Visual & Performing Arts
Through the study of visual and performing arts, we foster creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking skills, while enriching the overall human experience for every student, creating a vibrant nexus between our school and the global community.
It is our commitment to give the students and community of ISP a platform for expression and learning through the arts. Our Visual and Performing Arts Center offers our community a center to gather and explore the richness of the arts being created by our students, faculty, and our families.
Visual and Performing Arts Director
Visual and Performing Arts Welcome to a New Year
It’s already been a busy start to the year with the PAC abuzz with auditions for West Side Story. With over 40 talented ISP students auditioning, it’s going to be a tough decision for all of us! Countdown starts today for opening night on November 18!
We are also excited to introduce some of the new staff. Please stop by the PAC or HS Art Suite to stay hi! Our new elementary music teacher, Magan Highfill, is joining us from Borneo, and she is bringing lots of great new curriculum ideas to our elementary music team. In the middle school, we are lucky to have Malcolm McCormick join us from Malaysia. Mr. McCormick is a highly experienced band teacher as well as music director. He and Mr. Herzig will collaborate together on West Side Story. In the high school, joining us from Cairo is Jovana Kukic, teaching IB Art. She is also teaching new courses in the art department such as Digital Photography, Interior Design, and Communication Design.
We are always looking for volunteers, so contact Adam Herzig if you want to be involved in VAPA!
We offer the following comprehensive courses and programs in our K–12 Art program:
The ISP Elementary art team’s goal is to create a continuous learning environment in which students develop a positive self-image through a variety of learning experiences and activities based on the elements and principles of art and design. We enrich the learner’s visual, verbal, and spiritual art awareness by teaching different techniques through various mediums, while encouraging creativity in an exciting constructivist inspired classroom.
Art in the Middle School
For students who choose to follow the visual arts in their middle school years, we will expose them to all of the core ISP art disciplines including painting, ceramics, drawing, and graphic design. In the eighth grade, students have the opportunity to display their work in the PAC’s art galleries for friends, family, and community.
Art in the High School
The ISP High School Visual Arts Program includes courses designed to promote a high level of proficiency in the arts. Incorporating the IB learner profile at all grade levels, students learn creative and critical thinking strategies, the application of the elements and principles of design, and the history of art.
Students have the opportunity to explore the following visual art electives: sculpture, ceramics, drawing, painting, and graphic design.
Students may choose graphic design and yearbook, which are both semester long courses designed to teach students an understanding of design, typography, and layout as well as have hands-on experience with the latest AdobeCS5 digital technology such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
Students may select IB Art as part of ISP’s rigorous IB Diploma Program. This class builds on prior experience and skills through independent investigation and artistic production. The two-year course culminates with an exhibition in a local gallery.
We offer the following comprehensive courses and programs in our K–12 Music and Theatre program:
Our curriculum, based on the tried and tested principles of composers and music educators Kodaly, Orff, and Dalcroze, is a play and performance based music program. Through fun and effective methods, our students develop musical skills by singing alone or with others, performing on instruments, improvising melodies, reading and notating music, and understanding the relationships within music and the other arts.
Music in the Middle School
For students who choose to focus on music in the middle school exploratories, we give them plenty of space to pick up a new instrument and work in both small and large ensembles as well as individually. They also have the opportunity to learn about how to use their voices. At the end of each semester, the eighth graders perform in a concert and show off a semester’s worth of music learning!
Our band program was designed for students who have basic musical knowledge and wish to continue playing a concert band instrument. This ensemble prepares repertoire for public performances. We encourage students to sign up for both semesters and to prepare for the possibility of travel and performance at an AASCA music festival.
High School Music
Music as a part of education is important to build self-confidence, concentration, discipline, patience, and coordination. We believe in the idea that students who have worked to improve their own musical skills understand that achievement is built on sustained personal effort and is its own reward.
Students who participate in the instrumental courses are able to choose and practice an instrument of their choosing while we guide them to develop their own learning strategies. Self-directed and self-assured, we encourage them to take their musical study into their own hands, while we give them the instruction that leads to success.
This course is designed for students who have basic musical knowledge and wish to sing in a choir. This ensemble prepares repertoire for public performances. We encourage students to sign up for both semesters and to prepare for the possibility of travel and performance at an AASCA music festival.
We recognize that some students are both strong singers and instrumentalists. At the teacher’s discretion, students may sign up for just one course but participate in both the choir and instrumental.
Film and Theatre
Theatre in the Middle School
For students who choose to focus on theatre in the middle school exploratories, we give them an opportunity to help in the creation of their own play, which includes set design and construction, costumes, light, and sound. At the end of each semester, the eighth graders present their play to family, friends, and the rest of the middle school.
High School Theatre
The drama program combines training in acting with improvisation games as well as vocal and text analysis. During the semester-long course, students develop their acting skills and prepare to perform in front of an audience in a one-act play or short scenes at Artsfest or in front of their peers at a lunchtime drama series.
In high school, students can also choose a set construction and scenic design course that allows them to play multiple roles in producing a staged play.
Theatre is offered to all IB students in Group 6 at ISP. Students explore theatre in context, presentation, and the process of making theatre. All students use the theatre as a platform to express themselves as performers, designers, directors, and creators. Students who complete this two-year course receive an IB certificate in theatre.
The film program combines film history, film analysis, and film-making. Students watch, analyze, and produce a film using the different elements learned in class.
Events and Performances
PAC Art Gallery
The PAC Art Gallery rotates student shows throughout the year. Often the shows reflect events that are occurring at school or pertinent cultural experiences that are happening in our community.
Twice a year we open the doors of the PAC to families and community as our artists show off their talents in music, theatre, and visual arts. It’s a great time for families to see and experience the wealth of art that is occurring each day on campus. It is also a time for the whole community to sign up to take workshops in dance, improv theatre, stage fighting, and rhythm and drumming.
Lunchtime Music and Drama Series
VAPA hosts bi-weekly pizza and music or drama in front of the PAC during lunchtime. Students can come and watch their friends perform while they relax in the Plaza of the PAC.
Fall MS/HS School Musical and Spring Play
Each year the middle and high schools collaborate to create two large-scale productions in the auditorium of the PAC. Through participation in these shows, students gain exposure to building important skills such as risk-taking, self-expression, and commitment.
In the spring, students in grades 2–5 have the opportunity to participate in the after-school elementary musical. Students demonstrate extraordinary amounts of responsibility, initiative, motivation, creativity, and perseverance from preparing for auditions to their opening night. Their individual talents and teamwork combine into a fantastic end product full of enthusiastic singing, dancing, and acting that impresses audiences year after year.