Students create a variety of projects, from two-dimensional drawings to three-dimensional sculptures. Drawing, painting, printmaking, and ceramics are key components, with many mediums explored. Students work in a large, well-equipped studio under the direction of a trained and practicing artist. Projects emphasize art concepts that reinforce perception skills and hand/eye coordination, enabling the students to draw and translate their ideas into visual language. Emphasis is placed on the use of tools and materials for each project. Art history is also an integral part of the art curriculum. Artists’ styles are discussed and made pertinent to students’ artwork. All sixth graders take one term of art. Students in the seventh, eighth, and ninth grades elect to take a term of art or woodworking.
Music is philosophy in the sense that it expresses truths about what it is to be human. Similarly, music is also history in that it can illuminate and teach us much about the society in which it was written. Through performance and the foundational study of genres, forms, and histories, this program provides the student with an understanding of some of the meanings in music that lie beneath the surface sound.
All Cardigan students take music for one term each year. Through the use of films and recordings, they learn about a variety of musical subjects, including the history of jazz, rock and roll, the American musical, and important “classical” composers that span the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and twentieth-century periods. Worksheets, presentations, and/or poster projects are typically required, depending on the subject. Sixth-grade and seventh-grade students will learn either the basics of playing the recorder or the basic elements of music, along with the instruments of the orchestra. Sections with larger class sizes will occasionally perform on the hand chimes in Chapel services throughout the year.
Students are encouraged to join the Glee Club, which practices weekly and performs for most Chapel services as well as on special occasions throughout the year. Students who play an instrument may join the Music Ensemble, which meets weekly, and will either accompany the Glee Club or perform a piece on their own each week. (Note: Private lessons are available for the drums, guitar, clarinet/sax, violin, and piano.)
The woodworking workshop contains an extensive array of hand and power tools usually not seen outside of secondary school. Instruction in the care and safe operation of all equipment is provided before students begin project work. Students familiarize themselves with the use of the radial arm saw, table saw, band saw, and drill press, as well as the process of sanding, staining, and finishing. Instruction also includes the demonstration of techniques with many other tools. Student projects often become quite sophisticated, both in their design and execution. Beginning in the seventh grade, students have the option of taking one term of woodworking.