Music, Dance, Drama Program
The Music, Dance, Drama program at Mountaintop is rooted in Orff-Schulwerk, an approach to building musicianship in every learner through the integration of music, movement, speech, and drama. Younger children experience music in the classroom with weekly visits from the music guide. Elementary students receive group lessons and have open studio time to create and collaborate. Middle School students work with professional drummer Darrell Rose each week, culminating in an annual winter drumming concert. Middle School students also select topics for creative expression workshops. Past topics have included xylophone ensemble, hip hop & street dance, an annual play, string band, and composition workshops. Students present their work at three large performances during the year.
MInD (Mountaintop Innovation and Design) Lab
In the MInD Lab, students learn and explore scientific concepts in an environment that emphasizes creativity and collaboration. Students problem-solve and innovate by using the design process: define the problem, brainstorm ideas, plan, create and test prototypes, and improve the design. Students are encouraged to work both independently and as a member of a group to complete a goal. Hands-on activities promote critical thinking skills and provide practical experiences that enable students to build skills and knowledge of scientific ideas.
Visual Arts Program
Our Visual Arts program offers unique instruction that values process above product. Students receive lessons in art history and on a variety of mediums, including drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, and architecture. They have ample time in the art studio to explore the medium of their choice using high quality materials. Elementary and middle school students maintain a sketchbook journal. They are encouraged to find and observe artistic inspiration from the surrounding world.
Students at Mountaintop engage in the ecology program beginning in lower elementary. The program creates opportunities for children to develop strong connections and competency within our living, ever-changing ecosystem. Students explore biology and botany through sensory experiences, garden-to-table food production, and observation. Students practice environmental stewardship in our gardens, chicken coop, fruit orchard, and natural environment. They learn self-sufficiency and survival skills, child-level herbalism and wildcrafting, natural health and wellness, tools and building, and the investigative process. As students progress through the program, they are challenged to apply their knowledge to current environmental issues, personal passions, and community service projects. Over the course of 10 weeks, students work on self-directed projects in which they brainstorm, plan, design, research, implement, and document their endeavor. Projects often weave in STEAM and entrepreneurial elements and benefit from the assistance of local experts in various fields.
Garden to Table Program
The garden to table program works in conjunction with our Ecology and Permaculture programs to allow children to see the complete cycle of seed to table. Each week, elementary and middle school students join the chef in harvesting and preparing lunch for their classmates in our professional kitchen. Children are encouraged to try new foods, expanding their young palates by offering a wide variety of ethnic and regional foods. As children graduate to older classrooms their input becomes essential in menu planning and thematic programming.