News from the Performing Arts

News from the Performing Arts

WHPS Performing Arts welcomes Nkoto Modiba, our new drama teacher. Nkoto Modiba is a social entrepreneur who believes in the power of community,      communication and unity. She has graced stages all over the world as a singer, actress and dancer and still performs with her band Kwani. We look forward to working with Nkoto!

During lockdown, we are looking at Performing Arts in a quite different way…working alone together.

We are reaching out to our boys like never before, trying to incorporate what WHPS is known for… and that is to keep ‘The Arts’ alive. We are teaching the boys the act of doing and creating, a new way of undertaking and exploring, that which forms part of our day to day learning at school.

We have incredible teachers, who have changed the direction of their programmes, embracing the value that music, art and drama plays in the everyday life of our boys. Our ongoing intention is to continue igniting the passion in every boy by finding creative ways to educate. We are now using digital      technology to communicate, and both our pupils and parents have become experts. Although this integration has allowed for a higher level of digital literacy, there is no substitute for the classroom teacher.

Even though the peripatetic music teachers miss the social interaction with the boys, they are now only divided by a screen. They have equipped themselves with skills in the digital world to continue teaching off campus. While there have been compromises with the new lesson format, the positives still outweigh the negatives. The boys have been able to continue with weekly tuition allowing them not to fall behind.

Our online theory lessons continue weekly to all boys learning a music instrument at school. The benefits of theory are: learning pieces faster, improving sight-reading and understanding musical concepts. It also provides the fundamentals to play and compose. We encourage the boys to enjoy and explore the work, games and activities.

In the class music room, the boys’ creativity has been put to the test. We have adapted our curriculum by introducing wonderful Bach Google doodles, Kadinksy Song Makers and some funky “Dance Monkey” moves. It remains imperative to continue stimulating our pupils with imaginative listening skills to brighten up their day. The boys are enjoying all the things that they normally do, such as singing, moving, playing games, and learning about music from home.

Spending time at home is a great opportunity to get inspired by art activities. It is not only stimulating, but relaxing and rewarding at the same time. Being engaged in artistic ventures, temporarily allows one to stop worrying about the future. It has been wonderful to see so many boys being so creative at home. They have     created Kaleidocycles, Lighthouse landscapes, Owls in trees, Colourful Chameleons, a Stop Frame Animation project and Koala Bears, just to name a few. It is important for the boys to surround themselves with creativity and we encourage them to delve into art and immerse themselves in their creative platforms.

Drama lessons have been created, across the grades, looking at hot topics like global warming and the excessive use of our natural resources as well as exploring fairy tales and the characters that amuse us most.

We believe that the value of a continuous Performing Arts programme during lockdown will add a level of consistency to what the boys have grown  accustomed to. I am sure that the parents of our younger boys are also enjoying engaging in the activities with their children at home. Let us continue to see the rainbow!

– Melanie dos Santos & Liza van der Westhuizen