Arts

Arts

Notre Dame Academy offers a wide variety of fine arts options for students of all grade levels.
At Notre Dame Academy, we believe that our students possess individual creative talents and that offering a wide variety of classes allows students to develop their talents within a global mindset. Through our International Baccalaureate curriculum within our arts programs, students in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade develop into creative, principled, risk-taking individuals. Arts in the International Baccalaureate Programme stimulate young imaginations, challenge perceptions, develop creative and analytical skills, enrich personal identity and build awareness of the aesthetic in a real-world context. 

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  • Photo of Amy LoCurto

    Amy LoCurto 

    Notre Dame Academy
    Lower School & Middle School Fine Arts Coordinator & Band Director
    678-387-9385
    2009

Performance Arts: Music and Theatre Education at Notre Dame Academy

All of the courses offered in our Performing Arts Program focus on performance as a means of personal expression within a supportive and nurturing community. At Notre Dame Academy, students in Lower School attend music class once per week. In Middle School and Upper School, we offer a variety of courses including Band, Theatre, and Musical Theatre as electives.

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  • Lower School Music

    Music classes are taught using a fluency based Orff Approach. Students learn music using the following activities:
    • singing and playing instruments
    • movement
    • composition and improvisation
    • looking at music through both a cultural and historical lens
    We use folk songs and dances, children's literature, and a variety of rhythm activities in the music classroom from the Game Plan Orff-Schulwerk series.  In addition, the lessons studied through the PYP in the grade level classroom inspire music lessons that correlate and support the Units Of Inquiry.  Some examples include learning Indigenous dances or Square Dancing, building instruments, writing jingles, learning about electricity as a musical instrument, and songs of war and protest.

    Music from our Catholic faith is also taught in the music classroom, as students prepare to participate in Mass and other faith-based activities.

    In 4th and 5th grade, the curriculum is supported through learning recorders. Students begin with simple three-note music in 4th grade and expand to a fairly complex music by the end of the 5th grade. Each month, students are required to present their accomplishments through "belt" tests, graded solo performances of prepared songs.
  • Band

    The baND program consists of three different ensembles within the IB Middle Years Art Program: Sixth Grade Beginner Band, Middle School Concert Band, and Upper School Symphonic Band.  Students in 11th and 12th Grade may also opt to dual enroll in Diploma Programme music.  In all three ensembles, students study music as researchers, creators and performers. Through these roles, students develop musicianship, learn to compose and analyze music, and develop their global mindedness through the lens of music.  All three ensembles study music from personal, local and global perspectives.  In collaboration with their ensembles, students exercise their individual creativity while exploring music from many genres and time periods.

    Members of the baND have many performance opportunities throughout the year both on and off campus as an ensemble, including concerts, sporting events, community events, competitions, service trips and spring performance trips.  As individuals, students may also participate in the District Honor Band, All-State Band Auditions, GISA All-Select Band, and the Archdiocesan Musical Festival.
  • Theatre

    Theatre is a semester-long class. Students study acting, improvisation, singing, dancing, set design, costuming, and stage tech.
  • Extracurriculars and Honor Societies

    At Notre Dame Academy, students may choose to participate in the Music Ministry, Art Club and the Literary Team.  Students may also join Tri-M Honor Society (music) and Thespian Society (theatre) which offer additional opportunities for learning and performing.

Performing Arts Facilities

Visual Arts at Notre Dame Academy

All of the courses offered in our Visual Arts Program focus on big ideas such as identity, risk-taking, experimentation, personal and cultural expression, story-telling, time, and spirituality.  Students  explore art  across a variety of mediums and contextual art movements. At Notre Dame Academy, students in Lower School attend art class once per week. In Middle School and Upper School, we offer a variety of courses including Photography, Introduction to Studio Art, Studio Art, DP Art, Yearbook and Film Studies.
The arts are a universal form of human expression and a unique way of knowing that engages us in effective, imaginative and productive activities. Learning through the arts helps us to explore, shape and communicate our sense of identity and individuality. During adolescence, the arts provide an opportunity for age-appropriate and holistic development of the social, emotional, intellectual and personal intelligences of the student.

In International Baccalaureate (IB) arts, students have opportunities to function as artists, as well as learners of the arts.

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  • Elementary Visual Arts

    The visual arts classes in Lower School correlate with the PYP Units of Inquiry for each grade level as well as enhance students' understandings of the PYP Profile traits and attitudes. Students are exposed to a variety of visual media including drawing & painting, collage, sculpture with basic materials, photography, and clay. Students get to explore big ideas through their own art making as well as learn about ancient, traditional, and contemporary artists. Overall, the arts provide an environment that is conducive of exploration and expression so that students can learn to care for materials, ideas, and each other through the process of art making. The arts program at Notre Dame strives to embrace the ethic of care outlined in the new Georgia Performance Standards and sees art as way for students to learn to be empathic, ethical, and creative.
  • Middle School Visual Arts

    This Visual Arts course is designed as an overview of multiple media courses for exposure to various mediums such as drawing, painting, mixed media, printmaking, photography and ceramics. The students get a taste of new ways to express themselves and many entities of art that allow for personal expression.
  • Upper School Visual Arts

    These courses are designed to challenge the students previous knowledge of art and skill level that allows them to become inquiry-based learners with self-driven objectives and interests. Students will continue to be exposed to drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, mixed media, and sculpture. Through the years, students begin to truly choose the mediums that resonate the most with him or her and are then guided by the teacher to further explore the interest and gain a highly specialized set of skills upon graduation. 
  • DP Visual Arts (Grades 11-12)

    The IB Diploma Program visual arts course encourages students to challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries. It is a thought-provoking course in which students develop analytical skills in problem-solving and divergent thinking, while working towards technical proficiency and confidence as art-makers. In addition to exploring and comparing visual arts from different perspectives and in different contexts, students are expected to engage in, experiment with and critically reflect upon a wide range of contemporary practices and media. The course is designed for students who want to go on to study visual arts in higher education as well as for those who are seeking lifelong enrichment through visual arts.

Notre Dame Academy Arts Events

Notre Dame Academy offers students a variety of opportunities to grow and share their artistic growth.
Pep Band at Open House, Pep Rallies, Home Football and Basketball Games
Christmas Band Concert
Sing for Santa Concert at Gwinnett Gladiators
Advent Cantata
GISA All Select Ensembles, GMEA All State Band, and Archdiocesan Music Festival
GISA Literary Competition (2020 Regional Champions)
ITS Spring Show and Food Drive
Lower School Grandparents and Special Friends Day Concert
Music and Dance Recital at Evening of the Arts
Art Show at Evening of the Arts
Spring Band Concert
Parent Celebrations throughout the year as a part of the Primary Years Programme featuring music, theatre and visual arts projects
Empty Bowls Service Learning Project
DP Visual Arts Solo Exhibitions

Visual Arts Facilities