Central to the arts philosophy at ASH is the goal of cultivating a lifetime appreciation, enjoyment and love of the arts through creating and experiencing the discipline itself. Through the wide range of arts offerings at ASH students are exposed to and develop an understanding of a variety of practical and fine arts. By working creatively and gaining competence in various artistic genres and media, students develop an aesthetic understanding of the arts that will continue throughout life.
The medium is experienced and explored physically through a “hands on” learning process. The learning is process oriented; students learn skills through experience and overcome their fear of failure through taking risks as they learn. Instruction in the arts challenges students and encourages divergent thinking. Students learn to recognize different points of view and to respect each other’s products, creations, and opinions. As such, the arts classroom is characterized by spontaneity, energy, engagement and excitement that is reflected in deep involvement, on the part of both students and teachers. Students are encouraged to assess themselves in a variety of formal and informal ways, both their products and the process they went through in creating it. In this way, they are involved in the assessment of their own work and develop the valuable skill of self-reflection. Students take pride in exhibition and performance of their work and sharing it with others. They learn to prepare, practice and present their works with a positive, professional attitude.
Through the study of the arts, students learn, through self-discovery, to express their own emotions and thus to explore and express the richness of the human spirit. The expression of emotions through the arts leads students to a feeling of wholeness and a sense of connection to our humanness and to each other.
At ASH studying the arts enables all students to develop international understanding and allows them to participate in the sense of community that grows from participation in the arts.