Exploring the world through creativity
The arts are a key component of the academic program at Chicago City Day School. We believe that in-depth engagement with visual art, music, and drama develops confidence and creative problem-solving skills while also providing students an important outlet for self-expression.
The arts at City Day also help strengthen our larger learning community. Our weekly all-school sing and our annual dramatic and musical productions allow students and parents to assemble together and celebrate the City Day spirit.
The visual arts are threaded throughout the City Day curriculum. Students explore art history and the work of specific artists, and they also are set free to create works of their own in an experimental, developmental, and nonjudgmental environment.
We expose students to a wide range of artistic materials, processes, and ideas — painting, sculpture, drawing/illustration, and more. We supplement the classroom experience with visits to art museums and galleries and tours of neighborhoods characterized by significant architecture and sculpture. Students' paintings, ceramics, drawings, and sculptures are displayed throughout the campus where they enhance the aesthetic ambiance of the School.
The music program includes the teaching of all aspects of music — performing, theory, history, and listening to selections of music of various styles. Field trips are an integral part of the curriculum. Children are frequent attendees at performances by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera. Students spend the majority of their class time making music.
Once a week, all students in grades one through eight participate in a spirit-building all-school sing. All students perform in a holiday concert in December and a spring concert in early May. Sixth-graders present a live musical. All seventh- and eighth-graders are members of the School's bell choirs. In making music together, the students develop a love of music and a respect for each other, stressing the need for cooperation rather than competition.
The drama program provides all students from junior kindergarten through grade eight a teamwork experience, integrating their ideas, feelings, and imagination into a positive, creative art form. Critical thinking and appropriate emotional and physical expression combine to meet individual needs and the goals of group performances.
Starting in first grade and continuing throughout their years at City Day, all children participate in major dramatic performances. Traditionally, grades one and two present a reenactment of the first Thanksgiving. Integrated into the social studies curriculum, third-graders perform a play about the history of Chicago. A December holiday production is performed by fourth- and fifth-graders. In conjunction with the School’s music program, sixth-graders perform a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. A highlight of the eighth-graders' year is their participation in a full-length dramatic production.