VISUAL & PERFORMING ARTS
Art and Music classes are held once a week for students in Kindergarten through 8th Grade.
The Art curriculum includes the creation of a wide variety of art, often integrated with grade level curricula in math, social studies, religion, and literature. To varying degrees, all students examine famous works of art and explore their historical and cultural contexts. Junior high students also learn basic ceramic skills, including hand-building techniques, the potter’s wheel, and glazing and firing ceramics in the school’s kiln.
The Music curriculum is taught in compliance with the National Standards for Music Education and the guidelines set forth by the Music Educators’ National Conference. Singing, dancing, listening, music appreciation along with history, rhythm activities, instrument playing, and theory are combined into a broad-based general music curriculum. Liturgical music is incorporated into the curriculum. Special emphasis is given at all grade levels to applying listening skills to all areas of the school curriculum and relating the arts to other areas of study. Students have the opportunity to participate in plays and musical organizations.
Art classes routinely use the multimedia projector to view PowerPoint presentations on a variety of subjects including color theory, architectural styles, and artists and their artwork. This technology is also used to explore many interactive art websites. Junior high students create projects that incorporate digital photography with hand made art.
Music performances by world-renowned artists and performing organizations are available with CDs and DVDs, and through the internet. In grades 3 through 8, music composition In addition, the use of an electronic whiteboard and music composition software enhances the study of theory, composition and music-reading.
St. Thomas More School holds an annual Arts Festival each May. During this festival, students’ artwork is displayed throughout the school and our seventh and eighth grade students present a play. Arts Festival is also open to our community. St. Thomas More students participate in the annual Diocesan CYO art competition, the annual Allentown Diocese calendar contest, and a variety of other contests. Eighth grade students also participate in the annual Baum School of Art Scholarship Program through the Allentown Art Museum.
Kindergarten students experience Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel by drawing and coloring under the tables!
Our music curriculum includes various field trips throughout the year. The 5th Grade attends a local performance of the Nutcracker ballet in December, and the 6th Grade attends the Allentown Symphony Youth Concert in April. 5th and 6th Grades, in entirety, perform a Christmas musical in December each year, for the school and for the public. 7th and 8th Graders perform a musical during the Arts Festival in May each year, for the school and for the public. Students in Grades 4 through 8 have the opportunity to participate in the Central Catholic High School Music Competition for feeder elementary schools.
Each year, St. Thomas More School presents two musical plays: The Christmas play and the Arts Festival play. The Annual Christmas Play is performed by all students in the 5th and 6th Grades and serves as a class project involving these two grade levels. The Arts Festival play in May is performed by many 7th and 8th Grade students. All students who audition for parts in these plays participate and rehearsals are held after school. Students are featured in speaking, singing, and dancing roles, depending on the play being offered. The presentation of the musicals is reinforced with class study of the musical theatre genre.
Band and Instrumental Music
Studies have shown that children who study music improve IQ, achieve better test scores and do well in math, science and reading. Students in grades four through eight have the opportunity to receive weekly group lessons conducted on Mondays during the school day on a rotating basis, so as not to miss the same class period every week. Lessons are given on traditional concert band instruments considered suitable for children of this age group. Every participating student will eventually be involved in after school band rehearsals in preparation for school concerts held in December and May. A meeting is held in September for parents of students wishing to enroll in the program, at which time information on instrument rentals is also provided.