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Specialty Focus: Arts Education Practices

Showcasing Student Art Outside/Inside School – 2018

Mast Way ESMast Way Elementary School (Lee, NH). Mast Way’s exterior building has colorful mosaics created by students over the years. The mosaics include every color of the rainbow showcasing natural elements (e.g., butterflies, birds, trees, and flowers). Upon entering the building, the same whimsical student artistic expressions continue. Quickly, visitors will see crafted pieces of children’s art work, small painted details above doors, next to baseboards, and any place that benefitted from a little extra creativity. The Annual Mast Way Art Show, led by the art teacher, is a highly anticipated event of the year. Every student in the school chooses one piece of art to be mounted and showcased. The art show represents a culmination of instruction students received throughout the year. Students gain a strong sense of pride at seeing their art presented throughout the school. Parents, students (both current and former), and community members swarm the school to view and enjoy the gallery for all to celebrate!

Musical Instruments, Performances – 2015


students at scott altman primary

Scott Altman Primary School (Pekin, IL). Through our partnership, the Pekin Civic Chorus has donated funds to help us purchase instruments. Musicians from the community have also spoken to classes about their career paths, the instruments they play, and their passion for music. A performing arts group from Western Illinois University produced a musical for our students based on the story “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.” This event not only supported our music curriculum but also connected to our social emotional curriculum where the main topic was bullying.

Choir, Choral workshops, Art Exhibitions – 2015

students at ef garrison school of visual and performing arts

Esther F. Garrison School of Visual and Performing Arts (Savannah, GA). Garrison’s arts program has forged successful partnerships with local businesses and agencies, supporting students through authentic experiences, mentoring opportunities, and resources. Garrison’s choir is a prime example. This year Garrison hosted four Arts Alive choral workshops for students in the local district as well as all-state middle and high school workshops with Dr. Emily Grunsdadt-Hall of Armstrong State University. Guest conductor Ann-Sofi Stål of Falun, Sweden worked with Garrison choral students as part of the Children’s Choir artist-in-residence program. Craig Denison, Artistic Director of Florida’s Singing Sons Boy Choir, taught Garrison students and guest-conducted the Savannah Sings event. The visual arts department regularly partners with neighboring downtown businesses. Local and national hotels and businesses have hosted art exhibitions, including our annual schoolwide arts show featuring some 250 student works. A partnership with Armstrong State University provides mock auditions for piano students preparing to audition for the Savannah Arts Academy.

Dance – 2015

students in front of wasatch elementary school

Wasatch Elementary School (Provo, UT). Wasatch students receive core-integrated creative dance training through the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program (BTSALP). K students attend dance for 30 minutes a week; students in grades 1 – 6 attend for 45 minutes. Our dance specialist is a full-time teacher shared with another school through the state grant. The program strives to enrich and increase our students’ competency and performance in every subject through integrating arts-specific learning into the core subjects. In this side-by-side arts instruction model, our dance specialist works alongside our classroom teachers to integrate dance into core content lesson plans. Students develop dance competency while also learning core subjects. Dance engages their whole bodies and selves promotes complex learning, effective communication, compassion, aesthetic awareness, collaboration, and responsibility.