Exploring the Arts


Self portraits created by 5th grade students

At Seneca Academy, art is an important part of our elementary curriculum as well our after-school program. Within our curriculum, students have art and music as part of their weekly schedule.

The goal of the Seneca Academy art curriculum is to engage students in creative processes where they may explore and experiment with a variety of media. The Seneca Academy art goals are informed by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards. Students have an opportunity to express themselves using a variety of materials and techniques. By including exposure to art classics and learning about great artists, an appreciation for the fine arts begins as students develop a broad base of general knowledge that is part of our cultural literacy. Furthermore, arts education is connected to the classroom units of inquiry that connects learning across subjects. Seneca Academy also provides an after-school arts program for students in kindergarten through 5th grade.

Specific areas of art study include:

  • Painting
  • Collage
  • Drawing/Coloring
  • Construction
  • Printing
  • Modeling
  • Design

Experiences in music contribute to cognitive, physical, and emotional development. Music is about singing, rhythms, and beat. It is also about learning to be part of a group and creative expression. The Seneca Academy music skills and abilities are informed by the standards developed by the National Association for Music Education. Students have special time each week for music appreciation, singing, and dancing as well as focus on specific skills and abilities. Our 3rd and 4th graders have a focused unit to learn the recorder and our 5th graders learn percussion instruments. An after-school band for students in 4th through 8th grades and an after-school chorus for students in 1st through 5th grades round out our music program.

After-School Arts-Oriented Clubs

Throughout the school year, students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of after-school clubs which provide another opportunity to explore art. The following are some of the current/past arts-oriented clubs that have been offered. Clubs change every semester.

Darnestown Community Band
The Darnestown Community Band offers beginning/intermediate music instruction on brass (trumpet/trombone) and woodwind (flute/clarinet/alto saxophone) instruments. The program gives 4th through 8th grade students the opportunity to learn how to play their chosen instrument and develop skills throughout the year. Performance opportunities are provided. Students enrolled in the program learn proper breathing techniques, posture, hand position and other skills needed to play an instrument. Students typically participate for the entire year in order to fully develop their skills.

Seneca Fox Singers
Fox Singers learn musical concepts through engaging music activities and vocal performance. Students work to develop skills in general music, music reading, vocal technique, solfege and performance practices in a fun and encouraging environment. Students receive a Fox Singers binder, sheet music and a practice CD to use outside of class. Students also experiment with percussion, boom whackers, kazoos, Orff and other instruments.

Theatre Production Workshop
Join Mr. Mark Ricche of Imperial Theatrical Production Services presents (winner of the Maryland Theatre Citation for Contributions to Educational Theatre) for an after-school dramatics program. In this intense eight-week theatre program students will learn the process behind producing a live, original, theatrical production that will include sets, costumes, music and /or sound cues (as needed) and basic training in the craft of live performance.

Painting and Drawing

This class is for both beginning and advanced art students who will progress at their own pace. Students explore materials including, crayons, markers, color pencils, pastel and oil pastel. The teacher provides individual instruction and helps each child create beautiful pictures they can be proud of! This program is designed to strengthen fine motor skills, build self esteem and prepare children for a more intense study of visual art.

Little and big hands have fun creating relief and three dimensional sculptures. Working with color plastilina (modeling clay) and other media allows the artist to explore possibilities using three dimensional spaces. Inventive projects allow artists to develop inner expressions, strengthen fine motor skills and expand their own talents. Directed projects will emphasize themes about our natural environment.

Find out more about our after school clubs.