The Creative Arts have a fundamental place in the curriculum at Saint Catherine Academy. Cognitive ability does not affect each student’s enjoyment because the Creative Arts transcend cognitive limitations and developmental delays. Through art, music and dance, students are given the opportunity for self expression and are encouraged to “find their inner artist.”
During the weekly art class, students use multiple mediums to learn self expression. The artwork that is produced has personality as unique as each child. The program is integrated with the curriculum so that themes of geography, science and nature as well as math find their way into the art room. In addition to exposure to great works of art and the opportunity to produce individual art pieces, students benefit from the further development of fine motors skills; how to follow directions and developing an understanding that there are many ways to “do art”. Everyone’s work will be different.
In addition to the enjoyment that music brings, music can be a powerful tool for students with disabilities. The benefits of music include improved cognitive functioning; reduction of anxiety; improved social and communications skills; self expression and improved gross motor skills to name a few. Music is taught both from the performance perspective, that is, introductions to different types of music and development of vocal skills as well as the therapeutic perspective, that is, the use of music to improve social and interpersonal skills, communication skills and emotional stability. Our students learn the joy of music and have the opportunity to express themselves through song. Music is integrated into all of our programs, including our annual Christmas Pageant.
This is the newest addition to our Creative Arts program. Dance offers students of all abilities an expressive opportunity in which language is not a barrier. Students learn to express emotion through their body movements as well as benefit from the social interactions that dance presents. The philosophy is that everyone can dance and can have fun doing it.