Content + Classical Methodology + Culture of Excellence = Musicall Academy for the Performing Arts Classical Academy
The heart of classical education is the liberal arts curriculum. The word liberal derives from the Latin liber, meaning “free.” The classical educational model reflects the education of freedom and a free person. It presents students with a rich and varied array of content and an introduction to the history of human thought and great ideas.
Great learning requires a great curriculum. In elementary and middle school, the curriculum is focused on mastery of the knowledge needed to proceed to higher level learning. The specificity of the curriculum ensures consistency within each grade level and prevents both repetition and gaps in content from year to year. Each level develops a shared base of knowledge from which to build future learning.
The specific content that students learn is just as purposefully chosen as the curriculum. Reading is not just for reading’s sake. What our children read is just as important as the time they spend reading.
There is a specific educational methodology to the classical approach. A traditional liberal arts approach strategically models student education on the three stages of the Trivium: grammar, the study of basic forms; logic (or dialectic), the skill of abstracting from particulars; and rhetoric, the ability to speak and write persuasively. Each stage builds progressively on the former ones in order to produce a student who is prepared not only to think analytically but to effectively express those thoughts to others. The Trivium is the map for the mastery of any subject, as each subject has its own grammatical, logical, and rhetorical aspects: learning each subject requires knowing the basic facts, being able to reason clearly about them, and finally possessing the capability to argue and support ideas creatively and persuasively. In other words, the learner must not only be able to acquire the basic information of a subject, but to take this basic knowledge, grasp it intellectually, and use it in a purposeful and persuasive way.
Culture of Excellence
Musicall Academy for the Performing Arts ’s environment is built upon a culture of excellence grounded in two core principles. The first principle is the belief that all children should have access to the highest-caliber education that encompasses a wide array of knowledge and wisdom fundamental to human life. Mortimer J. Adler, an influential American philosopher, educator, and author, believed that equality in education is a moral imperative in a democratic nation. By “equality” he did not mean simply that a child should have access to education for the same quantity of time as others, but rather that each child should have access to the very best education that is usually reserved for only the brightest or richest students. As the great American Educator Robert Maynard Hutchins said, “The best education for the best is the best education for all.”
The second principle that supports our culture of excellence is the belief that there is a certain body of knowledge that is fundamental to human life – that “all persons should acquire; they should be in the possession of, regardless of their individual differences.”
These two driving principles, our commitment to equal educational opportunity and our belief in the ability of all children to pursue knowledge in a body of wisdom, create a culture of excellence at Musicall Academy for the Performing Arts Academy – a culture of high expectations and achievement. It transforms one-dimensional student learning into a lifelong pursuit of knowledge and the good life.