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The Arts

Kunst und Musik 艺术

A strong and vibrant art and music program are part of what makes education at German International School a well-rounded, creative experience for all our students.

At GIS art is taught both as a transdisciplinary subject and as a mode of communication. As humans we explore our visual world through imitation of the naturalistic world, and learn to use diverse media for expressing the intangible. These are daunting tasks for a person of any age, but it’s a worthy endeavor. These are unique skills that are essential for excellence in most fields of study, and at GIS we guide our students on this journey, focusing on different aspects of art at different ages.

In kindergarten students explore their creativity in a stress free environment. We encourage students to share their unique point of view as they explore each project. This enables confidence and greater problem solving ability and aesthetic awareness.

In FIRST grade we focus primarily on understanding the visual elements. Looking at examples from historic and contemporary artists, we investigate foundational aspects of visual art like line, color, texture, shape, volume, and perspective. 

In SECOND grade we continue to develop these fundamentals, while shifting our thematic focus to the diverse tools and media that artists use. Students learn to identify which materials are suitable for achieving the desired appearance. Classes also emphasize the development of their fine motor skills and technical proficiency.

In THIRD grade we expand on what we learned in earlier grades and add examination of the diverse forms artistry takes in today's workplaces. It is important to show students that an artist is rarely just someone who produces artwork for a gallery or museum. In fact our immediate community is filled with artists, from apparel designers to publishers, engineers to architects.

In FOURTH grade we aim to bring a historical context to all of our visual inquiries. It is important to not only see “what” has already been done, but examine “why” and consider “where” we can take it moving forward. Students will observe the somewhat linear development of the arts and see themselves as part of contemporary artist community. 

By FIFTH grade students have demonstrated both technical and conceptual competencies over the course of their time at GIS and will focus on creating masterpieces that highlight their technical achievements and creative solutions to real-world design problems. This fluid coalescence of disciplines leads us often to proudly refer to our fifth graders as our “da Vinici's.”

In the music classrooms at GIS you may find us singing, playing instruments or moving to music!

Our curriculum is Orff and Kodaly inspired, and students are given a strong foundation in pitch and rhythm reading, a strong sense of beat, singing voice, and we work on skills on a variety of instruments. In each grade level, the music and classroom teachers collaborate to create a meaningful connection to their IB units throughout the year.

All students sing a wide variety of folk songs from Germany and other parts of the world. We also learn special songs for German events and holidays such as St. Martin’s Day, St. Nikolaus, and Fasching! 

Preschool & Kindergarten music class is one day per week and focuses on developing basic skills like singing voice and steady beat. Concepts are taught in a fun, playful way through stories, games, and plenty of movement. 

1st - 5th grade have two music classes a week and each year different instrument skills are introduced, as detailed below. Fourth and fifth grade students also have an additional period each week of choir. The choir performs at school concerts as well as some community events during the school year.  

Preschool & Kindergarten: Hand drums, rhythm sticks, shakers, glockenspiels, and resonator bells. 

1st grade: Orff and handheld percussion instruments  

2nd grade: Orff, handheld percussion instruments, soprano recorders

3rd grade: Orff, alto recorders, ukuleles

4th grade: Orff, ukuleles, handchimes, guitar

5th grade: Orff, handchimes, guitar

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German International School

3900 SW Murray Blvd.

Beaverton, OR 97005

PH (503) 626-9089

FX (503) 626-9730

Zentralstelle für das AuslandsschulwesenConsulate General, San FranciscoCertificate of ExcellencePaschInternational Baccalaureate® (IB) World SchoolPrimary Years Programme

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