Through the arts, children learn to express their unique perspectives on the world. Creativity is integrated into every grade level at Grymes, teaching students to think beyond what they already know and share their individual voices with the community.
Visual arts, music, and drama are integral to the student experience at Grymes. At every grade level, students explore a variety of individual and collaborative artistic practices to develop their craft, discover and refine their creative process, investigate art history, and contribute to our vibrant and ever-evolving community culture.
Walking through the hallways at Grymes is like taking an Art History lesson. Our walls are covered with student art demonstrating a variety of impressive projects, skill levels, and an exceptional range of styles. Students use a wide variety of media, including paper, tempera, acrylic and watercolor paint, chalk, papier mache, and clay, while learning a range of techniques that include collage, painting, drawing, printmaking and ceramics. Color, line, form and texture are explored while students learn about Art History and apply their study to the subject matter of their classroom curriculum. Art surprises you in unlikely places throughout the main building; ceiling tiles are painted like the Sistine Chapel in the art room, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus adorns the entrance of the gymnasium, and Van Gogh’s Starry Night is painted on the art room doors!
Singing, movement, rhythm, composition, reading notes, and playing an instrument are all important components of our rich and lively music program. Beginning in Junior Kindergarten and proceeding through eighth grade, every Grymes student participates in weekly music class. Starting with a study of rhythm, beat and movement, Junior Kindergartners learn to sing and move in harmony as they explore the sounds and songs of each season, and with each grade level the curriculum increases with difficulty as various concepts of music and motion are mastered. Instruments are introduced in the fourth grade, and in the fifth grade students join the Upper School wind & brass band with an instrument of choice. All students have plenty of opportunities to show off their singing and performance skills on stage in events like our annual Variety Show.
Class plays have been part of the curriculum from the earliest days of Grymes. Because classes are small, every class does a production, from the twenty-minute play in Junior Kindergarten, to hour-long Shakespeare productions in the eighth grade. Memorizing lines, enunciating clearly, and learning how to speak and move in character are the focus of drama at all levels, and students learn to take risks and to work together as a team. Starting in the seventh grade, Upper Schoolers enjoy improv class, which builds confidence, fosters creative expression, and requires thinking on one’s feet. In eighth grade English class, an in-depth study of a Shakespeare play includes participation in the Folger Secondary Shakespeare Festival in Washington, DC, creating an impactful connection between academics and performing arts.