Fine and Performing Arts Department K-12

Shenendehowa has an extensive fine arts program providing many opportunities for students to participate in art, music and theatrical performances in grades K-12 and our curriculum is based on the New York State Standards for the Arts.

 

Art

The art curriculum at Shenendehowa integrates art history, the elements of art and the principles of design. The art department believes that references and aspects of art history are best taught when they relate to a specific focus, enhanced through a practical studio application. Therefore, art history within the Shenendehowa art curriculum is not taught in isolation but related to studio projects.

Elementary School Gr. K-5

Our elementary art program has been designed to teach visual communication skills. Students will use critical thinking and creativity to process and develop ideas that will be communicated through art work. Students will:

  • Develop an understanding of the elements of art…line, shape, space, color, form, and texture.
  • Develop fine motor skills applied to manipulative skills and artistic techniques
  • Develop an understanding of “art appreciation” by learning how different cultures use visual arts and how artists have developed different styles throughout time.
Middle School Gr. 6-8

In their visual arts experiences, students create and perform, know and understand materials/resources, respond to and analyze works of art, and understand cultural dimensions and contributions of the Arts.

  • All sixth grade students participate in a general studio art every other day for 20 weeks.   They will be exposed to a wide variety of art materials and historical and cultural techniques and styles. 
  • All 7th grade students participate in a general studio art daily for 20 weeks. They will be exposed to a wide variety of art materials and historical and cultural techniques and styles. Studio experiences will encompass a variety of art forms and focus will be placed on issues of space and structure, models and movement and color and light.
  • Accelerated Art Grade 8 – is typically taken by 9th grade students. However, students may be selected to take Studio in Art in grade 8 and are then expected to advance through the Pathway for Prospective Art Students during grades 9-12
High School Gr. 9-12

Shenendehowa offers a wide assortment of art electives in foundational art, visual art, advanced placement art, 3D art, and electronic media arts. More information about courses can be found in the Program of Studies.

 

Music

The Shenendehowa Music Program enjoys a rich tradition of excellence, recognized as a leading program throughout New York State. All performing groups are curricular and substantive in nature. Lessons, rehearsals, and concert participation are viewed similarly to academics and are evaluated through an appropriate rubric grading system.  The program affords your child the opportunity to participate in band or orchestra, and chorus. As a member of an instrumental ensemble, your child becomes part of a group whose success depends upon teamwork, cooperation, and individual accountability.

Elementary School Gr. K-5

Our elementary music program develops accuracy, facility and clarity of sound. By the completion of grade five the following are expected of all Shenendehowa students:

  • Performance: singing and playing instruments
  • Improvising and creating songs and accompaniments
  • Reading and writing simple rhythms and the musical alphabet
  • Listening and describing timbres, melody, rhythm, form and style
  • Understanding music in relation to history and culture.

Chorus – Students are given the opportunity to participate in chorus in grades 4 and 5. They perform a winter and spring concert.

Orchestra – Fourth and fifth grade students have the opportunity to participate in beginning string instruction. Thirty minute lessons are taught once a week for the violin, viola, cello or bass. Lessons are scheduled on a rotating basis during the school day so that the same subject matter will not be missed weekly. Fifth grade returning musicians also participate in a 45 minute ensemble once a week. Fourth grade string musicians will meet for a few weekly rehearsals in late winter for the showcase presentation.

Band – Our Beginning Band Program offers fifth grade students the opportunity to develop musicianship through instruction on a wind or percussion instrument. Each student will attend a weekly small group lesson (starting in September) and a weekly full band rehearsal (starting in January). In the spring, students in the Beginning Band have the exciting opportunity to participate in a Spring Concert.

Middle School Gr. 6-8

Students must be enrolled in music or a music ensemble in middle school.

General Music 6 – Sixth grade general music meets every other day for twenty weeks. Students increase their skill in singing, reading music, playing classroom instruments (recorder and/or piano), composing, improvising and understanding music in relation to history and culture.

General Music 7 – Students in grade seven not enrolled in a performing ensemble will take the equivalent of 20 weeks of general music, every other day for a full year. This course  explores skill development in performing, composing, improvising, music reading, analytical listening, and music in relation to history and culture. This course includes a guitar and World Music Drumming component, as well as the integration of music technology.

Performing Music Ensembles Grades 6-8 – The middle school music program offers instrumental and choral students the opportunity to develop their skills in music reading, intonation, sight-reading, dynamics, balance and blend.
The ensembles meet regularly all year following an alternate day rehearsal schedule. As members of a performing ensemble, students are expected to attend all evening concerts and school community performances. All ensembles require practice outside of the school day.

  • Band – Open to all students who have successfully completed their previous year band experience and demonstrate proficiency on a wind or percussion instrument. Students are also expected to attend a weekly lesson on a rotating schedule.  This course requires individual 
  • Choir – Open to students who have successfully completed their previous year choral experience or by recommendation of the ensemble director. 
  • Orchestra – Open to all students who have successfully completed their previous year orchestra experience and demonstrate proficiency on a string instrument. Students are also expected to attend a weekly lesson on a rotating schedule.
  • Select ensembles such as Jazz Band, Chamber Orchestra, Scherzo, Ambassadors, Boys’ Choir and Treble Choir are available by audition and rehearse either in the morning before homeroom or after school.
High School Gr. 9-12

Shen offers a wide assortment of music electives. More information about courses can be found in the Program of Studies.

Students must have one unit in either art or music to graduate with a Regents diploma. Any foundation level music course meets this criteria including:

  • Concert Band
  • Orchestra
  • Concert Choir
  • Theory

Students seeking an Advanced Regents Diploma may use a 5 unit Music pathway as a substitute for the LOTE requirement. Music Theory and performing ensembles are the foundation level courses which support this pathway.

 

Performing Arts

At Shen, students have an opportunity to participate in dramatic and musical performances all throughout their educational experience…from classroom to grade level to drama club performances. They can participate in performing art productions in a multitude of ways: actors, pit orchestra, stage crew, costumes, props, sound, lights, or student directors.

Elementary School Gr. K-5 – At the elementary school, the performing arts are integrated into the curriculum in English language arts and social studies. Many of our schools also have drama club performances.

Middle School Gr. 6-8 – The performing arts are integrated into the curriculum in English language arts and social studies and one musical production is performed at the middle school each year. 

The Musical Theater Club at the Middle School was created to offer an opportunity for the Shen middle school students to experience the Broadway musical process from start to finish, from the audition day to the final strike. Students in the cast are involved with both performance and production aspects of the show. The cast is made up of students from Gowana, Acadia and Koda in 6th, 7th and 8th grades. 

High School Gr. 9-12 – The performing arts are integrated into the curriculum in English language arts and social studies and and one drama and one musical production is performed at the high school each year. Shen HS Drama

 

Graduation Requirements

Students must have one unit in either art or music to graduate with a Regents diploma. Any foundation level art course meets this criteria including:

To earn an Advanced Regents Diploma, students must complete 3 units of credit in LOTE (Language Other Than English) OR 5 units of credit in Art, Music or Career.