Grace Academy’s fine arts program is an integral part of our mission to provide students with an academically excellent Christ-centered and classical education. The cultivation of artistic appreciation and ability is essential for developing students who recognize truth, goodness, and beauty and are able to express these through artistic creation. Art that is well crafted has the ability to satisfy deep human longings for beauty and to communicate profound spiritual, intellectual, and emotional truths about the nature of God and the world that he has made for his glory. As such, the fine arts have tremendous power to touch the human heart and shape culture.
In the Grammar School, students learn the fundamentals of music through the study of rhythm, pitch, harmony, and tempo using the solfege method. They practice these skills as they learn American folk songs, canons, partner songs, and the hymns that are featured during chapel and assembly. Beginning in third grade, students build on this vocal training by learning to play the recorder as well as a variety of percussion instruments.
The visual arts in the Grammar School are taught through the study of the elements of art and the principles of design. Lessons often integrate with the topics students are studying in Bible, science, history, and literature. Some examples of content integration include Native American pottery, Greek vases, illuminated manuscripts, and drawings of nature. In both music and visual art classes, students also study great masters such as Mozart, Bach, Gershwin, Rembrandt, Monet, and Picasso.
Drama is woven into the Grammar School as students prepare and present engaging plays based on the literature they are reading in class. Throughout the year our community is treated to wonderful theatrical productions of Pilgrims, Greek heroes, King Arthur’s Court, and The Phantom Toll Booth.
In Upper School, students build on the artistic knowledge and skills learned in Grammar School as they continue to refine their technical skills and to develop a deeper appreciation for the fine arts. In 6th-8th grade all students take fine arts classes but may choose between music, visual art, and drama. The specific focus of each course varies from year to year to include topics such as vocal training, hand chimes, drawing, painting, multi-media arts, and various well-known plays.
Students in 9th-12th grade continue taking a fine arts course each year. The selection of classes for these students broadens further to provide them the opportunity for more specific and thorough study in their chosen art form. Such selections include drawing, photography, art history, classical art studies, music worship and performance, yearbook, classical theater, Shakespearean theatre, and modern theatre.
Each year our community celebrates the fine arts through two significant events. In December our students lead the community in the season of advent by presenting a traditional Lessons & Carols service. In the spring Grace Academy hosts a Fine Arts Evening during which students showcase their work in art, music, and drama for the year.