Arts Cycle

Western Civilization has a cultural heritage that is incredibly rich. Unfortunately, our knowledge of it is quickly dying. What used to be considered standard to read, memorize, listen to, and sing–resulting in a shared cultural knowledge–has been abandoned along with traditions of all kinds. This has been happening for so long that many of us as parents have very little cultural knowledge to pass on to our own children. At Cedars, we want to begin to rebuild this shared cultural heritage for our children and the families we serve.

There are many benefits to building a working knowledge of the classics in music, art, and poetry. Students will gain practical skills such as increasing their powers of visual and aural observation as they do picture studies of great works of art and composer studies in many different genres of music. Familiarity with the classic pieces of art and music will enhance their connection to the world around them as they recognize them in everyday settings, as well as build their sense of beauty. Likewise, as they study poetry, they will appreciate the beauty of words and the cadence of meter and rhyme and perhaps try their hand at writing their own poems. Hymns and folk songs connect our students to a rich spiritual, regional, and cultural heritage, giving us songs to strengthen our faith, express joys and sorrows, or simply to just have fun.

We incorporate all these elements in various ways throughout the day at Cedars–in our school-wide morning Lauds, in the classroom, while walking or working outside, and even while traveling on field trips. Students will learn some songs and poems in groups and may work on others individually. A few times a year, we invite friends and family to enjoy what we have learned on recitation days.

To meet our unique goals in this area of cultural education, we have created a special resource that students will use extensively both at school and at home. Each 1st-8th grade student will receive a personal copy of The Arts Cycle book, which includes scripture memory passages, hymns, folk songs, poetry, and artist and composer biographies with selected works. Recordings for scripture, hymns, folk songs, poetry, and composer playlists are provided with an easy-to-use QR code. We encourage every family to enjoy these treasures on home days, and every day, as you build a shared cultural knowledge together.

The Arts Cycle 2024-2025

1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter
Artist
Leonardo da Vinci
Peter Bruegel the Elder
Grandma Moses
Henry Ossawa Tanner
Poet
William Wordsworth
William Blake
Robert Frost
AMERICAN: Eliot/ Nash/Whitman
Composer
RUSSIAN MASTERS
Wolfgang Mozart
Franz Shubert
JAZZ
Hymn
Amazing Grace
And Can It Be the I Should Gain?
All Creatures of Our God and King
Be Thou My Vision