Fine & Performing Arts

At CSS, the arts are of equal importance to core subject matters and allow our students to develop an appreciation for process-based discovery and innovation while building confidence and self-assurance. CSS teachers are professional artists who inspire daily creativity from our students.

Children's School

Children’s School Visual Arts
The Children’s School visual art curriculum is designed to give students an aesthetic vocabulary, understanding, and appreciation. Lessons are designed to help develop comfort and fluency in the language of art. Students are encouraged to explore a large variety of two- and three-dimensional media, including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, textiles, and graphic design. Through experimentation, students develop advanced problem-solving techniques, critical thinking skills, a willingness to take risks, and the ability to self-reflect.

Children’s School Theatre Arts
The creative dramatics/theatre arts curriculum involves the whole child through imaginative thinking and creative expression. Classes incorporate pantomime, dramatic play improvisation, role-playing, and dramatization. The developmentally-appropriate curriculum illuminates and explores the concepts of self-expression, actions and consequences, collaboration, and communication.

Children’s School General Music
The Children’s School General Music program provides students from grades Kindergarten through 5th grade with varied learning experiences that encourage a life-long love and understanding of music. As students immerse themselves in music, they learn how to express their thoughts and then communicate with others. Classes are developmentally appropriate and designed to keep the joy of creating, making and experiencing music at the center focus.

Children’s School Band
The 4th-grade band at CSS looks and sounds a little different than your typical band. The students learn what it means to become an ensemble through the use of recorders, boomwhackers, and other group activities. Recorders are an effective way to unify the students on one instrument as they begin to discover the concepts involved in performing instrumental music. Recorders are used throughout the school year, allowing students to learn more complicated rhythms, time signatures, tempos and dynamics, and in turn, more interesting music.

Middle School

Middle School Theatre Arts
The Middle School Theatre courses of study include Theatre Arts (6th) and Theatre at Play (7th/8th). These courses are built upon the belief that every student has an important part in a community where drama is created. Each course is designed to provide the students a chance to get involved in the craft at a very personal level. During the Middle School years, the course work embraces a more informed critical approach to the study of theatre. Through the introductory studies in the Theatre Arts class, students learn and develop important skills through their active participation in the work of the theatre. Throughout the year, this work offers a variety of approaches with an emphasis placed on creativity, communication, collaboration, and stretching of boundaries and imaginations. Every student has the opportunity to become immersed in their own creative instincts, to build self-confidence in their personal creative abilities, and to grow as a human being.

Middle School Visual Arts
Middle School Art is a rigorous survey of Art Technique and Art History that is tied directly to hands-on studio art production. A wide variety of mediums are explored as students make real connections to specific artists and art movements. Students develop foundations in concept, design, and communication while they solidify skills in drawing, composition, color theory, and 3D materials. This course prepares students to engage in a wide variety of art mediums with established skills and an ability to apply art concepts as they successfully express their own ideas.

Middle School Band
Students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade combine to create the band, developing knowledge, skill, and artistic sensitivity in performing instrumental music. The focus of the study is on a wide range of music literature and styles. Students gain greater control of instrument technique, determine the factors that influence intonation and begin to adjust accordingly to produce a well-balanced and in-tune sound. They develop the ability to create an expressive interpretation of the music they perform and learn the importance of teamwork within a large ensemble.

Upper School

Upper School Visual Arts
The Upper School arts program at CSS provides comprehensive training and exposure to a wide variety of artistic disciplines. Through diverse offerings, students are consistently challenged in creative problem-solving, refinement of artistic techniques, and adaptability to new forms of self-expression. We educate the whole individual; students find themselves performing on stage through music, acting, and dance while producing visual art in such diverse areas as metal-casting, oil painting, darkroom photography, figure drawing, ceramics, graphic design, printmaking, and glass-works. Classroom interaction and critique strengthen the student’s artistic voice, vision, and ability to communicate effectively. Visiting professional artists provide connections to the greater community, reinforcing coursework within the studio environment of the art classroom and often are an integral element of arts-related Experience-Centered Seminars.

Upper School Choir
Upper School music education takes the adolescent voice to a mature level of competency. With the reinforcement of vocal safety in the middle years, the Upper School student approaches singing with confidence and knowledge. Course work focuses on developing the musical ear and voice using works that incorporate four-part harmony and acapella styles. The technical aspects of singing, upper-level theory and more difficult repertoire all work towards preparing students for college and beyond. CSS Upper School choral students participate in two concerts during the winter and spring.

Upper School Music Appreciation
Upper School students who are interested in broadening their general knowledge of music explore the elements of music, composers and time periods in music, develop listening skills, dissect songs and learn to create basic compositions. This is accomplished by using a wide range of musical styles and literature. Through listening, discussions and class projects, students acquire new tastes and a new perspective of music. Students also learn how music impacts and responds to society. Through listening and analysis, students learn to recognize the sound of each instrument, its function within the ensemble, and how both vocal and instrumental music has developed over time.

Upper School Band
This course places emphasis on the student’s ability to command or grasp the knowledge, skill, and artistic sensitivity that was discovered and developed in the younger grades. The focus of study is on a wide range of music literature and styles. Students work to master technique, articulations, rhythms, dynamics, time signatures, intonation, balance and blend, expression, and establish a sense of teamwork within the ensemble.

Upper School Pep Band
Although this is not an academic class, everyone knows that a school is nothing without spirit! The energy and excitement generated by an enthusiastic student body turns a school into something more personal and meaningful. The pep band is a group that creates this electrifying atmosphere and drives both the school and its teams on to victory.