Art & Music


The Elementary Art program includes a wide variety of projects that range in media and build upon previously acquired skills. The vocabulary of art is used from the very first art experiences in Kindergarten, gradually increasing in complexity and application, as students move through the Art program. The Art program includes skill development in drawing and sketching, painting, printmaking, and ceramics. Each medium is introduced and revisited multiple times within the six-year elementary art experience, strengthening each student’s understanding and facility in each medium.

  • K – 5th graders attend art and music enrichment classes twice per week
  • 6th grade students attend art and music enrichment classes 4 times per week for a trimester
  • 7th and 8th grade students are offered electives, including ceramics, watercolor painting, mural design, mixed media, drama, and various music classes
  • After school programs include: hike and sketch, art club, ceramics, and drama clubs/performances
  • LTS provides opportunities throughout the year for performances, including the all-school Holiday Show and a Spring Show
  • LTS also incorporates the Arts for the Schools program each year. A series of performances are offered for students of all ages
  • For three years running, LTS students have won a local contest hosted by the Fire Department to design their holiday greeting card


Whenever possible, core curriculum such as Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Spanish are integrated into thematic projects to create ties that strengthen the learning experience. It is a natural way to study various world cultures through the arts. For example, 3rd grade does a China unit in social Studies. In the art room, students will study Chinese brush strokes, composition and create a finished scroll painting that is put on display during a Chinese Music performance. Each grade has opportunities to collaborate through out the school, further enhancing their overall learning experience.

Studio Thinking– Our Lake Tahoe School Art Studio is based on a teaching framework of a working art studio that fosters the development of the 8 “studio habits of mind.”

8 Studio Habits of Mind:

1. Develop craft– learning to use art materials and studio space
2. Engage and persist-learning to develop focus and persevering at art tasks
3. Envision– Learning to picture mentally what cannot be directly observed and imagined possible
4. Express– Learning to create works that convey an idea, a feeling, or a personal meaning
5. Observe– Learning to look closely and to attend to visual contexts more than ordinary “looking”
6. Reflect – Question and explain
7. Creativity– stretch and explore, learning to reach beyond one’s capacity 8.Understand the art world- domain, art history and art practice, world art and culture

The Middle School visual arts program provides students with hands-on experiences through a variety of mediums including watercolors, tempera and acrylic paints, mixed media collage, clay and printmaking. Themed projects are driven by the exploration of technique, as well as the interpretation and application of art elements and design principles. An emphasis on art history and art appreciation is also embedded in these assignments. Technical drawing skills are practiced through the weekly use of an art journal. Students experiment with skills involving proportion, perspective and value using various drawing mediums including graphite, colored pencils, charcoal and pen and ink. Through painting projects students learn about color theory, color mixing and differing paint applications on both paper and canvas.

Communication and personal expression are emphasized and fostered through art talks and formal critiques throughout each course. Additionally, working in a studio environment encourages the development of life-skills such as perseverance, organization, cooperation and self-motivation. The Middle School art curriculum is intended to help students develop self-awareness, self-esteem, self-discipline, collaboration, and motivation; it is geared to help them feel successful.

LTS Music

At LTS, all students are exposed to a wide range of music experiences including singing, movement, instrument technique, theory, creative experiences, and appreciation.This program strives to meet the national and state standards for music education at all grade levels. Preschool students attend two thirty minute classes per week accompanied by their classroom teachers. Kindergarten through fifth grade students attend two forty-five minute classes per week. Middle school students attend three fifty minute classes per week for one trimester.

Orff-Schulwerk, Kodaly, and Dalcroze music methodologies of instruction are utilized. Students are introduced to musical notation and instrumentation through these methods which allow them to experience music in the most natural way possible. Preschool and kindergarten students work with a variety of rhythm instruments. In second grade, the instrument of focus is the handbell, the third graders play recorder, and fourth and fifth grade students are introduced to ukulele and guitar. The middle school students work with a variety of the instruments listed above as well give attention to music technology. LTS students also have the opportunity to experience performing arts with two concerts during the course of the school year.

Through music, students will be participating in activities that require them to be actively engaged, creative, disciplined and flexible, and to work cooperatively with others. At times and when appropriate, the music program integrates with classroom themes of study.