As part of Dawson’s commitment to rounded students who are encouraged to explore all aspects of life, the school begins arts education in kindergarten, and the program grows as the students do. How do you learn to be comfortable in front of a group of people? Maybe it’s by putting on a play. How do you learn to look at the world and its challenges in a new way? Maybe it’s by using the other side of your brain and looking at paint and clay in a new way.
In grades K-5, Dawson students have at least 9 hours of specials each week, including visual and performing arts. Art classes spring from the joy of students expressing themselves through projects, suitable to each grade with focus on experimental use of media. Often, student work is based on homeroom studies. The study of lines, patterns, shapes, values, colors, contrast, texture, and three-dimensional elements guide project work. Music exposes children to a wide range of styles, skills, and opportunities to be inspired by music. When children leave the Lower School, they can read and compose music, follow a written score, and play various musical instruments. Music literacy is emphasized throughout the music curriculum, using the Kodaly and Orff-Schulwerk approaches.