May 18, 2016 A Focus on the Arts at Christ Church Day School
Known for its beautiful campus, qualified, caring teachers, and forward-thinking curriculum, Christ Church Day School has one more special gift they’d like families to know about. The school, situated in the tight-knit community of Coronado, Calif., offers an extensive art program to its students. At Christ Church, specialty classes are not simply an afterthought; they’re an integral part of what makes their students so well-rounded. From visual and performing arts to choir and band, CCDS offers an eclectic array of classes and programs.
VISUAL ART/ART HISTORY
Leo Tolstoy defines art this way: “Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.”
Students at Christ Church Day School exemplify this through a myriad of opportunities to experience and learn through visual art and art history as well as the infusion of art into their standard curriculum.
Judy Hunsberger says the visual art program is “designed to promote creativity and develop an understanding of basic elements of art.” This robust program provides students with a broader grasp of the various genres of art and forms of art through engaging in activities like drawing, painting, print making, sculpting, collages, and more.
Visual arts is taught by a certificated art teacher twice a month for one hour. Upper grades focus on more advanced techniques like color theory, color values, drawing with perspective, blending, and shading. Younger grades focus on line and texture, shape and color. Throughout the year all students have the opportunity to create interesting and fun projects during their art class as well as in the regular classroom when teachers include an art element into the lesson.
The unique and beautiful pieces produced from students at every grade level will be showcased at the Celebration of Excellence and Art Show on May 23 in Hinde Hall. The exhibit is also open Sunday May 22 for the parish and visitors. Students will act as docents, showing the pieces and talking about what they learned.
Another exciting component of this program is the ability for the students to share their pieces with the community. Student art selected by the art teacher will be on exhibit at the biannual Young Art Exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Art and at the Coronado Community Center.
Along with the visual arts program, children are also treated to a once a month art history lesson which is taught by parent volunteers. This exceptional, three-year program (grades 2-6) is designed to provide students with a chronological and multi-cultural view of art. Content covered is from ancient to present day and includes major art movements throughout history. Teachers at the school provide the volunteers with a preset lesson which coordinates with current curriculum or the specific art genre they’re covering that month. Students have been more than enthusiastic about being exposed to Impressionism, Renaissance, Gothic, Pop, Greek, Chinese, and Native American. And in a unique experience, sixth graders visit the National Gallery of Art in DC where they might just get to see some of the original pieces from a previous art history lesson.
Music enrichment is an important part of the school’s culture and is taught twice a week. In the vocal component, students learn differences between speaking and singing, voice inflection, and rhythm.
Children also learn and play instruments. Grades 3-5 are taught to play the recorder while 6th graders learn adult hand bells. These will come in handy as accompaniment during CCDS’s two school-wide choir concerts each year—one at Christmas and one in the spring.
Similar to the art history instruction, there is also a music appreciation program called Brummitt-Taylor Music Listening Program. A rare and interesting opportunity, this platform allows sixth graders to share with the entire school a featured classical composer and composition of the week. Each morning students play the piece over the intercom and share new information about it and the composer.
Enjoying the creativity and the challenge of responsibility, CCDS sixth graders are in charge of producing the school’s yearbook. Students gather and produce content, collect and take pictures, and perform all the design work.
Artistic enrichment doesn’t stop when the school bell rings. Held typically once or twice a week, after school clubs include: band, choir, and media club.
For those students with an affinity for music, there is an official school choir and school band they can join. The choir sings on Tuesdays during chapel service and is also part of Hotel del Coronado’s popular holiday kick off.
Media club produces weekly newscasts and publishes them for school-wide viewing and for the school’s Facebook page. Students serve as reporters, photographers, writers, technology gurus, editors, and designers.
And with so much culture and talent rampant on this campus, a school talent show is the perfect way for students to show off their skills and/or express themselves. Everything from playing an instrument and singing to magic and stand-up comedy is welcome.
Christ Church Day School not only provides students with a high-quality academic education, it ensures every child is exposed to different art cultures and given many outlets to share their artistic expression.