At Brookview Montessori, we guide children toward a lifelong appreciation of the Arts. There are always paint brushes and smocks available, starting in the Toddler rooms. They also have a visit from the Music teacher twice each week—singing songs, passing percussion instruments, and moving about the classroom in rhythm.
In Primary classrooms (3-6 years old), students also have access to an easel and paints, markers, and crayons. In addition, the curriculum is permeated with the arts, from studying various artists to using their own creativity to sculpt a volcano, to making costumes for a class performance. They come to the music room once each week. During those lessons, students learn about the elements of music, play many percussion instruments, and learn about music of the world’s cultures. They also have a combined sing-a-long once per week. Music happens within the classroom as well, with the Montessori Bells, on which Primary students learn to grade and match pitch.
In Lower Elementary (1st-3rd grade), students have dedicated time with our Art teacher, in six-week cycles, several times per year. Music class takes place in three small groups each week, with a whole class singalong once per week. Lower Elementary also does a Shakespeare production each year. Recent productions have included Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Students participate in every aspect of the production, including casting, creating scenery and costumes, and writing music to go with Shakespeare’s words. Finally, the students use the Montessori Tone Bars in the classroom to learn different scales, play them in various keys, and to learn to read and write music.
In Upper Elementary (4th – 5th grade), the Arts are further infused into the classroom environment. Students meet with both the Art teacher and the Music teacher one hour per week. They express themselves creatively in their academic work, demonstrating mastery of concepts by making mobiles, poster boards, sculptures, and writing songs. The class does many miniature theatrical performances on topics such as the Ordovician Period or the Coming of Life on Earth. They also do one major production—recent performances have included The Magical Land of Oz, A History of the United States told through song, and Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
Middle School students continue our Arts tradition. They spend a whole afternoon each week doing creative expression with the Art teacher. In music they are ready to truly discuss their own tastes and write about them. They also enjoy African drumming, conducting, and forming a band. Middle School students also have the option of joining the Upton Middle School Orchestra, with whom they can rehearse once per day. Each year, they put together the Middle School Slam, an event for which they might choreograph a dance, recite original poetry, or accompany themselves on a folk song.
In short, we believe in infusing the Arts into every aspect of a child’s education. The results are palpable, as the children become artists themselves, and embark upon a lifetime of creativity.