The arts are an integral part of the educational program at Chesapeake Academy. Self-expression and creativity are valued throughout the program, and the curriculum develops innovation as well as process and evaluation skills. The curriculum encompasses fine and visual art, music instruction, performance, innovation, and media arts. The core areas of the curriculum are centered around 3 main areas for development:
- Creation – students’ ability to bring to life a vision and perception
- Performance and Presentation – students’ ability to share their creative expression with confidence and self-reflection
- Response – students’ understanding of historical and cultural context, their ability to make connections and integrate artistic ideas across the curriculum, and their ability to analyze, evaluate, and respond to others’ artistic expression
The Arts Program at Chesapeake Academy begins with our earliest learners in Pre-K 3 & 4. In Early Childhood, students explore artistic expression through a variety of media. Pre-K instruction in visual and performing arts occurs in the classroom as a natural part of the learning environment. In a separate weekly music class, Pre-K 3 & 4 students learn and practice rhythm, hand instruments, and musical patterns in the classroom as well as in weekly music class.
In Lower School, students begin to develop a greater understanding of the Arts in history and culture. Students have visual art, music, and performance in weekly co-curricular classes, with principles of visual art, performance, digital and media arts, and music also integrated in the academic classroom classrooms. In addition to learning important contributors and movements within the Arts, students integrate artistic creation with other academic disciplines as a way to analyze, explain, and present ideas. Through recorder instruction beginning in third grade, students learn to read musical notes and create simple compositions. Students learn how to use digital media to create simple CAD models, digital soundscapes, and visual art. Weekly performance classes develop student acting skills, comfort with presenting information publicly, and the ability to plan and stage a performance.
At 5th grade, students apply their knowledge of the Arts to create a cohesive, multimedia project. The 5th grade Arts project exploring the theme of Transition, is completed in stages throughout the year and culminates in a public presentation of the work as part of the Artstravaganza in the spring.
Throughout the Middle School, students work independently as well as collaboratively to bring artistic visions to life. They learn to play increasingly complex tone chimes pieces, as well as develop their own musical compositions. Students participate in a juried art show within the Artstravaganza performance in the spring, and develop skills with putting on performances, from staging, to lighting, to marketing, to direction. Weekly blocks of time designated for the Arts weekly support creative endeavors and their value throughout the curriculum.
The Arts Program supports appreciation for the Arts through a variety of field trips to drama and musical performances, on campus performances through the Performing Arts and Lectures Series, and other scheduled programs that include visiting artists and musicians.
All Chesapeake Academy students play a role in three large performances throughout the year and other performances with smaller groups may be scheduled. All Chesapeake Academy students have the opportunity to pursue private instrumental instruction at school in piano, violin, guitar, and percussion.
Collaboration between the co-curricular teachers and the classroom teachers is a key element to the integration of the Arts with the program of the school.