Lincoln School students gain confidence performing on stage and in concerts from an early age, both in the classroom and through larger performance groups. Performing arts are a required component in the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools. In every division, music and theater classes offer the opportunity for our students to explore creativity, team building, problem solving, and collaboration while building performance skills and understanding the value of art in the greater community.
Students also participate in larger productions—acting, writing, designing costumes, choreographing and staging shows ranging from A Midsummer Night’s Dream to She Kills Monsters, Clue, Check Please, and other works by contemporary playwrights. The Middle and Upper Schools also produce a musical annually, most recently RENT, Newsies, and The Addams Family.
We are an inclusive department that works with each student who enters our spaces in a way that is welcoming to everyone, encouraging to all, and helps our students to grow from where they are into more confident and skilled artists—both as performers and technicians.
Robb Bernard, Lincoln School Performing Arts Department Head
Performing Arts: Little School
The Little School music program is designed to foster a love of singing, dancing, and storytelling, and to start building the fundamental music making skills. Special attention is paid to a student’s ability to sing songs and chant rhymes in their heads, as this is the foundation of rhythm and awareness of pitch that we build on in Lower School.
Creative movement, both improvised and choreographed, is an integral part of every every class. We develop an appreciation for music that is familiar, and a curiosity about music that is unfamiliar. To this end, students are regularly exposed to music and dance from other countries and cultures.
Performing Arts: Lower School
Here we build on the foundation established in the Little School by adding an instrumental element. Kindergarten through Grade 2 use classroom percussion instruments to accompany singing, and in Grade 3, students start to play the Kalimba as an introduction to strictly instrumental music. We also start to share our work publicly more often.
Our Grades 1 and 2, for example, stage a Valentine’s Sing Show for the school community and parents. Students in Grades 3–5 perform at school-wide showcases and concerts, and there are weekly opportunities to share performing arts work at Daisy Sing (our weekly community meeting).
Performing Arts: Middle School
As students enter Middle School (grades 6 and 7), students have performing arts built into their curriculum. Drama teaches both theater discipline skills of communication, focus, body and voice control, stage presence, and taking direction, as well as creative problem solving, as students work both cooperatively and independently to develop self-confidence, and build a healthy self image.
Music teachers focus on creating an environment in which students enjoy making music, both their own compositions and those of others, and have a greater understanding of how the building blocks of notes, rhythms, and chords can be used in so many different styles. Every student leaves their time with us having a greater appreciation of music in all its varied styles and genres.
In Grade 8, students use all the skills they have been learning and spend a semester working on a musical that culminates in a fully staged performance. Choreography, costumes, set, and lights are added to the singing and acting, and the concept of a goal-oriented approach to our work is introduced, culminating in a mid-January performance! Past musicals have included Shrek Jr., Oklahoma, Mulan Jr., and Once on This Island.
Middle School students also have the opportunity to participate in our extracurricular annual Winter Musical alongside our Upper School students.
Performing Arts: Upper School
Upper School offers a variety of opportunities for students to study and perform music. The Lambrequins, our vocal ensemble, perform a challenging repertoire of music from multiple historical periods, including complex a-cappella arrangements. Our instrumentalists can perform classical music in our Chamber Ensemble, or pick up the guitar, bass, keyboard, and drums in one of our rock bands.
Students can also learn the art of hand bell ringing with two levels of instruction, beginning and advanced. Music Theory is offered in Upper School, as well, rounding out our studies.
We also offer courses in onstage performance skills, as well as classes in technical theater. All of our extracurricular productions have students as stage managers, lighting, sound, and set designers, and run crew, and by the time it is performance night, our students run the entire show.