These subjects are strongly linked to the other academic subjects being covered. These subjects are taught by specialist teachers.

Choir

The Kindergarten through fourth grade students have choir twice a week. They sing a variety of classic children’s songs, hymns and contemporary Christian music. They also learn about composers and music theory. Students get a basic introduction to simple percussion instruments in lower elementary grades, as well as the recorder and hand bells in upper elementary grades.

There is a Christmas Concert in early December. There is a Spring Concert at the end of the school year. The students are also invited to sing once a year during worship at St. Michael Lutheran Church, Immanuel Lutheran Church and Zion Lutheran church.

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Kindergartners and First grade during 2009 Christmas Concert

Band

All students in grades five through eight participate in our band program. Our fifth graders, and newly enrolled sixth graders, participate in our Beginner Band. Beginner Band focuses on the fundamentals of reading music and the exciting challenges of learning a new instrument. All musical abilities and learning styles are welcomed. Our focus is to become quality musicians, but to never forget the joy of creating music and the purpose of our music to give praise to God. After completing a year of Beginner Band, students participate in Concert Band. We continue to build upon the fundamentals of music literacy and aim to become more well-rounded musicians, learning music theory, history and again… continuing a life long journey of musical enjoyment. All band students have opportunities to perform in two yearly concerts and special worship services. We also perform for our elderly friends who attend St. Michael’s Covenant Program. The band program is taught by Mrs. Lynne Weaver.

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Concert Band

How learning and playing an instrument benefits your child’s brain.

Visual Arts

Students K – 8th grade have art once a week.

I have created a visual arts curriculum based on the principles and practices of the nationally recognized and researched Choice-Based Art Education and Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB). The curriculum meets the Michigan Content Standards and Benchmarks and regards students as artists, offering them real choices for responding to their own ideas and interests through the making of art.

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What does this mean?

In many typical art programs, the students follow step-by-step instructions to complete a very specific project. In a choice-based art classroom, there is no prescribed project. Instead, as the art expert, I offer guidance, suggestions, resources and demonstrations for supplies, techniques and art history. The students are free to make their own choices concerning subject matter and materials. Through independence and responsibility, students are taught and expected to create original works of art based on their own ideas and interests. They are also required to take care of the studio space and supplies, which are available to all students. This approach promotes understanding, knowledge, skills and student interest.

What are the benefits of Choice-Based Art Education?

IMG_1178-web2Students are highly invested in their work because it reflects their personal interests and style; therefore, they take ownership of their learning.
Students are empowered by the autonomy in the art studio.
Choice-based art education is perfect for today’s diverse classes and the move toward differentiated instruction.
Students are exposed to an enormous variety of ideas, techniques, vocabulary, cultures and artists throughout the year.
Much of the teaching is individualized because it exposes the teacher to what is really happening in the minds and lives of students which allows us to learn about each other in a safe and caring environment.

How does the Art Studio work?

The Art Studio is arranged into carefully organized centers to promote student responsibility, self reliance, and creative exploration. These centers are divided by media or subject matter and are opened methodically throughout the school year. Over the course of the year as students’ abilities, confidence and independence develop, new and more complex techniques and supplies are introduced. After the student completes a work of art, an artist statement will be written in order to reflect on the art-making process.

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Assessment and Evaluation

Each student is evaluated individually in terms of student growth and progress towards the objectives. Progress reporting is based on the compilation of assessment forms. An Art Progress Report is a one-page document that gives information about activities the student has finished and how they are progressing towards the Michigan Visual Arts Standards and Benchmarks.