Visual art, drama and music instruction are integral to the Mountain School curriculum as the school places high priority on inspiring students' creative expression. Students learn that art encourages the development of specific skill sets as well as a general ability to solve problems creatively. Through experience, they become comfortable expressing themselves with, and for, other people.
Visual art courses at the Mountain School include instruction in art history, media, forms and the language of critique. Topics include drawing, painting, sculpting, commercial design, crafts, art history and mastery of the art dialect. Students learn the importance of art in culture and that personal involvement in the artistic process leads to a greater appreciation of education and life.
In twice-weekly music classes, a "learn by doing" approach encourages personal expression, true attentiveness and plain, simple fun. Through a close affiliation with the Telluride Rock and Roll Academy the Mountain School's music curriculum includes individual instruction, songwriting, ensemble playing, singing and understanding of tone production. Basic music theory, improvisation and the ability to groove are all priorities. Students learn music by playing instruments with others, interpreting existing works and practicing on their own. Each class performs for and with their peers on a regular basis.
In Dramatic Art, topics include voice, body, stage presence, directing and theatrical history. Students learn public speaking skills and practice regularly as they present work in their classrooms, at all-school Morning Meetings and in Presentations of Learning to the larger Telluride community. Theatrical productions offer cross-curricular opportunities in which students integrate dramatic work with core academic topics, visual art and music.
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