FINE & PERFORMING ARTS OVERVIEW
Arts education is an integral component of academic achievement and of Walden’s curriculum. Walden School recognizes the potential for each student to excel in the fine arts: visual arts, music, and drama. The developmentally-appropriate curriculum is designed to provide students with the fundamental skills, techniques, and knowledge to participate in the arts. Our K-12 program encourages creativity as well aesthetic appreciation.
The Fine Arts program at Walden seeks to fulfill the mission “In partnership with parents” in a variety of ways. School-wide activities that feature the arts include: fine arts night, two lower school musical performances a year, three middle school drama productions (grades 7 & 8) - in addition two daytime class scene presentations (grade 6) - a year, four band performances, as well as two high school theatre productions a year. Parents are involved in these events as audience members and by assisting with props and costumes. In addition, each year drama scenes are taken “on the road” and performed as a service to the community. Although Walden has graduated a number of students who have gone on to college to pursue advanced art education, the goal of Walden’s art program is to educate each to be a lifelong participant in and supporter of the arts.
The lower school visual arts program focuses on exploration and fosters enthusiasm for creative thinking. Walden community spaces are utilized to demonstrate and celebrate student work. Lower school students take art twice weekly.
The middle school visual arts program offers instruction in both 2D and 3D formats. Projects include design elements such as color, line, shape, value, texture, and form, as well as design principles such as repetition, contrast, balance, and proportion. Individuality and creativity are valued. Art history is incorporated into project presentation. The art classroom allows students to work in different media at the same time in a studio setting. Fifth grade students take art twice weekly. Students in grades 6-8 take art daily for one trimester each year.
The high school program furthers the study of the elements and principles of design, with a push towards students’ production of conceptual work. The art history component in the high school includes weekly art journal reflections. Students study artists or art genres, then respond to their chosen works in written or drawn format. Advanced Placement classes are offered in both Drawing and 2D Design. The average AP score in art over the past five years is 4.5. High school students take art classes as an elective.
Middle school and high school artwork from Walden is entered each year into the Scholastic Art Competition, the oldest and most prestigious art competition in the United States. Students at Walden have fared well in our region.
- 2016 Scholastic Art Awards
- Regional - 1 Gold Key; 2 Silver Keys; & 6 Honorable Mentions
- 2015 Scholastic Art Awards
- Regional - 1 Gold & 2 Silver Keys, 2 Honorable Mentions, and an American Vision’s Nominee.
- 2013 Scholastic Art Awards
- National - 1 Silver Key Medal Award
- Regional - 5 Gold Keys, 1 Silver, 2 Honorable Mentions, and a Gold Key Art Portfolio.
General music education is part of the curriculum in lower school and students take music twice weekly. It is primarily a participation-based class, in which students actively engage in creative movement, listening to and describing different genres of music, playing different types of percussion instruments, playing the recorder, improvisation, melodic and rhythmic composition, and performance. There are two major musical/dramatic performances, as well as a variety of smaller seasonal performances that student participate in throughout the school year. Students also study music appreciation as they gain a better understanding of the relationship between music, history, and culture, and participate in various projects that relate music to other forms of art and disciplines outside of the arts.
Band participation is a requirement for all 5th grade students, and 6th - 12th grade students are offered the opportunity to continue band instruction. Participation in the band program seeks to develop competency by developing and honing students’ skills and love of music through performance. Band students acquire knowledge in both music theory and history as they become proficient on their instruments, regularly engage in reading and notating music, performing a varied repertoire of music, evaluating musical performances, and working together towards a common performance goal. School Band Members actively engage in performing in large and small ensemble settings, both within our school and in the Louisville community. These performances include two concerts, a Kentucky Music Education Association (KMEA) Solo and Ensemble Assessment, and a full band KMEA-sponsored District Assessment.
Walden offers an extracurricular K-12 Drama Club which culminates in a grand musical spring production. The dramatic arts are offered in the curriculum to students in middle and high school. Middle school drama is a required trimester course for students in grades 6-8. The middle school drama program seeks to advance the student from the basics of acting (6th grade), to an intermediate performance level with a small-scale production (7th grade), to a full-scale performance preparation (8th grade). High school drama is offered as an elective for credit. High school drama tailors productions to complement the abilities of the students enrolled in the class. (Lower School students are occasionally recruited for both middle school and high school productions.)