Starting in fifth grade, students experience an introduction to the Majors Program, and receive 60 minutes of instruction per day split between two different Majors.
This Pre-Majors Program allows students to get a deeper understanding of two subject areas that are of interest to them. Our faculty review each student's progress in the Pre-Majors Program to determine the best major placement for that student in sixth grade.
The Ballet Department's pre-majors course is for the student who has a passion for dance and performance.
Ballet students continue their education in the ballet fundamentals, thus building a strong dance foundation. This includes ballet terminology, physical conditioning exercises, musicality, and choreography. Students at this level have more opportunities to perform on stage with the middle and high school Ballet Majors. It is highly recommended that any student who wants to advance to either the Ballet or Contemporary Dance Major participate in this course.
The goal of our entire Visual Arts program is to motivate students to express themselves visually and creatively through artistic thought and action.
The Design Major is structured to provide the opportunity for students to enhance their skills in the Elements and Principles of Design. Students will continue to hone their artistic skills and begin thinking like a designer. Students will create art using analog (drawing, painting) and digital ( iPad, apple pencil, MacBooks) methods to help them grow as designers. Each student will also keep a sketchbook to plan out their ideas for projects and inspiration. Students will look at current trends and artists to help inspire their artwork. They will learn to work independently and collaboratively. They will begin to critique their own and others' artwork through productive feedback.
- To grow as an individual and an artist
- To become curious about current art trends and history of art
- To explore their creativity and push their boundaries
- To learn new techniques of art creating analog and digital
- To support their classmates and respectfully critique art
- To develop a growth mindset to strive to do their best work
There is a Spring Art Show in May every year, where each Visual Art and Design student is represented. It is open to the students' families and friends! Each class donates a piece of art to be raffled off as a fundraiser at the event.
Meet the Visual Arts and Design Majors Teacher, Mrs. Allegra George!
Mrs. George has been teaching art in Philadelphia since 2004. Mrs. George holds a Masters in Arts Education from Boston University, and studied undergrad at Tyler School of Art,Temple University. She taught high school art for 16 years before joining us here at PPACS in 2020. In 2022, Mrs. George started the Ambassador Leadership program for our 5th grade students and leads our 4th grade art club. Mrs. George loves being part of the String Theory community and enjoys helping the arts programs grow. She believes each student holds creativity within.
In 5th grade, students interested in studying instrumental music have their choice of being either an Orchestra Major or a Band Major.
During class students regularly engage in movement and rhythmic exercises to internalize their music while learning larger musical concepts that are connected to the various disciplines of their core classes. Students will also have opportunities to perform in smaller ensembles and as soloists in addition to their instrumental performing.
In the Orchestra Major, students have the opportunity to focus on either violin, viola, cello, or bass. From here they learn to read and perform using the clefs of their new, respective instruments.
In the Band Major, students have the opportunity to play flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and percussion. As part of a larger ensemble, students learn how their individual parts contribute to a greater musical whole. As a result, students learn to perform their own musical parts while contrasting music happens around them.
By fifth grade, students who have loved their Innovations in Science classes may choose to major in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
STEM majors solidify previously practiced laboratory skills and explore various aspects of STEM as they work to identify themselves as Scientists, Engineers, and/or Makers.
Students study a variety of concepts throughout the year, with a heavy focus on Design and Experimental Thinking, so that they are well-rounded and well-versed in the foundational skills needed to continue their studies in middle school at the Vine Street Campus. Students should be prepared to design questions, plan possible solutions, test their own theories, and turn every outcome into a learning experience.
This year our majors are completing the STEM olympics! We will have a variety of activities to showcase from projects we completed in class, such as rubber band vehicles and catapults!
Meet the Innovations in Science Majors Teacher, Mr. Chris Meccariello!
Mr. Meccariello (or Mr. Mecca, as his students call him!) was born in South Philadelphia, and has lived in the area his entire life. Mr. Mecca graduated from Penn State in 2009. He began teaching at Performing Arts in 2010, taught fourth and fifth grade until 2016. Since then, has been the Innovations in Science teacher for grades 2-4 and the Majors. Mr. Mecca is also one of our Arts Team Leaders! He married his wife in 2014 and they have two beautiful 4 year old identical twin girls who were born in June 2017.
Mr. Chris Meccariello (Mr. Mecca) | email@example.com
The Theatre Major introduces students to performance!
Theatre Majors develop skills such as speech articulation, problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork, and responsibility through scene study, character development, improvisation, and movement. Students are introduced to, and expected to comprehend, theatre terminology. Additionally, students are expected to participate in all aspects of theatre, ranging from acting to set design, to costumes and makeup. Students are trained in Broadway dance and vocal music to round out their theatre education. Theatre Majors develop confidence in their individual ideas and abilities and experience self-growth through artistic expression. As students progress through this Major, they continue to develop and strengthen the necessary skills to enhance their performance quality.
Students enrolled in the Vocal Music Major learn to connect and express using their voices.
Majors learn the general anatomy and science of the voice as well as build healthy and sustainable habits as their voices grow.
We study and perform repertoire from many genres of music and develop a respect and appreciation for the art of choral singing. Through the refinement of their technique, Vocal Majors increase their ability to identify the components of musical sound and enhance their performing capabilities as well as overall musicianship. Students become musically literate through the study of Music Theory and familiar with the choral traditions of many cultures and genres. Performance are scheduled throughout the school year, and participation in these performances is required.