The arts program at Princeton Junior School reflects the passion for the arts of our co-founder, Juliana McIntyre. Learning through the arts is an organic process at Princeton Junior School, and our academic curriculum is seamlessly integrated into the art, drama, and music programs. Whether through singing, drawing, acting, or studying the history and theory of art, PJS fosters and sustains the innate creativity of each student, while developing an appreciation of the arts from many cultures. Students’ self-awareness, self-expression, and confidence grow tremendously through their participation in the arts at PJS.
The preschool students at Princeton Junior School explore art through a variety of two- and three-dimensional media, while developing fine motor skills and language. In the elementary grades, students focus on the elements of art including line, shape, color, texture and form through the studio disciplines of painting, printmaking, sculpture, clay modeling, and collage. Art history is introduced to the older students and culminates in the annual Grade V trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where students take on the role of curator for an artist of their choice. Prior to their visit, Grade V students research their respective artist, share their findings with fellow students, and complete a rendition of their artist’s paintings.
The universal language of music is celebrated in every grade at Princeton Junior School. In the preschool, we are fortunate and licensed to provide the Music Together program, complete with instruments, CDs, singing and dancing. Students in the elementary grades learn the fundamentals of music including rhythm, scales, singing, and vocal technique, integrating when appropriate the academic curriculum. Students in grades IV and V also learn to play the recorder in one-, two-, and three-part harmony. Students in the elementary grades are eligible to sing in the PJS choir, which performs at both school events and at various venues in the Princeton area throughout the year. School assemblies offer additional opportunities for musical performances.
The emphasis on drama at PJS is on self-expression and fun. In pre-school, drama class focuses on the story-drama, imaginative play, self-awareness and cooperation. Students in the upper grades build upon the same framework but add more literature-based dramatic explorations and student collaborations. In grades IV and V, students are introduced to the basic principles of theatre. When appropriate, the academic curriculum is also integrated into the class. Drama classes in the elementary grades celebrate their acquired skills in a series of mini-performances in the spring.