The Arts Program at Clairbourn

The Arts Program

The arts are a vital component of a Clairbourn education. The visual arts, music, and drama all have aesthetic, perceptual, and intellectual dimensions that teach students about creatively solving problems and seeking fresh perspectives that open up possibilities. All forms of artistic expression nurture the spirit and teach appreciation for beauty and personal expression.

The Value of a Well-Rounded Arts Program

Top area private high schools value well-rounded students. The arts, music, and drama programs at Clairbourn help to develop all sides of our students and compliment the rigor of the academic program. Visual presentation, artistic expression, and musical ability are all important forms of communication which provide valuable lessons in creativity and fresh thinking. The arts require students to notice details and care how those details work together. As students work to refine their pieces of sculpture or drawing, or their presentation of spoken lines or singing parts, they learn to be self-critical and self-correcting, to handle frustration, and to persevere until they achieve their goal.

Visual Arts Program Elements

Well-Equipped Art Space
Clairbourn has a well-lit and spacious, dedicated art room with classes taught by a specialist in art education. The art room is fully equipped with a rich variety of media types, including pencils, watercolor, acrylics, clay, and more. The art room also has a SMART Board to show educational videos about artists and art movements, to demonstrate artistic techniques, or to take virtual field trips.

Art Instruction by Grade Level
• Kindergarten through Grade 5 students have art lessons and creative experiences focusing on both conceptual development and technical skills.

• Middle School students are offered art electives such as Ceramics, Fiber Art, Drawing, and Photography. An art appreciation course is required for all Middle School students.

• Kindergarten through Grade 8 students also participate in the Annual Art Exhibit which showcases artwork from every student. Middle school students, who wish to volunteer, also have opportunities to set up the exhibit and learn how to display artwork.

Art Appreciation Skills
Art appreciation lessons that include global perspectives is part of the art curriculum. Students are taught art analysis skills and how to discuss art concepts and artists. They also discuss and analyze their own work. The students’ outlook is also expanded through visiting artist assemblies and workshops.

Music Program Elements

Music Program Elements
Clairbourn has a dedicated music room filled with wind, string, and percussion instruments and offers classes taught by specialists in music education. The music program also brings in inspiring live musical performances and workshops by professional musicians and singers. The program draws from a wide range of musical styles from around the world, and music is used as a tool to develop multi-cultural appreciation and understanding.

Instructional Overview by Grade Level
• Preschool students meet with the music specialist once a week and participate in a wide array of music-related activities in the classroom.

• Kindergarten to Grade 3 students have music classes twice a week, and students learn to sing and play simple percussion, string, and wind instruments and to develop an understanding of the elements of music.

• Grades 4 and 5 have group instruction twice a week on either the violin or a wind instrument. They also receive instruction to develop their understanding of the elements of music.

• Middle School students have Music Elective options like Clairbourn Band, ensemble groups, music history, and music appreciation.

Group Performance Opportunities
A variety of performance opportunities are offered to music students each year, including participation in the Christmas and Spring Programs and the Instrumental Concerts for the older students.

Morning Assembly Performers
The Morning Assembly is used as a musical showcase for students who are advancing and wish to display their progress and serve as models and mentors for beginning music students. We have “Tickler Tuesdays” for students who wish to perform on piano, “Windy Wednesdays” for performers on wind instruments, and “Fiddler Fridays” for string instrument performers.

Composers Isabel C., Kennedy K., and teacher Cara Barker


Original Thanksgiving Song Created by Middle School Students
At Clairbourn’s annual Thanksgiving Assembly, each grade has an opportunity to perform poems or songs that reflect the spirit of the holiday. Last year, middle school students, under the direction of teacher Cara Barker, created a show-stopping choral number that became the talk of the campus. Read the article on


Clairbourn School, 8400 Huntington Drive, San Gabriel, (626) 286-3108 or visit






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