Shining in the Arts at Minnehaha Academy
Minnehaha is well known for its high-quality fine arts program and exceptional faculty. We design our courses to foster a love of the arts and encourage each child’s creativity.
Starting in preschool, students at Minnehaha Academy participate in engaging specialist art and music classes on a weekly basis. Our specialist teachers get to know each child as an individual – our students work with the same teacher as they move from preschool up to fifth grade. The teachers provide unique, hands-on experiences, inviting students to dive into the world of the arts and explore various avenues of personal expression.
"My daughter's passion and God-given talents in the arts were uncovered by the fantastic art teachers at Minnehaha."
Current parent of a kindergarten student
Lower School specialist teachers provide an exceptional musical foundation for children beginning in preschool. They teach singing, encourage the exploration of a variety of instruments, incorporate movement and introduce the very basics of music theory.
Exposure to different musical cultures and traditions is important at Minnehaha. Students learn world drumming from our certified specialist teachers. We also have a resident musical artist who visits Minnehaha each year for several weeks. Students have fun as they spend several weeks dancing, singing and playing instruments from a specific traditional music culture.
At the end of their fourth grade year, students may choose an instrument. As fifth graders, they continue their general music class and they also attend a weekly lesson with the Middle School band or orchestra teacher and attend a weekly practice session with the entire band or orchestra.
All students have multiple opportunities to get comfortable on stage with performances planned throughout the year for family and friends.
Because of the wonderful music program at MA, I have seen my normally quiet, reserved son burst out of his shell. It is a very special thing to have your child’s potential cultivated in such a personal and uplifting way." Current parent of a first grader
During their time in the Lower School, students sing, draw, paint, sculpt, weave and make pottery.
Preschool students begin by building their knowledge of the foundations of art in interactive, hands-on classes. They discover how they can use line, shape and color together to create art. As students grow, teachers build on this foundation to enhance their understanding and build their skills.
Even our youngest artists have access to a variety of artistic tools and resources. One highlight of the year is the Empty Bowls Project. Kindergarten to fifth grade students make bowls out of clay – shaping, glazing and painting them. They are then fired in our kiln. The students sell their bowls to the Minnehaha community as a service project to benefit a non profit organization. It’s just one way the students learn how they can use the gifts they have been given to give back to the community and help others.
Our phy ed classes are designed to foster a love of movement. Our Lower School students have the opportunity to discover a wide range of physical movement, from ice skating to dance, basketball to field hockey.
Our phy ed teachers strive to keep classes high energy and fun, engaging all learners in skill building and confidence building.
Your child will be encouraged to try new activities, set movement goals for themselves, and grow in their skills. Most importantly, they will learn the joy of encouraging others and the power of teamwork.
The wide world of books awaits your child in our imaginative and delightful library. Storybooks come to life in a full size hobbit house built just for cozying up with a good book.
Our librarians use their creativity to transform the library into a place of wonder for children (and even their parents!). Sometimes it feels as if you are stepping though the coat closet into Narnia, other times it feels as if you've just had a Kansas tornado send you all the way to Oz.
Your child will find a wide assortment of books and our librarians are trained to help students find books that are just right for them. As your child grows in their reading and comprehension skills, our librarians will track their progress. This information will be provided to your child's teacher who can then guide your child as they continue on their journey of reading.
Lower School is the perfect time to introduce a new language to curious minds. Your child will begin to learn the basics of Spanish as they adopt common words and phrases, learning through song, role play, books and guided reading. Their confidence will develop as they speak, read, write and listen, and apply their skills through conversations and performances.
In Lower School, students in Spanish also learn about different cultures and traditions, opening up the world before them and preparing them for future language study in Middle School.