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Pine Point's fine arts program attends to the whole child's educational experience. Art, music and dance are integral to our academic program, and curricular units are often complemented by an artistic component from one or several of those disciplines.
Dedicated faculty teach fine arts classes to every student. In addition, there are extracurricular opportunities in the form of musical theater, instrumental and vocal ensembles, dance ensemble and visual art classes.
Both within the walls of Pine Point and outside as a service to the community, there are opportunities throughout the year for students to perform and to exhibit their work. There are also occasions when area schools are invited to Pine Point's auditorium to enjoy not only our performances, but also those that are provided by the Parents Association's Enrichment Series.
We value the arts for themselves and within the context of education. We believe that experiencing the arts is fundamental to the healthy development of our children's bodies, minds and spirits. Our goal is to nurture the capacity of our children to live in a complicated world, and enhanced by their participation in the arts, to carve a life that is meaningful to them.
The visual arts program at Pine Point School aims to nurture creativity, confidence, and character through explorations and detailed instruction in 2– and 3–dimensional media.
Students will have opportunities to participate in individual and group critiques, as well as exhibit their artwork throughout the school to motivate and empower them as they see their work in the context of a group exhibit. Through exploring their own art creations, the art of their peers, local artists and well-known artists of the present and past, students will gain an appreciation for and understanding of the impact art is capable of having on society.
Assessment is based on students' contributions to a positive, peaceful, and productive classroom environment by: respecting others' ideas and points of view; respecting materials, equipment and space; working collaboratively, cooperatively and compassionately with peers; demonstrating self-control; demonstrating the ability to complete tasks thoroughly within a given time frame; listening attentively and following direction; working independently; and participating consistently with focused effort.
Through learning how to creatively express themselves and their ideas in a variety of media, students, and the adults they grow into, will be better equipped to communicate in a global society.
Every child at Pine Point has access to a balanced, comprehensive and sequential program of study in music. The Lower School curriculum includes performing, creating and responding to music through specific experiences: singing songs, alone and with the class; playing instruments; creating melodies and accompaniments; reading and writing music; listening, analyzing and describing music from various cultures, styles and periods; understanding form, dynamics, tempo and pitch. In fourth grade the children will all begin learning a band instrument in their music class and have the option to continue to progress the following year by auditioning and joining one of two instrumental ensembles, the Green Band or the Gold Band. Children in grades 3-5 also have the opportunity to join the after school Lower School Chorus. This vocal performing ensemble performs throughout the school year here and in the community. The Chorus also presents a musical on stage in the spring – a highlight of the year.
All of these elements are developed to a higher level in the Middle School curriculum with the addition of music history and ethnomusicology, individual and group compositions and research projects. Grade 6 students also begin basic keyboard instruction, and grade 7 students focus on basic guitar instruction. In the eighth grade students explore and experience the music of other cultures as well as a unit on Jazz History and improvisation. In grade 9, students participate in the fine arts elective. Extra-curricular music opportunities include the instrumental ensembles, Green Band and Gold Band, which perform throughout the school year. Children in grades 6-9 also have the opportunity to participate in the middle school musical and TEAL an optional vocal ensemble.
Private Instrumental Lessons
Pine Point partners with Calvary Music School, which provides individual instruction in voice as well as any instrument of their choice. The lessons conveniently take place at Pine Point following classes at the end of the school day or in Stonington borough at Calvary Church.
The dance program in Preschool through Grade 7, based primarily in creative movement, strives to assist the student in developing a degree of satisfaction in and mastery of their body movement for their own pleasure, confidence and self-esteem. Students experience the expressive and imaginative potential of their movement as well as the physical and athletic aspects. This allows the student to expand their range of movement by experiencing opportunities to explore, discover, invent, and develop different ways of moving. Though the creative process is stressed, it is also beneficial for students to make dances for themselves and others, to learn dances and to perform dances. The dance program incorporates the National Standards for Dance Education, both in terms of content standards and achievement standards. Developing the students' appreciation of folk, ethnic and social dance in addition to dance as art is folded into the movement experience.
Dance in Grades 8 and 9 draws on the skills, concepts and vocabulary of the former years, but approaches the study of movement from two different perspectives.
Eighth grade dance class is based on an interdisciplinary approach, investigating various academic, artistic and athletic disciplines, and the ways in which they can be explored using dance. The dual premise is that not only will students become aware of various techniques, trends and styles in dance, so too will they be able to interpret various concepts, using dance and movement as an expressive tool. Each unit revolves around a specific area of study under which there are various subheadings that are available for research and/or investigation. Students will complete research in a chosen subject, not only to learn dances, but also to choreograph their own, thus deepening their understanding of their body and their world.
The 9th Grade high school level course is designed to culminate the prior years of study in creative movement and dance through an exploration of a specific area of study chosen from basic guidelines and designed by the student. This will allow the student to utilize a technical knowledge base, their creativity and their intellectual curiosity to pursue an area of concentration that is meaningful to them. Students will draft a formal proposal and will pursue an in-depth project as they develop a relevant vocabulary for investigating and critiquing the arts. This project will culminate with a presentation or performance at the conclusion of the semester, and the process throughout the semester will be documented in a manner of the students’ choosing.
Dance Ensemble is an elective for those middle school students who are interested in exploring and participating in more dance and choreography than they have in their regularly scheduled dance classes. This extracurricular class meets on Fridays from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. in the dance studio.
After a brief warm-up, Mrs. Williams works with the dancers to generate a piece that is based in modern dance technique, but also incorporates other styles. This is an opportunity for students to give their input to the piece as well, and it ultimately becomes a collaborative effort.
We may work on several pieces throughout the semester, and one of these will be performed in the Spring Arts Program in May. There have also been occasions when, if the dancers are ready, they will be able to perform in the Grandparents’ Day performance in April.
At the first class meeting of each semester the three arts teachers discuss opportunities for study in each domain. Students choose one concentration for each semester and, guided by their teachers, develop an independent study course. Students create:
- project objectives
- a syllabus or schedule
- a list of materials and/or equipment
- a method of documenting progress such as a journal with photos, videos, or recordings
- a plan for spending time on the project outside of class
- a final product
By the end of the academic year students will have completed independent studies in two of the three fine arts. The culmination of each semester is an evening presentation where 9th graders share their projects with the entire school community.
The Arts Department stages musical theatre productions in both the Lower and Middle Schools each year. The Lower School production is presented by students who have made a year-long commitment to Lower School Chorus in Grades 3-5, and the Middle School production includes interested students in Grades 6-9. As one of several cross grade extracurricular activities at Pine Point, Musical Theatre is a highlight during the year for actors, singers and dancers as well as for their receptive audience. In addition, students have the opportunity to work behind the scenes with sets, scenery, lights and sound.
Some middle school musicals that we have done in the past are:
- Beauty and the Beast
- Wizard of Oz,
- Alice in Wonderland
- Pirates of Penzance
- Into the Woods
- The Lion King
The 2017 middle school musical was Shrek, The Musical.
In the Lower School we have performed:
- Emperor’s New Clothes
- 101 Dalmations
- The Jungle Book
The 2017 Lower School Chorus musical was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.