The Albrook School--Montessori at its best
The Albrook School--The Albrook School--Montessori at its best

The Arts

The Albrook School fosters a love and appreciation of the arts through its music, performing arts and creative arts programs. Beginning with the very young child and continuing through the Elementary program at Albrook, the children are exposed to a wide variety of artistic experiences. The process of creating is the focus of our fine arts program.

Music

Albrook MusicMusic is an essential means of communicating a vast range of feelings, thoughts, and emotions. It allows for the full expression of one's self and is also a key component in learning about other cultures.

The music curriculum begins with the pre-school program, and involves Montessori principles and approaches, along with elements of Kodaly (pitch and notation) and Dalcroze (rhythm and movement) techniques. In music classes, the children isolate musical concepts such as rhythm, beat, pitch, and melody. They become skilled in basic music theory, learn to dictate and read rhythm and melody, and gain knowledge of instrument classifications. This core curriculum prepares students for the elementary music program.

The pre school and kindergarten children gather once a week as a school community to sing international and seasonal repertoire.

An Orff Instrument program, where children meet in small groups, is a basic part of the curriculum for the elementary students. The program exposes children to traditional music, songs and dances from various cultures and languages. Children work with patterns, forms, and improvisation as they orchestrate melodies and use classroom instruments, including glockenspiels, xylophones, metalophones, drums and other instruments.

Beginning in 3rd year, the students play soprano recorder as a central part of their music curriculum. With their own instruments and music books, they have an opportunity to learn more about reading music and performing. Upper Elementary students move on to alto recorders and further ensemble possibilities.

All Elementary students have weekly singing groups, and have performances for the school and families.

Art

Art materials are an essential part of every Albrook classroom. Children are encouraged to create their own individual paintings, crafts and three dimensional works. Art history, art production and art criticism are also explored in the Elementary program.

Drama

The Albrook School offers a truly unique experience in the dramatic arts for children. Beginning at age four, students have weekly drama classes focusing on self expression and creativity. Older students continue to participate in curriculum-based dramatic experiences and begin to learn about the theater as an art form. They are able to hone their theatrical skills through numerous performance opportunities. Through participation in drama, beginning at a young age, children gain self confidence and poise that remain with them throughout their school careers.

Pre-K

Pre-K students enjoy a weekly drama class. The drama program for this age begins with identifying and expressing emotions. Children then use these emotions during interactive storytelling lessons. Students are encouraged to think creatively as they learn theatrical techniques such as pantomime and facial and vocal expression.

Kindergarten

The kindergarten drama program begins to examine the theater through the lens of the actor's three tools: the body, the voice, and the imagination. During a weekly drama class, children participate in activities that help develop acting skills and encourage creativity. Kindergarteners have the opportunity to demonstrate these skills during the annual kindergarten play presented at the end of the year. During the play, each child sings, dances, and has individual lines to recite in front of an audience.

Elementary

There are two parts to the drama program in the elementary years: the annual school play and an integrated curriculum-based drama program.

Each year Elementary students perform in a full-scale musical theater production on the Albrook stage. Through this process, children gain confidence and experience working collaboratively with others while learning every aspect of the theater. In preparing for the annual play, students memorize lines, songs, and choreography, help with the creation of props and scenery, and are instructed in the technical elements of the theater such as lighting and sound. In keeping with Montessori philosophy for this age, children are given a full experience that includes not only the rehearsal process, but also places the play within a larger context. Lessons are given in theater history as well as topics related to a particular show. The final production is always a great event for the whole school community.

In addition to the annual play, elementary students also work with a Montessori-trained drama teacher on special projects related to the curriculum. These projects use drama as a means to enhance academic lessons on topics ranging from math and language to the cultural curriculum. Through these projects, students gain experience in research, writing, creative movement, storytelling, critical thinking, and public speaking. Presentations of this work occur throughout the school year.

Spanish

We encourage our children to enjoy learning the Spanish language by developing curiosity about a new culture and a desire to investigate and explore the world. Our program is designed according to the Montessori philosophy; groups aged 3-6, 6-9 and 9-12 years old.

Curriculum Ages 3-6

This curriculum focuses on new vocabulary and expressions based on simple communication skills such as colors, numbers, parts of the body, animals, family, house, school, days of the week, months of the year, feelings and emotions, manners and food. Oral language is reinforced through games and role-playing. Songs and games are part of each monthly topic. Videos such as Muzzy, Level I and II, Professor Perico and Goldilocks and the Three Bears are studied through the year to reach a better comprehension of the language.

Curriculum Ages 6-9

This curriculum is more extended and emphasizes the use of the Spanish grammar and verb tenses in Present Indefinite, Present Continuous, and Future Indefinite. The use of feminine and masculine adjectives and interrogative words such as Cuando?, Como?, Donde?, Cual?, Cuantos?, Que? and Por que? are reviewed. The book club program is a very important part of this curriculum, which encourages curiosity and reinforces independent reading skills. The mini-series "Nuevos Destinos" by the Annenberg/CPB Collection is introduced according to the class level.

Curriculum Ages 9-12

This curriculum is specifically based on the use of regular and irregular verbs, ending in ar, er, and ir. Students are introduced to the Past Indefinite and TPR exercises. Students complete cultural research of different topics, such as Pamplona, La Tomatina, Dia de los Muertos and artists such as Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. The students are also exposed to the videos Watership Down and Don Quijote de la Mancha by Cervantes.

Technology

The Albrook School has a multi-media computer lab available for all students in the Pre-K, Kindergarten and Elementary Programs. Instruction is given in computer literacy, word processing, graphing, retrieving information and correspondence with others around the world. Albrook's technology program enables the children to work comfortably on the computer and prepares them for technological opportunities in the future.

Physical Education

Albrook Swimming LessonsAs a means to develop each student's physical abilities, The Albrook School provides instruction and non-competitive activities in a wide variety of sports and recreation. Swimming instruction is provided for children in the Kindergarten and Elementary programs. Exercises in movement for all ages develop control of the body and growth of the mind.

Community Outreach

A sense of compassion and an awareness of the needs of others in the community are nurtured at Albrook. The children participate in personalized giving programs throughout the year. They make contributions to local and international charities.