The Arts are an integral part of a Harford Day education. Children in all grades experience the arts in a variety of ways.
The fundamental elements of art (line, shape, color, pattern, and texture) are introduced in the early grades. Art projects are often coordinated with the curriculum in history, science, social studies, and English. For example, students learn gyotaku (fish printing) and sumi-e techniques while studying Japan in the first grade. Third graders design and illustrate book jackets while learning about the Caldecott Medal. Fifth graders create a ceramic sarcophagus and canopic jar while studying the Egyptians.
Middle school students continue their study of the elements of art on a more sophisticated level. Interrelationships of the elements are explored through more complex concepts such as symbolism and perspective. While concentrating on Medieval art in sixth grade and art from the Renaissance in the seventh grade, students refine their drawing and composition skills and expand their knowledge and choice of media. Eighth graders enjoy a more liberal, studio-like atmosphere during art. While still expected to apply previously learned techniques, they are encouraged to pursue areas and media of personal interest.
Harford Day offers an active music program for all students. Class musical performances and school assemblies provide opportunities for students to perform for an audience.
Music serves a double purpose for our youngest students, as academic concepts are often taught in a musical format. Musical tunes may reinforce language arts or math concepts learned as part of the academic curriculum. Music plays an important role in the life of Harford Day's youngest students and is incorporated into their program by their classroom teachers.
Students in third to fifth grade meet twice a week for music class. While they learn to sing and play musical instruments, they also learn the five basic elements of music - rhythm, melody, form, harmony, and expression. Students learn many different songs from various historical periods. Class plays offer all students an opportunity to perform on stage each year, usually involving music and movement.
Students in Middle School are introduced to the history of music. Sixth graders learn about the history of jazz, seventh graders study the American musical theater, and eighth graders examine the history of American music. The Middle School also has a chimers group and chorus that perform at the winter holiday program.
Performing Arts are an important part of the learning experience for all students at Harford Day School. Beginning in K-Prep, and continuing through Grade 5, each grade produces and performs a theatrical production linked to the curriculum. The K-Prep and Kindergarten students perform on the small stage in the Early Childhood building while the Lower School productions occur on the medium-sized stage in the Multi-Purpose Room. Students gain confidence and experience with public speaking, singing, dancing, and working as part of a team. The students are also involved with the creation of the costumes, sets, and props. These annual productions are a school tradition and another way that parents can be involved with the school community.
Center Stage Young Playwrights Festival
Each year Harford Day Middle School students participate in Center Stage's Young Playwrights Festival. Each Middle School student writes and submits an original play to the festival, where a committee of playwrights judges it. Two plays are then selected from each of the elementary, middle and high school divisions across the state for production and performance by Center Stage actors at the Festival in early May. Additional plays are also chosen to receive professional in-school readings. In Harford Day's 10 years of participation in this festival, over 20 plays have been selected for performance at Center Stage while many others have received staged readings at Harford Day.
Every year, the school's Endowment for the Arts and the Parent Association fund an Artist-in-Residence. This week-long program provides our students with an in-depth opportunity to experience the artist's talents. Some of the art created from these residences adorn many areas of the school. In recent years, artists such as flutist Chris Norman, mobile-artist Kevin Reese, collage artist Stephen Parlato, composer Malcolm Dalglish, mosaicist Celeste Kelly, and storyteller Odds Bodkin have been part of our Artist-in-Residence program.