Our performing arts classes are rooted in arts educational approaches that follow the natural developmental process of imitation, exploration, improvisation, and creation. Beginning with the very young, we lay foundational concepts through music and movement, focused mostly on imitation and exploration, then build upon those foundations in the preschool and kindergarten years with more exploration, improvisation, and creation opportunities. These classes introduce dance, theater and storytelling into the mix, following the natural physical and creative impulses of the child.
As we move into elementary school, these processes deepen, providing the students with more opportunities to create from their own imaginations through inquiry based frameworks that ground the students in fundamental music, theater, and dance skills while making space for them to discover their own unique voice. Connections with their peers are fostered through the collaborative process of creating pieces to share with an audience, strengthening their relationships in a supportive environment and furthering their capacity to share their authentic selves.
Frequent offerings in the performing arts realm include Musical Stew, Rompatom Ensembles, Theater Explorers, Toddler and Preschool Creative Dance and Modern Creative Dance.
Our visual arts classes all share a commitment to inquiry & process based learning. The studio environment at Compass Arts is designed to trigger curiosity; empowering students to explore ideas, experiment, ask questions, and find or create solutions. In all of our visual arts classes, it is the creative process that we focus on the most, rather than the final products or outcomes. Collaboration and play are key ingredients in the studio recipe: we learn as we play with materials, concepts, and ideas, and we learn more when we are all in the process together.
In toddler-preschool classes, we aim to create a physically safe environment where children have the freedom to explore and experiment with materials using all their senses. In our elementary age classes, we focus on creating a supportive environment for a range of abilities. Through reflection and discussion, students build a vocabulary of self expression, as well as practicing interpersonal skills.
At the upper elementary level and above, students work on honing skills and developing technique. The earlier established principles of exploration, experimentation, and self expression in a safe and supportive environment remain as important as ever, empowering students as both inquisitive problem solvers and confident artists.
Frequent offerings in the visual arts realm include Paper, Wood, Wool & Clay, Tactile Explorers, Crawing and Painting Skills, Drawing In The Wild, and Elements - our sciencey, multi-arts super-class.
When we asked our students what they like best about Team Creative Directions classes, one of them said this: “I just love the atmosphere. It’s like, I’m weird, you’re weird, we’re all weird, let’s get together in our weirdness and create weird stuff together.”
We think that sums it up pretty well. Compass Arts classes offer a creative, supportive environment where tweens and teens can feel free to be themselves, to pursue creative ideas, to challenge themselves, and to explore their identities. They’ll also have the opportunity to build some practical life and job skills through envisioning and executing projects, either individually or collectively.
In TCD (as the kids call it), there is a lot of laughter and a real sense of community. Kids can work on their own projects, collaborate with others, and cultivate new skills in both the arts and life. Whether we're improvising a scene, singing a song, working on a volunteer project, playing a board game, or making a drawing come to life, the core values of TCD remain the same: empathy, community, creative exploration, growth, and embracing the differences that make us special.
Our TCD class lineup often includes Theater Crafters, Modern Dance Makers, Young People's Performance Company, Drawing and Painting Skills, and The Hang - guided events where teens can gather and be weird, and discuss their artistic aspirations.
Join us for explorations into the world of role playing games - we're believers in the power of D&D to enhance academic skills, social skills, creative thinking, problem solving, and overall well-being. A perfect match for Compass Arts!
You can also join the CACP early childhood teaching crew on a tour of the arts! Dates in our Arts Potpourri Saturday Series are facilitated by different teachers with different specializations. Sign up for your favorite or sample them all. Different classes have different age ranges.
Summer programs are where the Compass Arts staff gets to kind of cut loose and assemble their most creative, offbeat offerings. These experiences are crazy fun while simultaneously encouraging deep learning. They are imaginative spaces designed to thrill and inspire wonder through play-based exploration. Whether building tunnels and forts, adapting a story book for the stage or getting down deep into messy/sciencey what-happens-when-we-do-this scenarios the Compass Arts camps deliver unforgettably expansive experiences.
Beacon Rising is a mainstay of Compass Arts programming - an epic choir that has grown over the years into a community fixture and a powerful collective voice. The choir tends to turn up at various events, from the Farmers' Market to Compass Arts showcases, sometimes backed by a full band, and always performing a powerful selection of piece that inspire social revelation.
And speaking of showcases, Compass Arts events are defining aspects of our community - places where we can come together and celebrate our children, our colleagues and artistic expression itself. Compass Arts performances bring various preset and impromptu ensembles out into the world to say their piece and experience the thrill of performance. In any given performance you might see and experience Orff Schulwerk based music ensembles, student-composed theater pieces, improv theater, art exhibitions and games in a wonderfully messy blend where the edges between art forms are blurred. Compass Arts showcases are always surprising.