The Art Curriculum is one of three cornerstones of Huijia and, as a set of courses, is an inseparable component to the IB program here. Huijia provides students from age 5 to 19 a consistent international education backed up its international diploma program and a learning experience that emphasizes that consistency. Students will not only gain artistic skillsets from the comprehensive artistic learning, thinking, experience, and reflection but will also expand their vision of history, society, and culture, foster creativity, the capabilities of critical thinking, as well as those of problem solving and socialization.
In the IB program at Huijia, Art includes dancing, drama, music, and visual art. Any of these artistic forms is an irreplaceable subject of art and is fully embodied by and matched with dozens of clubs and organizations. In the meantime, as an IB subject, Art and its interdisciplinary property has allowed these smaller artistic subjects closely connected throughout the curriculum. As a medium and tool of discovery, Art could offer many opportunities to learning, communication, and expression of ideas.
1. The Art Curriculum and Teaching Faculties:
The Art Curriculum：
Art allows students to participate in the creation process, and, through this process, students would actively discover and practice in a continual period of action and reflection. Students would gain enlightenment and aspirations from the magnitude of subjects and objects, and these subjects and objects could comprise of the creations of professional artists, pieces of contemporary and historical literature, music, art pieces, and dances, and even stories of legends. From the students’ own imaginations, observations, real-life experiences, emotions, values, and beliefs, the production of dancing, drama, music, and visual art would all make sense and get to develop inside the students naturally.
(1) Visual Art: students would need to broadly get to and experience every aspect of real-life visual art, including hand drawing, sculpting, architecture, ceramics, photography, film illustration, dip-dying, printmaking, collage, illustration, jewelry design, handcrafting, landscaping, apparel design and making, etc. The school will invite artists to come in for guest lectures, bring students out for visits to art galleries, museums, studios of artists and designers, exhibitions, filming sites, theaters, and so on, and experience visual art in previously exposed ways. By appreciating art creations of many different backgrounds and done by many artists, students would understand the breadth and depth of the field of visual art. Through journals that document the creation process (on paper, video, PPT, website, programming, speech, and exhibition, etc.), students could record and demonstrate their purpose and process behind the creation, as well as their final piece.
(2) Music: Music bases its main form of teaching on in-class interaction, bringing students a comprehensive curriculum that integrates a diversified acoustic experience. Through participating in and experiencing musical activities, students would practice their skills in the following kinds: music analysis, music production and arrangement, musical melody, harmony, listening and appreciating, instrumental recitation, singing, note-reading, arrangement and recording, as well as music theory and so on. In musical creation, students would need to utilize their imagination and experience in music to fuse sounds coming from both natural and synthetic sources, in order to transform any and all forms of concrete insights and emotions. In musical appreciation, students would have opportunities to enjoy various genres and styles of music, as well as music from different times and different cultures. Huijia provides students with a variety of musical instruments and facilities for performance, featuring electric drums, wind instruments, electric piano, and practice rooms, etc.
(3) Drama: Drama is a comprehensive art form that integrates bodily and linguistic expressions. In Drama, students have the opportunities to enjoy and appreciate plays from different times and countries. Students of lower grades would experience the full embodiment of drama through creative action design, role-plays, improvs, puppet plays, musicals, comedies, pantomimes, and other forms of drama; students of higher grades would get to experience more professional drama theories, hands-on drama performances, and interpretations of more profound and sophisticated domestic and foreign classics.
(4) Dancing: Dancing, as an inseparable compartment of artistic forms, encourages students to observe the relationships between their own surroundings and dancing itself, and express their inner feelings through dance productions. According to requirements set by IB, students would get to appreciate and enjoy domestic and foreign dances, practice the fundamental moves of various kinds of dance, and enhance their own understandings towards their bodies, all for them to exercise their senses of beats, balance, flexibility, and limb strengths.
The Art Faculties:
Huijia has a high standard to the teaching faculties of Art in the IB program. Faculty members need to maintain their interests to their respective subjects of art and take place in the professional trainings of the IBO institution. All academic sources of Art would go through a rigorous selection and assessment process before being introduced to classrooms, in order to satisfy the needs of our students and faculties as well as the IB requirements.
As for now, Beijing Private Huijia School has faculty members in music, dancing, fine art, drama, calligraphy, piano, wind instruments, and folk music totaling over 30, and all of them have joined from years of IB teaching experience and professional, would-renowned institutes. Teachers would encourage students to actively get involved in artistic events in class and develop art curricula suitable to student of different grades. Moreover, Huijia has hired external experts to join its current art curriculum, and these experts all come from national art institutes and organization, Central Conservatory of Music, China Conservatory of Music, and even other famous art institutions and bodies.
2. The Educational Goal of Huijia’s Art Program:
The process of artistic appreciation is to provide students the opportunity to enjoy pieces done by themselves and other artists and the steps they all would take to create them, in order to develop critical analytics, interpretation, assessment, reflection and communication skills. Students would demonstrate their concepts, methodologies, knowledge and understandings of elements, as well as terminologies acquired towards dancing, drama, music, and visual art. Students would need to consider creations of their own and others in related situations from different lenses, in order to form perspectives that will serve guidance to their future creations and any provisions of the creative process.
The branch of art appreciation is not only to carry out reflections: the process of appreciation also includes fostering, sharing, and delivering their own understandings all creatively.
Developing Subject-Oriented Skillset
This skillset is demonstrated in both the creative process and the creation itself. The IB Art program at Huijia focuses not only on the final production but also the artistic process of creation (students would document their process and purpose of creation in the journal of progress). Combining these two elements, we would be able to understand what kind of artistic experience students would undergo, what they would learn and what purpose or objective do they aim to serve. To accomplish the academic objective of the Art subject, students would be able to: (1) demonstrate acquisition and development of skills learned from the artistic forms; (2) demonstrate application of skills through delivering artistic creations with production and performance.
Artistic Creation and Demonstration
The artistic process of creation is an opportunity for students to learn to deliver special meanings, nurture their skills of specialties, take on risks of creation, and solve problems while showcasing results vividly, and to encourage them to mobilize their own imagination, experience, and knowledge to the materials and processes, all to make the curriculum a starting point for creative discoveries. Students could relate their own pieces with pieces done by other artists to extend their thinking and inspire ideas. Making the students work independently and then engage in group creative processes is to let them deliver insights and express feelings.
The Huijia Art program especially emphasizes the nurturement of creative thinking, meaning that an art education should not just focus on students’ abilities to perform or simply deliver a script: students should be triggered and pushed by their discoveries and creations, forming deeper understandings towards this subject of liking. Faculty members highly encourage students to pay attention to the learning process itself, guiding them to wield the nerve of conducting creative experiments. No matter the final results, the experience of having creative experiments is a crucial part of the learning process.
Students should have the opportunity to reflect upon their surrounding worlds, personal artistic creations, as well as those of others. Through reflecting on their artistic intentions and the influence these creations would bring to their audiences and themselves, students would have a better grasp of their future artistic direction and of the functions they’d serve in their lives and to the world.