At IMSP, movement, creativity and visual and performing arts are viewed as an integral part of the curriculum. We incorporate the arts into cultural studies, history and other academic subjects. In addition, in the Elementary program experienced educators specializing in Visual Art, Music, Performing Arts and Physical Education deliver weekly lessons on their subjects. These engaging, developmentally appropriate lessons generally take place during the second half of the school day.
The Toddlers enjoy a Music and Movement class while our Primary students engage in Art and Music and Movement. The Elementary students participate in Music, Visual Arts, Performing Arts and Physical Education. In addition, we have several workshops each year to introduce students to specialized areas of arts, culture and science; past examples include Textile Arts, African Drumming or Indonesian Music.
Art and Creativity in the Montessori Classroom
In the Montessori classroom, we stress many important characteristics such as Independence, Confidence, Inventiveness and Individuality. Maria Montessori said it was the creative mind that harnessed one’s power to solve problems. Art education attempts to inspire and support those same virtues. This year, we have expanded our art program by having specialists in the artistic field lead monthly innovative workshops. Not only does this give the children the opportunity to expand on their idea of art and who is “an artist”, but it also allows them to explore their own creative abilities. Some children (and many adults) may not identify themselves as creative or artistic, yet everyone has the ability to create and is their own unique artist. It is only a matter of finding one's own style, inner passion, and creativity. The goal of exposing the children to various styles, methods, and techniques, is to allow the students to explore their own skills and personal connection to their creativity.
Art expands far beyond pencils and paint brushes. Exposing the children to textiles, mono-printing, sculpture, recycled art, to name a few mediums, allows the students to connect to their own artistic niche and personal skill set. It allows them to understand art as a multidimensional concept which comes in various forms, shapes, size and textures, just like people. It is not a matter of being like everyone else, but recognizing and harvesting one’s own skill set and ability. They may then enjoy the wonderful experience of expressing themselves creatively! The various workshops give the students a chance to see how each artist is different and has found their own way to explore their creativity as well as the right tools to express themselves.
Art can serve as a tool for the children to get to know themselves in a deep and meaningful way; to discover their ideas, emotions, imagination and individual talents. There is no right or wrong in the creative arts. Thus, practicing can help children to develop tenacity and risk taking in trying new things, creating for the sake of creation without having to identity with a correct answer. Montessori allows the child to discover themselves in all areas of the classroom and art is no different. Art allows them to go into themselves, getting to know their inner and creative self, finding the courage to explore and express that energy. Exploring new methods and points of view, they learn to trust themselves, building a confidence in themselves and their own mental “tool belt.”
Children are given the opportunity to connect to their passions, individuality and innovation in creating pieces that represent their personality, insights and own unique ideas. They are given the chance to connect to others and share with their peers, recognizing each other's differences and vast skills sets. As we continue to explore our own art program, we aim to support the children in becoming unique individuals who trust in their own ability, enjoy the creative process and gain a deep understanding of themselves.