Visual and Performing Arts
The arts programs at St. Patrick’s strive to provide a strong and comprehensive foundation in the skills, language, tools, habits, and understandings that lead to confidence in and appreciation for each discipline.
The visual arts at St. Patrick’s empowers students with the skills and habits of artists. Creative expression is treated as learnable and attainable, and building students’ confidence in their artistic ability is central to the curriculum. Students build a strong art vocabulary and learn to analyze and appreciate the artwork of others as well as their own.
They develop skills of observation and perception while heightening their awareness of the elements of art and principles of design. They also practice self-reflection, perseverance, and experimentation. A wide variety of materials and subject matter are explored and revisited at different developmental stages. Interdisciplinary projects are regularly experienced, expanding students’ understanding of the connections art holds with many disciplines of study.
Creative and artistic expression abounds in the St. Patrick’s art program. A walk into any of our three wonderful art studios and through the hallways and classrooms tells the story of a dynamic art program—prints, collages, sculptures, self-portraits, ceramics, drawings, and paintings adorn the walls and display cabinets
The music program fosters a lifelong love of music, develops the competencies that will enable children to participate fully in the music curriculum, and lays a foundation for participation in music beyond St. Patrick's.
Step into any of our three music classrooms and you might see students singing together, creating a movement piece inspired by art, composing a simple aria, practicing handbells, playing African drums or xylophones, or dancing a traditional folk dance, or learning to play the recorder. Music instruction at St. Patrick’s is experiential and builds a foundation of skills through work with pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tempo, form, timbre, and style. Always there is singing, which binds us together as a community whether in music classes, chapels, or concerts.
With a longstanding tradition of musical excellence, St. Patrick’s offers opportunities for performance at all grade levels. Whether these performances take place in the classroom, in regular chapels, or for a large audience, they are vital to each child’s development as a confident, skilled musician. To supplement the rich experience within the music classroom, St. Patrick’s offers both instrumental and choral ensembles. Each ensemble provides students with exciting opportunities to further their musicianship while developing leadership skills, self-confidence through performance, teamwork, and friendships. Ensemble members make a serious commitment to attend all rehearsals and participate in all performances.
PK Music Program
Nursery Music Program
Lower School Chapel of Celebration
Grade 4 American Music Presentation
Grades 5 Musical Performance
Grade 6 Production
MacArthur Campus Performing and Studio Arts Night
Design thinking and creative problem-solving are evident in abundance across the St. Patrick’s educational program.
The Design & Collaboration Labs, one for students and one for teachers, support the development of a culture of creativity, collaboration, and innovation. The labs expand valuable learning opportunities for students and teachers and remove hurdles to engaging in even more such projects. A wide-open, intentional space for design challenges fits the way elementary-age children typically address these types of projects. To create, they spread out their materials and array themselves across a table or on the floor. Additional storage space allows for a broad range of materials to be at the ready, giving all students easy access to the appropriate materials to manipulate, build, and create. Teachers more fluidly follow student interests and build upon their understanding to move to the next concept or related theme.
The designated spaces refocus community energy and shift students to a frame of mind conducive to creative work. Crossing the threshold of the Design & Collaboration Lab allows the student to focus on appropriate risk-taking and testing and iterating approaches that result in successful problem-solving. Students collaborate according to skill sets or preferences towards a common goal. As a team, one student may design the component circuit board while another constructs the overall assembly to complete a project or solve a problem. One teacher observes, “Teachers are excited to see students shine in different ways as they work thoughtfully with partners and grow ideas together, turning them into physical designs. Students build skills in planning, labeling, and constructing.” Students are empowered to innovate and gain confidence in their abilities and are given the opportunity to appreciate the gifts and talents others bring to the table.The Design & Collaboration Labs are configured to grow with the program and expand to embrace robotics, circuitry, and programming.
A nearby space, the Design Shop, accommodates woodworking, power tools, sewing machines, and other resources for student innovation. Science teacher Will Cook, is excited by the possibilities for students to engage in “mixed-age, unconventional, combinatory thinking.” Students learn empathy as they recognize that their peers have strengths that they may or may not share. Understanding and valuing what each student brings to the group strengthens the bond between and among students.