Our arts faculty, artists and performers themselves, offer instruction in visual arts, dance, music, and theater. In every course, our teachers strive to foster self-knowledge, a willingness to experiment and take risks, an understanding that through art we create and reflect culture, and a commitment to the creative process. Exhibits, and a variety of productions throughout the year celebrate our students’ accomplishments.

Children enter the Lower School with a world of possibilities in front of them. Brentwood’s arts education encourages them to discover the musician, actor, or artist within. In addition to fostering and inspiring artistic ability, our program instills a thirst for and life-long appreciation of the arts.

Visual Art

The Lower School art program provides students the opportunity to experiment with a wide variety of art media while learning that art is a universal form of expression. Our program strives to strengthen the students' visual perception while nurturing the development of creative self-expression. Students learn how the elements of design, such as line, shape, form, texture, color, and space, can be controlled as they express themselves visually. Themes for art projects, while geared to age appropriate expectations, often correlate with other studies intensifying the student's overall experience.

Art appreciation is woven into the curriculum throughout the year, and visits from guest artists enhance the students' studies. Each spring the school hosts an All-School Art Show where each child has some of his or her work displayed. The goal of the art program is for all students to probe their imaginations to discover their own unique visions. The children are encouraged to take pride in their work and to develop self-confidence in their ability to express themselves.


Through the integration of visual aids, students learn to express thoughts and feelings while discovering line, shape, texture, and color. Students are introduced to varying techniques and materials including paints, assorted drawing materials, printmaking, and sculpture.

First Grade

Through the integration of visual aids, students further develop an understanding of two and three-dimensional space using more advanced techniques of the materials already introduced. The subject matter often ties to the social studies curriculum.

Second Grade

Through the integration of visual aids, students continue to develop specific techniques of the materials already introduced. Students learn vocabulary to articulate design concepts.

Third Grade

Integrated with social studies, students examine and explore art from around the world. New aesthetics are introduced, including the Asian perspective. Materials are explored in ways according to other cultures.

Fourth Grade

Integrated with social studies, students continue to develop techniques with familiar materials. More sophisticated concepts are discussed. Influential artists inspire projects. Final pieces require more commitment.

Fifth Grade

Through the integration of social studies and significant art movements and artists, students continue to develop skills. Reworking and reflection play an integral part of the process. Personal aesthetic and opinions are expressed.


Music education is an integral part of the Lower School curriculum. The program is designed to excite children about music by connecting music, words, and movement through rhythm into lessons that inspire the students' creativity and innovation. Music is a "whole body experience" with students learning to play various instruments including unpitched percussion instruments, xylophones, and the recorder, in addition to singing and dancing.

All of these experiences enable the students to learn concepts such as rhythm, melody, harmony, style, and expression while performing. Students learn about various composers by listening to their works throughout the year. As with other aspects of the Brentwood School program, the music program is integrated with other studies. As 3rd Grade students journey the world they learn about various operas, and 6th Grade students perform an original musical version of The Odyssey.

Students have the opportunity to share their talents and all they have learned in both winter and spring performances. But these are like no other elementary school performances, for each grade puts together and performs its own unique hour-long program. Every child is a star as they sing, dance, and play instruments on the stage. In addition, every spring the Kindergarten and 6th Grade classes each perform in special musical theater productions.

There is also an after-school music theater program open to students in Grades 4 and 5. Students with a passion for music and performance may enroll in the program, which provides them added opportunities to develop their interests and talents.