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Art and Music Are Back Home at Manor

The potential for creativity is limitless with art and music classes back in their normal spaces for the 2021-2022 school year at Seaford Manor Elementary School. Last year, music teacher Rich Adams and art teacher Jamie LaSota visited students in their classrooms due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Mr. Adams described the traveling as being a DJ, bringing his music equipment from room to room, setting it up and taking it down. Back in his room, where students come to him, has greatly expanded musical opportunities. And, as a self-described noise expert, he doesn’t have to worry about disrupting other classes, with only the band and art rooms nearby.

“In the business of classroom music, students love to make noise,” he said. “As a music educator, it’s my job to shape bad noise into good noise. This year, being back in my classroom allows the students to show their true loudness and I can shape and sculpt their noise into music without the guilt of causing any distractions to neighboring classes.” 

Other benefits to being back in his room, he added, are engaging students in reflective movement, group dancing, guitar ensemble and Orff arrangements – compositions performed on various percussion instruments. During a recent music lesson, students performed a Chippewa warrior song which, Mr. Adams noted, was quite noisy.

Ms. LaSota follows the TAB philosophy in art, teaching for artistic behaviors. This gives students choice in the materials they use for art projects. She explained that children apply their skills and knowledge of art to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional projects that are meaningful to them.

Bringing art to the classrooms last year, she said, meant limiting the materials to whatever fit on her cart. Additionally, she said, projects needed to be completed in one 40-minute art class, but now they can invest more time in their work.

“A benefit to being back in the art room is that students can work on projects for several weeks and store their work and portfolios here,” she said. “The art room is designed to have extra storage space for student work and storage for many supplies for art making. This all supports more student choice in art.”

With the art studio reopened, students have a greater range of options. Ms. LaSota can have the drawing center, painting center and collage center all open at the same time. As the year continues, even more centers will open giving her young artists even more ways to create.

“Each student can be working on something different using several different art mediums,” she said. “Students are excited to be back, they are taking advantage of all the art studio has to offer and bringing new ideas to make meaningful art.”