and support as necessary. At the adolescent level, this idea grows in sophistication as the students prepare their Humanities presentations, bringing to life characters from history in such as way that the students are completely engaged and immersed in the world of that time period.
In addition to these opportunities for drama that arise in their academic work, both the elementary and adolescent students organize and
perform a theatrical production during the course of the school year. The adolescent performance is especially anticipated with excitement by the whole
community as it is a tremendous production complete with full-stage scenery, lighting and special effects, music and terrific acting performances, all
executed by the students themselves. Some of the past productions include:
- Mary Poppins
- Animal Crackers
- A Midsummer Night's Dream
- Our Town