Visual & Performing Arts
Fourth Grade World Dance
Through a partnership with Santa Monica College, dance faculty from the college provide dance lessons in Hawaiian and Mexican Dance to all fourth grade students. A total of four lessons in either dance genre. Each school will select their preferred world dance style. All dances are of authentic origin and students will learn about the geography, culture, and influences that make these genres so unique. The fourth and final lesson will include a presentation for families.
Fifth Grade Jazz Musical Theater Dance
Through a partnership with Santa Monica College, dance faculty from the college provide twenty lessons in American Jazz/Musical Theater Style Dance, which is a dance genre that can be learned and performed with proper social distancing. Students will learn about what makes this style uniquely American, including the multicultural influences. Each class will consist of a dance warm-up, lessons in jazz technique including chassé, ball change, pivot turn, and leap. Each lesson will focus on learning, practicing, and refining a choreography in both Jazz dance and Hip-Hop dance. Students will perform choreography from the historic musical “West Side Story,” as well as a short choreography of Hip-Hop which will include both set choreography and student improvisation. The twentieth and final lesson will include a presentation and a performance for families.
Current program: All 3rd grade students are taught General Music once a week for 40 minutes. All 4th and 5th graders choose either choir, string instruments, or wind instruments and are taught twice a week during the school day. Classes are 40 minutes each. The ten elementary music teachers are credentialed and are funded by the district. A wide range of music classes is offered at all the middle and high schools.
Funded by the school, at McKinley TK-2nd students receive music classes provided by Music Rhapsody. Beautiful diverse songs, singable phrases, repetition with variety, the use of instruments, puppets and visuals all foster the love of music in an exciting and creative environment. It is a program that acknowledges and values the input and creativity of each and every child. Students learn about rhythm, melody, harmony, form and expressive qualities. To achieve curriculum goals in these areas, the music teachers use singing, playing, moving, reading, writing, and creating.
The Santa Monica Education Foundation, the Gail Dorin Music Foundation, and the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation fund the Dream Strings, Dream Winds and Dream Voice programs at the four Title I elementary schools and at two of the middle schools to support students whose families cannot afford additional music instruction. 48% of all K-12 students participate in the district's music program!
Performances: In addition to winter and spring concerts at all schools and the annual district-wide “Stairway of the Stars” concert, Malibu High and Samohi also present choral "Masterworks" concerts, and the Samohi Viking Marching Band participates in competitions and tournaments. Our student musicians have garnered many awards and honors over the years.
Honors: Many district students are selected each year for honor choirs, orchestras, and bands at the regional and state level. District students have been chosen as finalists in the Los Angeles County Music Center “Spotlight” Awards and have been selected for the ACDA national honor choirs, the ASTA National High School Honor Orchestra, and the GRAMMY High School Jazz Band and Jazz Choir.
Current program: Budgeted by the school, PS Arts provides theater instruction TK-5. Lessons are tied to both Performing Arts Standards and ELA and Social Studies Standards, and foster students' listening and speaking skills while developing self-esteem and confidence.
P.S. Arts programs are designed to be inclusive, providing access to the broadest possible range of learners, including English learners, and students with special needs. Above all, P.S. Arts programs aim to foster students’ development of knowledge and skills related to school, career, and life success in the 21st century, including creativity, critical thinking, flexibility, accountability, information literacy, the ability to collaborate, and global-mindedness.
The Morgan-Wixson Theatre provides opportunities for elementary students to attend theatre performances. Santa Monica Playhouse offers workshops for students and classroom teachers. The Santa Monica Education Foundation funds after-school "non credit" drama programs at JAMS and Lincoln. Malibu Middle, Malibu High, Olympic High, and Samohi offer “for credit” drama classes.
Current program: P.S. ARTS provides art instruction for all K-5 students at McKinley, Muir, and Rogers. The PTA's at most of the other elementary schools fund visual arts instruction at their sites. A wide range of "for credit" art classes is offered at all the middle and high schools, including drawing/painting, photography, ceramics, film/video and digital design.
Honors: Malibu High and Samohi offer AP art classes, and students from both schools have competed successfully in the Los Angeles County Music Center “Spotlight” Awards.