Artists in the Classroom

Artists in the Classroom

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Twice a week the strum of guitars, the rhythmic beat of drums, and the sound of students practicing musical theater can he heard in our halls thanks to an innovative new partnership with Harlem School of the Arts that brings artists into Harlem Academy classrooms to teach music, dance, art, theater, and creative writing. 

“This exciting collaboration allows us to expand our visual and performing arts program in significant ways,” says Assistant Head of School LaShonda Davis. “We are now better able to help students explore a variety of arts disciplines, tap their creativity, discover new interests, and develop cognitive, problem-solving and other foundational skills.” 

Primary school students participate in everything from painting and sculpting to percussion and theater improv, while elementary school students have the opportunity to learn guitar, printmaking, Afro-fusion dance, and more. Our middle schoolers continue to pursue their interests through electives, including comic-book writing and coding.

“I like that we’re able to do more activities and that we have more options,” says fourth grader Miley. “Right now, I’m learning about sketching and theater. It’s fun being able to use my imagination.”

As students progress from grade to grade, they build upon basic artistic concepts in order to advance to more complex techniques. For example, learning to sculpt with clay in second grade leads to Claymation projects by fifth grade. Galleries and performances will be held throughout the year, giving students the chance to share what they have learned with family and friends. 

“It’s cool that we have the opportunity to learn new styles of art,” says Miley. "I love being creative. It helps you grow and gain confidence.”

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