The arts hold a special place at Pinewood. Our founder, Gwen Riches, started Pinewood as an afterschool arts program. As her students learned to see their world from new angles—by performing, singing, and dancing on stage, as well as by painting, drawing, and sculpting—their performance improved in all areas of their education.
Today, on every Pinewood campus, Gwen Riches’ philosophy shines through more vibrantly than ever. Students from kindergarten through twelfth grade study drama, take part in plays and musicals, and learn a variety of increasingly complex visual arts techniques. The results speak volumes. Our students express themselves confidently, respectfully, and vividly, not only with their peers, but with adults. This ability gives them a huge advantage when they enter college—and for the rest of their lives.
The first objective of the theatre experience is to train fine communication skills. No other experience better instills self-confidence and self-esteem than presenting oneself well in front of an audience and receiving deserved praise. Therefore, every student in kindergarten through eighth grade participates in a well-rehearsed, finely tuned, annual class play. Directors train students in the effective use of voice, face, and body in order to represent oneself in a dynamic manner. These communication skills, and the resulting self-confidence are invaluable assets for life. The second objective of our theatre program is to provide a venue for some students to excel outside of the academic or athletic arena. The goal is that every student has a place in which to feel a sense of accomplishment and success.
Lifelong enjoyment of music begins with experiencing the joy of music through personal expression at a young age. An array of age-appropriate songs and dances, as well as composition and performance on percussion instruments and recorders, enrich the school day in Pinewood's early grades. At all grade levels, music instructors teach students to read music, use musical vocabulary, sing on pitch, focus on fine quality (rather than volume), protect the vocal instrument, and produce and create music individually or in an ensemble.
The arts curriculum promotes visual literacy while providing an opportunity for students to discover their own unique style, artistic expression, and creativity. Designated art rooms at all three campuses provide settings that allow students a venue for creative exploration. The curriculum emphasizes drawing and painting projects in addition to instruction on a vast art-related vocabulary. In every class, master works are presented in an effort to inspire students and contribute towards their knowledge of art history. These core skills help improve artistic capabilities and provide the necessary background for students to formulate and express opinions about their own work, their peers’ work, and the work of the masters.