The performing arts play an integral part in the learning experience at LREI. Students are given opportunities to delve into dance, music, and drama through developmentally appropriate content from the Fours through twelfth grade. Play and imagination combined with challenge and rigor result in engagement with personal artistry, community and the world. Artistic expression and performance require courage to take a stand, make choices, and create transformative experiences. Students are encouraged to work both individually and collaboratively in ensembles. Through mastery of skills, creative exploration, and reflection and knowledge of subject matter, students are immersed in a rich and diverse curriculum.
Throughout the divisions, our students display concrete evidence of their creative expression. In lower school, children learn to work collaboratively and respectfully with others and to challenge themselves to try new things. Students collectively explore movement vocabulary and action words which are used to create "movement sentences.” In lower school, music classes develop sequentially, building from a simple theme or element into larger forms. Students in an early childhood class work to strengthen their ability to sing and play instruments in unison, while third and fourth graders focus on part singing and polyrhythms.(insert video of Fours)
Cross curricular projects in the performing arts are student driven and can be found in all three divisions. Fourth grade students write, rehearse, and perform an original musical play using what they have learned about immigration in their social studies curriculum. Fifth graders connect drama and humanities in their mock trial of Odysseus. Sixth graders play and sing medieval music and become living medieval characters in their guild study. In high school, students have the opportunity to participate in mainstage productions that combine the performing arts skills they have learning in the earlier years.
Creativity, courage, critical thinking and citizenship are deeply embedded in performing arts. In each discipline and at every level students are encouraged to take risks and to be creative in improvisation. In dance, students use movement improvisation to create original compositions. In drama, improvisation skills help to develop character, scene, and ensemble building and is a foundational tool for building creative confidence. In performances, emphasis is on the process, and our students develop the courage and strategies to create a relationship with the audience, whether in a classroom or on stage.
Our students are frequently encouraged to step outside of the familiar and embrace a wealth of global artistry. In music classes, repertoire is chosen with thought and care toward representing a myriad of diverse voices. Guest artists and facilitators from around the globe frequently collaborate and perform with students. In dance classes, students are encouraged to explore and experience a variety of dance forms from around the world. Comparative studies of East and West African dances through technology, guest artists and research build global empathy while contributing to content knowledge.
We challenge students to find the courage to use the skills taught to create original compositions in each discipline and at every level. In fifth grade music classes, students learn the musical language through creating original works for chamber ensemble and orchestra. Sixth graders explore the world of music by creating works in a style of their choosing. LREI prides itself in showing our students that our teachers are continually learning and are often in the role of student themselves.