Our music and dance 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 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 music and dance realms include Musical Stew, Rompatom Ensembles, Toddler and Preschool Creative Dance and Modern Creative Dance.
At CACP, we believe that theatre can be:
- A vital outlet for storytelling and self-expression
- A means of building community, empathy and relationship
- An engine for meaningful change in society
- A foundation for a career or lifelong involvement in the arts
In the 2023 and 2024, Compass Arts is taking our popular theatre program to the next level. For every age group beyond K-1, we’ll offer three 10-week sessions. Every session will be open to new students, and will build a different set of skills. Together, the three sessions will create a well-rounded year of theater education unlike any other offered in Beacon. Broadly speaking, here’s how the year will go.
In the fall, we’ll play in the vast, exciting sandbox of theatre with improv games, acting exercises, and creative projects that explore visual/technical theatre arts. What are the fundamentals of storytelling and stagecraft? How do we learn how to use our own unique voices to make theatre? We’ll also begin to work together as an ensemble, to develop relationships rooted in trust and respect.
Winter will be focused on creating new work. How do we imagine characters and stories? How do we devise theatre individually, and as a group? How do we use the resources at hand to create new worlds onstage? Winter will include all the elements of the fall session (improv games, etc.), with an added focus on writing and performing original work.
Everyone loves to put on a show. In the spring, we’ll learn how to transform process into performance. How can we work together to bring a play to life? Students will learn what is involved in a full production, and what it means to be a member of an ensemble in which everyone’s work matters. We’ll go deep into character work and embark on an age-appropriate rehearsal process, leading to a performance that will cap off the year.
All year: Connect!
We see theatre as a collaborative art form that has the power to create real change, in our lives and in the world. All of our theatre programs are aimed towards helping students connect with one another and harness their creative powers for a brighter future. These classes connect to CACP’s larger work of social justice, equity and empowerment for all communities through the arts.
Frequent offerings in the theatre realm include Imagination Playhouse, Theatre Explorers and Theatre Crafters.
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, Drawing and Painting Skills, and Drawing In The Wild..
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 shares and 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.