Although teaching all the art forms – dance, theater, music, and visual arts – is a required state standard, very few schools actually meet that standard. Walt Disney Magnet School is one of the few.
The Visual Arts program supports project based learning. Students learn about art history, processes and tools by making art. We bring together drawing skills, technology, self-assessment and reflection, and produce drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures, weaving and fabric art, ceramics, and stop-motion animation. Students have the opportunity to work with high quality tools and materials.
We also integrate the visual arts learning with content in other academic disciplines, including other arts disciplines, through collaborations with such partners as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the ATLAS (Arts Teachers Leading Achievement and Success) professional development initiative of Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE). Also, working through the Parent Advisory Council (PAC), the visual arts program produces exciting parent/child co-creation events, such as a ceramics night and a paint-with-your-parents evening.
Every Disney student – Pre-K through 8th Grade – participates annually in a theatrical production in the Communication Arts Center.
Dance is the most under-represented art form in American schooling - unless you are a student at Disney! The school provides a comprehensive Pre K –through 5th grade dance curriculum, teaching ballet, jazz, modern, tap, tumbling, world dance, and choreography. The program presents in two culminating dance performances each year. Guest artists with special expertise in particular dance genres are also brought to deepen the instruction. All necessary materials (costumes, mats, tap shoes, etc.) are provided by the school.
Students not only learn how to perform, but they also learn how to produce dance performances. They learn elements of choreography, dance notion, and the roles and responsibilities of being a producer.
Disney's music program provides students with a variety of creative opportunities. Students learn about music history, music theory, and music in culture. This comes to life through technology, singing, and playing instruments. Some instruments include xylophones, drums, recorders, and even ukuleles. The music program also provides students with extra-curricular activities such as band and choir. At Disney, students not only learn about music, but embody the purpose of music, which is to come together and create something beautiful.
Through our Music Technology curriculum students learn how music and sound functions in our society. In our music technology lab students explore the many ways sound is used in media through learning about synchronized sound. Students also learn how to compose! When composing students not only learn the traditional way music is notated but also learn about loop based composition. Loop based composition is the primary way music is made today and students are able to combine their traditional music education and apply it to composition techniques used in a wide array of genres including hip-hop, jazz, and rock. Students are always creating music and media through technology in our state of the art lab that includes midi keyboards at each station as well as iPads. Pleas visit disneymagnetmusic.com to learn more about our music technology curriculum.
“I am most proud of my connection with Walt Disney's family and the Walt Disney Family Museum. I have had the honor of working with The Walt Disney Museum to create curriculum based off of Walt's use of technology in the Arts. Through my relationship with the Museum and Walt Disney's family I have also been able to share artifacts and stories with our students about our school's namesake that allow students to see first hand how technology and the Arts can truly capture emotion in a meaningful way.