The philosophy of the arts curriculum in the Upper School is to develop the students’ abilities to express themselves, to reflect on questions about the arts throughout the ages, and to cultivate their sensitivity to art forms across cultures. Students have opportunities to function as artists as well as learners of the arts.
Studying the arts allows Upper School students
- to learn about their own sensibilities, emotions, and imagination;
- create unique works of art;
- develop their faculty of discernment and sense of curiosity as well as their self-confidence;
- strengthen their memory and their analytical, as well as listening skills;
- improve their focus and attention span.
When possible, the arts in the Upper School are taught in the target language, empowering the students to hone their language in creative ways.
In visual art, students experiment with various mediums, developing their skills, learning about art movements, increasing their appreciation for the art, and developing an understanding of the meaning and function of art.
In music class, students explore the evolution of music throughout the centuries and around the world, and its role on societal and cultural changes, connecting musical forms with their time and place, practice music composition and interpretation
In drama, students experience the different components of stage techniques through interactive team-based games and improvisations, scene creations, and performances to gain confidence in public speaking and artistic abilities.
At the end of 8th grade, all students participate in a theatre production, performing in Chinese, French, or German, depending on their language program.
In addition, Upper School students have the opportunity to attend the after-school drama club if available, which offers all interested students a chance to be part of a larger production.
Upper School students who play an instrument are also encouraged to participate in the all-school band program. Band students are expected to perform at school events and other occasions.