The Arts at Redeemer Classical School
At Redeemer School, the arts offer our students opportunities to cultivate a joyful sense of wonder for God’s character. The arts reflect God’s design for intricate order in the universe; they also show us His joy for creativity. Our students discover God’s goodness, truth and beauty by engaging with many styles of music and art throughout the school year.
Art & Art History
While the art classes at Redeemer incorporate many materials, styles, and subjects, they center around drawing; all other visual art is built upon the base of illustration. Learning to draw develops visual and spatial literacy, creativity and problem solving as well as eye-hand coordination. Planning and decision making, perseverance, and careful observation are all exercised through this craft.
The art curriculum develops a working knowledge of the elements and principles of design (line, shape, color, value, texture, form, balance, contrast, emphasis, variety, unity, movement, harmony and rhythm) as well as artist Mona Brooks’ visual vocabulary, “The Five Elements of Shape” (line, straight line, curved lines, angles, dots and circles).
In Kindergarten, students are introduced to the Five Elements of Shape and begin to recognize and find the elements in the world around them. Vocabulary such as vertical, horizontal and diagonal help them learn to “see” straight lines and practice drawing what they see. By eighth grade students are able to create an asymmetrically balanced drawing project; understand, create and use secondary and tertiary colors using only the primary colors; and skillfully render textures and tonal value.
The art program at Redeemer is designed to instill a familiarity with art history as students view, discuss, and imitate artwork from the period of history that they are studying in their other classes. Art is discussed in the context of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. Students are encouraged to value their creativity as a reflection of their nature as image bearers and as something through which God can be glorified.
Grammar School Music
Grammar school music at Redeemer offers a space for creative discovery which is intended both to cultivate a joyful sense of wonder and point students towards the Creator. Classes emphasize active music-making experiences to build a foundation for independent and literate musicianship. The curriculum incorporates many diverse genres of music but emphasizes traditional American folk music, sacred music, music of different cultures around the world, classical selections from different eras of Western music history, and jazz.
Students engage music in various ways during classes. They sing often to develop confident, tuneful, expressive voices and to build aural memory skills. They learn techniques for playing instruments, and they participate in composition/improvisation activities to strengthen creative skills. Classes also frequently include expressive movement and folk dance, not only to help students develop a sense of rhythm and build physical coordination, but also to experience music in an embodied way. Younger students begin using a system of melodic and rhythmic syllables in preparation to begin reading and writing musical notation in the upper grades. As students progress through the grammar school music program, they increasingly build on grade-level skills for making and understanding music.
Students share their musical learning with families through a Christmas concert and a spring performance. All musical experiences at Redeemer are framed with the lens that music is a gift to be joyfully explored which ultimately points us back to the Creator.
Chimes & Handbells
Focus, discipline, fellowship, teamwork, commitment, encouragement, problem-solving, responsibility, visual tracking, coordination — these are all skills that are continually exercised and strengthened in ringing classes at Redeemer. Not to mention the more obvious skills of reading music notation, learning music theory and practicing performance skills.
Handbells provide an instant, tactile experience in music literacy. The students feel the rhythms, say the rhythms, see the rhythms, practice the rhythms and PLAY the rhythms. There is a direct line from learning a concept to experiencing it — and often within minutes. This is hands-on, work-together, make-it-happen, get-it-better-next-time music.
Performances for school programs as well as outreach concerts to local retirement communities and preschools enhance stage presence and reward students with positive feedback from the audience and the satisfaction of a job well done. Students also play at outdoor concerts, Salvation Army buckets, and aboard parade floats, which requires flexibility, calm nerves and quick thinking. Ringing classes at Redeemer give students a chance to learn a lifelong skill while producing worthwhile music, personal growth and memorable experiences.