At Our Lady of Assumption School, we value the Fine Arts. We believe that taking part in Arts activities is crucial for the aesthetic and cultural development of our children. The benefits of a good arts education are many – improved confidence, improved self-esteem, enhanced sense of community and even improved math performance. But the arts are valuable in their own right – they teach us to appreciate beauty, to feel deeply, to know what it is to be human.
As a school we have the opportunity to provide arts experiences for our children that are designed especially for them and at a greatly reduced cost. We want to take advantage of these opportunities and make them as convenient and affordable as possible. The annual “Fine Arts Fee” is used to pay for various Fine Arts initiatives including a trip to the Orpheum to hear the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and to bring in other world-class performers to perform at our school.
Planned performances and programs for 2016-17:
Axis Theatre – Robinson Crusoe, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Green Thumb Theatre – Land of Trash, Jacky Essombe – Singing Africa!, Michael Mitchell – Canada is for Kids and Maximime.
Each grade at Assumption School receives a minimum of two, thirty-minute classes of music instruction each week. The students learn to sing, dance, and play the soprano recorder as well as pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments. For the most part, music instruction follows the Orff Approach to Music Education.
What is Orff?
Carl Orff (1895-1982) is probably best known as the composer of such works as Carmina Burana and Catulli Carmina, but it is his work with “Music for Children” which has inspired a global movement in music education.
The Orff approach to Music Education is holistic, experiential and process oriented. It is for all children, not just the most musically or intellectually gifted. It is a structured, sequential development of knowledge and skills, which encourages joyful participation, creativity, and personal musical growth from all participants. Children learn through doing, exploring and improvising. They are active participants in an integrated, guided process, one which allows for differing musical abilities. In the Orff approach, no child is neglected.
The Orff philosophy combines the elements of speech, rhythm, movement, dance, and song. And at the heart of all this is improvisation—the instinct children have to create their own melodies, to explore their imaginations.
Choirs – Primary and Intermediate
Assumption School offers an optional choir program for both primary and intermediate students. Our Primary Choir practices once a week during school time. The Intermediate Choir involves an early morning choir practice as well as one in-school practice each week. Students not in Choir remain with classroom teachers, regrouped with students from other grades and are involved in Fine Arts Activities.
The Liturgy Choir – Assumption Singers
Assumption Singers is a group of students who lead the singing for the Parish Community twice a month during the year and also for the First Communion, Confirmation, and Grade 7 Farewell Masses.
Concerts and Performances
The students are given many opportunities to perform for each other and for their families and friends. One year, we prepare a Christmas Concert involving the whole school and then a Spring Talent Show, which highlights the talents of our students from Grades 3 to 7. The following year we prepare a non-musical Christmas event and then a Spring musical and/or drama production the next. Our productions involve all of our students and everyone – students, all staff, and parents – works together enthusiastically to ensure their success. Assumption School is very proud of our accomplishments in musical theatre.