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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

List of 3 items.

  • 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

List of 4 items.

  • 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.

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.

Drama Program Elements

List of 3 items.

  • Public Speaking Opportunities

    Clairbourn provides specific instruction in public speaking skills in the elementary grades and in select Middle School electives. A wide variety of public speaking opportunities are offered for first through eighth grades, including giving Morning Assembly announcements and giving presentations to the entire school, doing oral presentations in classes, and participating in classroom performance activities such as Reader’s Theatre and classroom plays.
  • Middle School Shakespeare Plays

    Clairbourn provides advanced drama studies through CAST (Clairbourn After-School Thespians).  Middle school student participation in the annual Shakespeare play is by audition, but there are a wide variety of parts to allow maximum opportunities for those who want to be in the play.  These are full-text productions, and the students give three performances in a replicated "Old Globe" theater set up in the school gymnasium.  In order to warm up their acting skills for the Shakespeare play, CAST also presents an annual Winnie the Pooh Play which they perform for the younger students.
  • Stagecraft Skills

    Many of our creatively inclined students appreciate opportunities to participate in drama productions from behind the scenes.  They have opportunities to support Christmas and Spring Programs as well as the Shakespeare play as stage hands, set and costume designers, lighting designers, makeup artists, and other stagecraft positions.

Shakespeare: Twelfth Night

Clairbourn's school community was treated to an unforgettable 1920s-style production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night performed by Clairbourn 6th-8th grade students. The production featured a variety of humorous antics, stage fighting, great costumes, original music and stand-out performances.

The Annual Pooh Play

Students from Preschool through Grade 5 attended a warm, and literally fuzzy, Winnie The Pooh play put on by Clairbourn middle school students who signed up for the elective. Drama teacher Paul Barker authored and directed the show, and the concept was inspired by A. A. Milne's characters from the Winnie the Pooh series.

Come Visit Us!

Clairbourn School is a coeducational, private school for students in preschool through middle school (JPK-Grade 8) that has continuously served the greater Pasadena area since 1926. We are known for excellent academics, our welcoming community, our attractive campus, and a strong record of sending graduates to top area high schools.
Private School Education for Preschool, Kindergarten, Elementary School, & Middle School Grades - Serving Families in the Pasadena Area and Surrounding Cities
Clairbourn is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. (K-12 Private Schools)