Eurythmy is an art of movement in which music and speech are embodied and made visible. Currently at Mountain Phoenix, the children in grades K through 8 enjoy Eurythmy lessons once a week. In addition to developing individual concentration, coordination, timing, and enhancing the students’ feeling for language and music; the classes focus on movement as a social art whereby students work together cooperatively to create increasingly complex and often beautiful choreographic forms that foster teamwork, grace and beauty, and a heightened spatial awareness. Eurythmy is unique to Waldorf education and requires highly trained teachers who have completed a formal Eurythmy training, as well as at least one artistic year at a certified Eurythmy school. Parents will usually have the opportunity to see Eurythmy performed in class plays and at special programs in the course of the year, as well as professional Eurythmy performances whenever possible.
This program begins in grade 3 with stringed instruments. In grade 5, children are given a choice whether to continue with orchestra or choose a band- instrument. All children play in either band or orchestra from 5th grade through grade 8. Children learn to play an instrument, read music and
perform with others. Performances take place throughout the year and at festivals and holiday assemblies.
Singing is a big part of MPCS. You will hear children singing in classrooms and at performances. The music teacher instructs children in grades 1 through 8 in age appropriate singing, music theory, music appreciation, recorder playing and choir in the older grades.
At MPCS, Spanish is taught from kindergarten through grade 8. An immersion approach is used whereby the Spanish teacher speaks mainly in native Spanish. Children enjoy singing, movement, recitation, plays, and conversational Spanish in the lower grades. As children grow accustomed to the language, grammar and details of the structure of language are brought into the curriculum. Spanish is taught 2 times per week in grades 1 through 8.
Physical education is taught in grades 1 through 8 two times per week. Many skills are taught through games and are tied to the curriculum in the classroom when possible. For instance, in grade 5 they will study Greek History. The P.E. teacher then teaches skills that prepare students for the pentathlon, including spear and discus throwing, grace and beauty in running and relays. In grade 6, the students study Medieval History. Hence they will learn archery and other skills to prepare them for the Medieval Games in our area. Physical Education curriculum is also standards-based to develop age appropriate strength and fitness.
The practical arts are part of the MPCS curriculum. The importance of working with the hands to create items we use in life is accomplished through teaching skills in knitting, crochet, sewing, wool dying, spinning and carding. Students learn about natural fibers and how they become useful in the making of clothing and seasonal crafts. Handwork begins in grade one with knitting and increases in challenge and difficulty as the students grow through the grades.
Students in grades 5 and up do woodworking when possible. Students learn to carve, rasp, sand and ultimately create handmade items in wood. Woodworking is part of the practical arts curriculum that provides students the opportunity to create useful items from a piece of wood. Vices are used to hold the wood while students carve and create spoons, bowls and other items.
Middle School Electives for Grades 6-8
Students in middles school are able to select from a list of artistic, academic and experiential electives each trimester. See Middle School for more details.