Performance Arts and Fine Arts
“By offering music and [dance, drama, visual arts] in the school curriculum, we are enriching the lives of the students as we endeavor to preserve our culture and our civilization. We are inculcating a sense of discipline and respect and channeling energies into forms of self-expression that have positive social impact.”
Dave Brubeck, Jazz Musician and Composer
Experiences in the arts – dance, drama, music, and the visual arts – play a valuable role in the education of all students. Through studies in the arts, students can develop their creativity, learn about their own identity, and develop self-awareness, self-confidence, and a sense of well-being. Artistic activities involve intense engagement allowing students to experience a sense of wonder and accomplishment when learning through the arts, which can motivate them to participate more fully in cultural life and in other educational opportunities.
Downsview is very lucky to offer courses in four art forms and over 40 individual courses in the arts.
Exploration in the Arts
This course integrates three of the arts (dance, drama, music, and visual arts), giving students the opportunity to produce and present integrated art works created individually or collaboratively. Students will demonstrate innovation as they learn and apply concepts, styles, and conventions unique to the various arts and acquire skills that are transferable beyond the classroom. Students will use the creative process and responsible practices to explore solutions to integrated arts challenges.
The program provides many opportunities for students to perform, work with guest artists, and attend workshops and performances. Students learn dance vocabulary, the etiquette and elements of dance, anatomy, nutrition, and safety in dance. Students also study the history of dance from many cultures and look at contemporary issues in the world of dance and society. Students learn to reflect and express their ideas and opinions while learning to critically observe dance.
Students who take courses in drama develop their awareness and use of the elements of drama to create works that are related to their personal interests and experience. This course provides opportunities for students to explore dramatic forms, conventions, and techniques. Students will explore a variety of source material from various cultures and genres. Through dramatic works, students will use the elements of drama and communication skills to create collaborative scripts, scenes and performances. In these courses, they will experience being performer, audience, playwright, technician, designer, and critic.
Students develop their awareness of the elements of music (melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, colour, ensemble and form) and apply them to create and perform works that are related to their personal interest and experience. Students review, evaluate, reflect and comment on their own and others’ creative work in order to grow as an artist/performer. Through informal presentations and more formal performances, students not only develop their technique but also confidence in themselves. Performance technique and comprehension of theory are of major importance for music students and are repeated in the expectations for all courses.
Students who take courses in Visual Arts, have the opportunity to creatively express their thoughts and feelings visually as well as find challenge in the artist’s use of media, materials and techniques. They explore the expressive nature of art, combined with their personal perceptions, and the elements and principles of design. Through this investigate they produce a variety of art using differing media, processes, and traditional and emerging technologies. Students are introduced to a variety of visual experiences and art forms including drawing, painting, photography, etc.