Fine Arts

Band:

 In Border Land School Division, concert band begins in grade 7 continues through high school to grade 12. All band students develop technical ability on a specific instrument as well as fostering many transferable skills such as teamwork, confidence in performance, aesthetic response, and active listening.

 In middle school band (grade 7 and 8), the focus is primarily on developing individual skills on the instrument and collective rehearsal/performance skills as an ensemble. Creating and performing music is a major part of this, along with aspects of music theory and intentional listening. Performances may include school concerts/demonstrations and festivals.

 At the high school level (grade 9 through 12), we continue to build on the skills acquired in middle school band. The central focus is to further develop each student’s technical ability, depth of musical understanding, and aesthetic response through the exploration of repertoire from a variety of historical periods and styles. Creating and performing music remains the most important aspect of band class, and we strive to achieve a high level of musicianship. Performances may include school concerts, festivals, and other community events.

 Here is what we believe about band education in a nutshell:

  • Music is for all students, and we all work together to create something greater than ourselves
  • Music allows us to connect emotionally with each other and our audience (going beyond the notes and rhythms)
  • Music has many parallels with life, and we promote the values of respect, kindness, hard work, and joy within the program
  • We learn music by doing it, and therefore our program is performance-based, with music-learning connected directly to creating and experiencing a high level of musical expression

 Drama:

In Drama there are four basic learning areas: making, creating, connecting, and responding. In making, student actors develop an understanding of, and learn to use dramatic techniques, language forms, stage elements and processes; they learn these skills of an actor to communicate and perform. When creating student actors work alone and together with other student actors to imagine their own scenes and situations for improvised and scripted performances; they develop and communicate these ideas for different purposes and audiences. When student actors understand drama as an expression of time, place, and culture, they are connecting it and their roles as actors to the audience they perform for, and the community the live and perform in. When responding to their own performances and the work of others, student actors practice analyzing, reflecting on, and making meaning of what they do and see.

The young drama student practices and develops in these four areas over the course of four different levels of Drama courses. In an introductory level course, students are introduced to the elements of drama, become more conscious of themselves as performers, and learn to be attentive to the people and world around them. Specific activities throughout the four years of drama courses include improvisational forms, scripted acting, voice production, script writing, adapting stories, and some exposure to the more specific theatre arts – sets, props, lighting, sound effects, and wardrobe.

Visual Arts:

Students taking the visual arts will experiment with a variety of media and tools such as acrylic paint, graphite, charcoal, ink, clay and mixed media. Some of the practices the learner will explore are drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, installation art and ceramics. They will learn to express their ideas through the four essential learning areas as part of the Manitoba Visual Arts curriculum. They are making, creating, connecting and responding.

The learner will develop language to talk about art through the elements and principles of design. This vocabulary will also allow the learner to generate their own ideas for projects and then reflect on the experience once completed. Skills in observation and depiction will be encouraged as well as learning about the significance of people and places on the visual arts throughout history and modern times.

Choral 1-6:

In Grade 1-6 choir, students will cover four main areas: music language and performance, creative expression, understanding music in context, and analysis. During a choir practice, students will learn about various breathing and vocal exercises, which includes sight singing. These are done to encourage healthy singing practices during practices and performances. Since the lyrics guide the vocal performance, we will analyze the language so that they can connect to the lyrics. The students will use a number of articulation and dynamic devices to create an expressive performance that touches the heart of each listener. Once the proper technique is learned for the songs and they have their vocally expressive performance underway, actions will be incorporated to enhance the visual performance (these are decided on by the choir).

For each choral piece, we also discuss the composer and what inspired him/her to write that particular piece of music. This allows students to deepen their understanding of the composition. Throughout the year, students also have the opportunity to sing in a variety of languages, including English, French, Spanish, and Inuit.

As students advance in their choral knowledge, they will be given sheet music to read. As a team, students will have to the opportunity to review the sheet music with the teacher. They will be reviewing rhythms, pitches, dynamics, and articulation devices. 

Choral 7-12:

In Grade 7-12 choral education consists of the study, practice, perfection, and performance of choral literature in ensemble settings with a key desire to accomplish the following: to make music.  Music literature is selected to reflect a wide variety of choral history and genres, spanning several centuries and cultures.

It is understood that in order to achieve a central goal that is performance, a chorister must first develop an appreciation and understanding of the piece of music (from its background and history to its significance today) and then devote oneself to the rigours of practicing and perfecting the technical and authentic communicative requirements of the piece.

 Choral classes are designed to allow all students the opportunity to make music as part of a community of singers as well as develop individual choral, musical, and performance skills.  Outcomes include, but are not limited to vocal and choral ensemble techniques, expressive and communicative skills, greater community engagement and leadership through the arts, confidence and self-esteem, discipline, and teamwork.

All choral activities and instruction are guided by a fundamental principle that all things are done in COMMUNITY where students

  • learn together
  • grow together
  • feel together
  • trust together
  • share together
  • communicate together

 Choral education in Border Land School Division strives to address and promote the growth of the whole self in the classroom, outside the classroom, in the school, and outside the school.

Manitoba Education Website Links:

https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/cur/arts/docs/visual_k8.pdf

https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/cur/arts/docs/visual_9-12.pdf

https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/cur/arts/visual/poster.pdf