The purpose of learning the history of art is to study the role that art and architecture have played, and continue to play, specifically in Western culture. Art, especially when made for public consumption, is not created in a vacuum, nor should it be viewed in one. For example, the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi directly informed the art that was created during the early religious renaissance of Florence. The beliefs of the Protestant Reformers directly informed the development of printmaking, still life paintings, and portraiture. The beliefs of the Counter-Reformers brought us the vibrant and life-like works of artists such as Caravaggio. The revolutions of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries brought us art in the form of social commentary from artists such as Turner, Delacroix, and Picasso, just to name a few. Art is always communicating something and it is imperative that we help our students discern that communication. By doing so we not only avoid unfair judgement, but we also guide them to think outside of themselves, and to do so in a way that reinforces the fact that there are objective standards for beauty, truth, and goodness.
At Westminster Academy, we believe a thorough understanding of the arts is essential for a well-rounded education. Through music, art, and drama, we aim to develop in our students a love of beauty.
Music is a vital part of Westminster Academy. Our mission is that students will fulfill the Biblical command of singing and playing instruments skillfully to the glory of God. Music education, which encompasses world history, music theory and musical performance through the medium of classic texts, hymns and scripture, is our main goal. View more Music performances here.
The Grammar School choir is by audition, 4th-6th grades, and it meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings before school. Members of this choir will perform on our Fall, Christmas, Pops, and Spring concerts, as well as a couple of minor community occasions, such as Christmas at the Peabody and Grandparents Day. The GS Choir goes on a brief tour every other year, which costs approximately $300.
The Middle School choir is by audition, 7th-8th grades, and meets twice a week during the school day. Members of this choir will perform on our Fall, Christmas, Pops, and Spring concerts, as well as a couple of minor community occasions, such as Christmas at the Peabody and Grandparents Day. The Middle School choir also participates in the regional Junior High Choral Festival. Individual students who would like an extra musical challenge may audition for the West TN Vocal Music Educator’s Association All West Junior High Honor Choir in the fall. The Middle School Choir does not go on tour.
The High School choir is by audition, 9th-12th grades, and meets three times a week during the school day. Members of this choir will perform on our Fall, Christmas, Pops, and Spring concerts, as well as a couple of minor community occasions, such as Christmas at the Peabody, Grandparents Day, and usually one Sunday morning church service per semester. This past school year the HS choir led worship for Ridgeway Baptist Church in September ’18, and led worship at Christ Presbyterian Church of Somerville in April ’19. The High School choir also participates in the regional Senior High Choral Festival. Individual students who would like an extra musical challenge may audition for the West TN Vocal Music Educator’s Association All West Senior High Honor Choir in the fall. The High School Choir goes on tour on alternating years, and the next tour is projected to be April 2021.
Starting in Junior Kindergarten, our students begin to learn the fundamentals of art. Our belief is that, when trained in the arts, every student is capable of creating beautiful artwork.
The goal of Westminster Academy’s Studio Art class is, ultimately, to teach students the importance of observation. Observing the details as you create a piece of art is a transferable skill to all areas of a person’s life. Studying details in art helps hone the skill of slowing down and observing the world in which we live, which is incredibly fast-paced and fleeting. By extension, this skill of observation helps us slow down and try to better understand the people we are in community with. That being said, my goal for each student is improvement over the course of this class. Every student can learn to draw if they are willing to put in the time and practice.
The approach to art at Westminster Academy is not project-driven, but skills-driven. The first quarter of Studio Art is dedicated entirely on creating a quality self-portrait drawn with graphite. Students learn the classical grid-transfer method which is used to enlarge an image, in this case a photograph, onto the substrate. In the process of creating this fully-rendered drawing, students study the proportions of the human face, learning that while each of us is purposefully and intricately designed, we are also unique. Regardless of a student’s skill, every student can achieve a certain level of success by approaching this drawing in an organized, structured way, which lays a solid foundation for subsequent projects.
We have four excellent strings teachers who come to the school and work individually with students. Beth Luscombe (violin/viola), Arron Powell (violin/viola), Daniel Gilbert (violin), and Sarah Nowlin (cello) are all WONDERFUL teachers who bring a tremendous amount of experience with them! Lessons are open to ALL ages, JK through 12th grade. View more performances here.
Beyond the individual lessons, we also offer three ensembles in which students may participate. All of these ensembles play in our Fall, Christmas, Pops and Spring concerts. Advanced string players have the option of auditioning for the West TN Band and Orchestra Association All West Honor Orchestra.