A strong foundation in the arts is important to developing a child’s mind, body, and spirit. Stafford Arts Center has classrooms devoted to visual arts, music, and dance, and has a gallery for displaying the work of students and visiting artists. Students in kindergarten through 6th grade take an art class. Students in kindergarten through 4th grade also take a general music class. Middle school students in grades 5-8 take a year-long class in either band or chorus, and 7th and 8th grade students can choose electives in subjects such as songwriting, yearbook, art, drama, and digital design. Canterbury also hosts visiting artists who share their creative experiences and talents with students.
Our after-school arts program offers a wide array of opportunities for all ages, including individual and group lessons in dance, yoga, art, piano, violin, and guitar.
Canterbury’s art program uses a hands-on approach designed to empower all students to be art-makers by developing specific skills in drawing and a variety of other media. Self-reflection and evaluation are integral parts of the art-making process, and learning and goal-setting are viewed as collaboration between the student and the teacher. Art from a variety of cultures is explored so that students gain an understanding of the diverse aesthetics, motivations, and goals of people who make art, as well as an appreciation for artistic excellence throughout history.
Canterbury’s music program encourages appreciation for many different styles of music and fosters skill development in singing, playing in ensembles, and creating music. Students learn about the five elements of music and the major musical periods throughout history. Classes engage students in singing, moving, playing instruments, reading, writing, and improvising and expose them to a wide variety of ethnic music. Teaching methods include Kodaly, Orff, Dalcroze, and Music for People.
Drama plays an important role in Canterbury’s mission to educate the whole child. Through drama, students develop physical, artistic, social, and critical thinking skills. Drama builds self-confidence, teaches students to work through obstacles to achieve a goal, and develops self-discipline. In addition to a drama elective, Canterbury offers a dynamic drama program, The Canterbury Players, which stages a major production every spring. Over the years, Canterbury has staged musical theatre productions that entertain packed houses at every performance. Past productions include “The Little Mermaid Jr.;” “Grease;” Stuart Little;” “Cinderella;” “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe;” “Bye Bye Birdie;” “Suessical;” and “Honk!” Students are involved in every aspect of the production, including taking leading and supporting roles, creating scenery, working on the backstage crew, and running the sound booth.
Younger students also have an opportunity to become comfortable on the stage by participating in traditions including the kindergarten helpers play, the 1st grade nativity play, and the lower school Christmas program.