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Arts

THE MISSION OF THE ARTS AT BRENTWOOD SCHOOL IS TO INSPIRE PERSONAL AND INTELLECTUAL GROWTH THROUGH THE EXPLORATION, CRITICAL ANALYSIS AND DISCIPLINED PRACTICE, AND ULTIMATELY THE SHARED EXPERIENCE OF CREATIVE EXPRESSION.

Lower School Art Gallery

Our arts faculty, artists and performers themselves, offer instruction in visual arts, dance, music, and theater. In every course, our teachers strive to foster self-knowledge, a willingness to experiment and take risks, an understanding that through art we create and reflect culture, and a commitment to the creative process. Exhibits, recitals, and productions throughout the year celebrate our students’ accomplishments.

Children enter the Lower School with a world of possibilities in front of them. Brentwood’s arts education encourages them to discover the musician, actor, or artist within. In addition to fostering and inspiring artistic ability, our program instills a thirst for and life-long appreciation of the arts.

Visual Art

The Lower School art program provides students the opportunity to experiment with a wide variety of art media while learning that art is a universal form of expression. Our program strives to strengthen the students' visual perception while nurturing the development of creative self-expression. Students learn how the elements of design, such as line, shape, form, texture, color, and space, can be controlled as they express themselves visually. Themes for art projects, while geared to age appropriate expectations, often correlate with other studies intensifying the student's overall experience.

Art appreciation is woven into the curriculum throughout the year. Field trips to various galleries and museums along with visits from guest artists enhance the students' studies. Each spring the school hosts an All-School Art Show where each child has some of his or her work displayed. The goal of the art program is for all students to probe their imaginations to discover their own unique visions. The children are encouraged to take pride in their work and to develop self-confidence in their ability to express themselves.

Kindergarten

Through the integration of visual aids, students learn to express thoughts and feelings while discovering line, shape, texture, and color. Students are introduced to varying techniques and materials including paints, assorted drawing materials, printmaking, and sculpture.

First Grade

Through the integration of visual aids, students further develop an understanding of two and three-dimensional space using more advanced techniques of the materials already introduced. The subject matter often ties to the social studies curriculum.

Second Grade

Through the integration of visual aids, students continue to develop specific techniques of the materials already introduced. Students learn vocabulary to articulate design concepts.

Third Grade

Integrated with social studies, students examine and explore art from around the world. New aesthetics are introduced, including the Asian perspective. Materials are explored in ways according to other cultures.

Fourth Grade

Integrated with social studies, students continue to develop techniques with familiar materials. More sophisticated concepts are discussed. Influential artists inspire projects. Final pieces require more commitment.

Fifth Grade

Through the integration of social studies and significant art movements and artists, students continue to develop skills. Reworking and reflection play an integral part of the process. Personal aesthetic and opinions are expressed.

Sixth Grade

Integrated with social studies, students are encouraged to explore the themes expressed in the art of other cultures and to interpret it for themselves using skills and knowledge gained in previous grades.

Music

Music education is an integral part of the Lower School curriculum. The program is designed to excite children about music by connecting music, words, and movement through rhythm into lessons that inspire the students' creativity and innovation. Music is a "whole body experience" with students learning to play various instruments including unpitched percussion instruments, xylophones, and the recorder, in addition to singing and dancing.

All of these experiences enable the students to learn concepts such as rhythm, melody, harmony, style, and expression while performing. Students learn about various composers by listening to their works throughout the year. As with other aspects of the Brentwood School program, the music program is integrated with other studies. As 3rd Grade students journey the world they learn about various operas, and 6th Grade students perform an original musical version of The Odyssey.

Students have the opportunity to share their talents and all they have learned in both winter and spring performances. But these are like no other elementary school performances, for each grade puts together and performs its own unique hour-long program. Every child is a star as they sing, dance, and play instruments on the stage. In addition, every spring the Kindergarten and 6th Grade classes each perform in special musical theater productions.

There is also an after-school music theater program open to students in Grades 4 and 5. Students with a passion for music and performance may enroll in the program, which provides them added opportunities to develop their interests and talents.

Lower School Arts News

Please join us as we congratulate Upper School visual arts faculty member Alex Donis for the inclusion of his artwork in Tastemakers & Earthshakers: Notes from Los Angeles Youth Culture 1943-2016. Attend the opening reception on Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. or check out the exhibit before it closes on February 25, 2017...

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Students were very excited on the morning of Friday, February 5 as the campus prepared to watch the final dress rehearsal production of Beatles in the Underworld. After months of rehearsal, members of the cast were ecstatic and ready for a dedicated performance in front of their classmates, families, and teachers. As they took their bows to jubilant applause, it was clear their hard work had paid off and their story had been beautifully and creatively told...

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The ripple effects of Upper School teacher Rob Michelson's travels to Cuba in recent years continue to be felt at Brentwood. During Upper School Arts Week, we welcomed Cuban artist Lázaro Salsita to conduct hands-on workshops in all three divisions.

Rob explains: "Lázaro Salsita warmly invited Brentwood students into his home and workspace for a two-day collaborative art project in Havana during our Spring Break trip to Cuba. We talked briefly then about how exciting it would be to return the favor and welcome him to our school. At the time, he had just secured a tourist visa to visit New York City to see his teenage son and, after arriving in the U.S. last summer, Lázaro began connecting with artists and educators. He soon realized that a world of opportunities unimaginable for him in Cuba was opening up for him here in America. By September, he had made the decision to stay in the United States and support his ongoing community art project in Havana with money earned here. Over the past 6 months, Lázaro has conducted workshops at several schools and colleges in New York and New England and has participated in a two-week artist retreat in North Carolina. He's so busy, in fact, that we were very lucky to lure him to Los Angeles for Upper School Arts Week."

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