The Windward Arts Program provides instruction in the disciplines of music, studio art, and drama. The structured and sequential curriculum promotes artistic expression within the context of a multisensory-based, direct instruction program so that the language needs of students are accommodated through the use of visual, kinesthetic, and auditory models.
Music is taught in the Lower School through a structured program that incorporates and integrates other subject areas. In keeping with a language-based model, words to songs are broken down into syllables on the board and analyzed to teach the rhythm (e.g., quarter notes, eighth notes). This methodology assists students with learning music as well as affording them the opportunity to practice decoding and language skills. Similarly, math skills are reinforced in music as students count steady beats and identify rhythmic patterns. Integrated with language arts and math, the songs learned correlate with each grade’s social studies curriculum.
Studio art is taught in both divisions. Teachers create a program to give students confidence to express themselves visually. Assignments are designed to enable all students to participate in the creative process. The Lower School program introduces the elements of art (line, shape, color, form, space, texture, and value,) and the principles of design (contrast, emphasis, balance, pattern, rhythm, movement, and unity). Art history is taught through exposure to the work of accomplished artists, both contemporary and historical. Middle School students study drawing, painting, ceramics, and woodworking. Projects refine and advance prior skills with an increasing level of difficulty. Art projects are introduced in an historical and cultural context. The art from different time periods and cultures provides opportunities for interdisciplinary connections as well as diversity awareness.
Through a formalized drama class in the Middle School, students study dramatic arts throughout the year. The drama class improves students' language skills through a multisensory curriculum that includes reading, writing, and performing plays. The program builds self-confidence and improves memorization and public speaking.
Diversity is woven throughout the arts curriculum, and teachers seek opportunities to expand student exposure to people and ideas different from their own. Learning about the world of art empowers students to develop sensitivity and gain self-confidence that they too have the ability to make a contribution through their unique voices. The success of the Arts Program is evidenced by the numerous concerts and plays performed as well as the prolific works of art that are exhibited on the walls and in the display cases throughout the campuses.