The Arts at Alto

Visual art, music, and drama are an integral part of Alto’s IB curriculum, allowing students to explore their creativity.

Visual Art

The preschool curriculum offers guided as well as independent exploratory art projects for Alto’s youngest students. Ample arts and crafts materials are available to children every day and range from crayons, scissors and water paints to clay and hot glue-guns. Elementary school art is integrated into the overall curriculum and art projects are often directly connected to the current academic unit. For example, while 4th grade students explore the basics of economics and product design, they are tasked to produce their own product which can later be sold at a fair (e.g. cookies or baked goods). As part of the art curriculum, students create marketing posters and packaging for their products.

Middle and high school students are offered visual art classes that allow them to explore different media and techniques. Students are encouraged to explore their own creative sides, keeping a sketchbook and trying out new ideas. Students often venture beyond the classroom, by participating  in events like the local chalk art festival or trips to local museums. In addition, Alto offers an after school art club for those students who are interested in further exploring their creativity.

Music

Music and dance are integrated into the daily schedule of preschool students. Making music is a fixed element of circle time and students perform for their peers as well as parents at school events. Elementary school students attend formal music lessons on a weekly basis. The program includes music theory and history, vocal instruction and performance, and Orff instruments. In 3rd grade, students are taught how to play the recorder. Alto’s afterschool program provides further musical opportunities for preschool and elementary school students, including choir as well as various other extracurricular activities.

Older students take music classes throughout their time in middle school, learning about music theory and history, and are given ample opportunities to plan and prepare school performances. Many units are project-oriented, allowing students to write, plan, and rehearse their own musical play. Alto music performances include students at all levels of musical talent, allowing every student to push themselves and explore their artistic potential.
In addition, middle and high school students have the opportunity to join the school’s band program, which performs at various school events and other occasions.

Drama

Make-believe play and dress up are an important part of an Alto student’s preschool experience. In addition, children are given opportunities to perform and create their own plays on a regular basis. In the drama unit, preschool students explore the theatre world by creating, rehearsing, and performing their own play, complete with set design, costumes, tickets sales and – everybody’s favorite – selling popcorn.

Elementary and middle school students regularly rehearse and perform plays, which are often connected to their unit of inquiry. All middle and high school students have the opportunity to attend the after school drama club, which offers all interested students a chance to be part of a larger production. Plays often incorporate more than one language, highlighting the multilingual skills of Alto students.