Art, music and physical education
Physical education and movement
“Movement, or physical activity, is an essential factor in intellectual growth.” Dr. Maria Montessori
Physical activity is integral to a Montessori education. Primary students enjoy activity in our beautiful campus outdoor environment, while junior and advanced elementary students particulate in a full physical education curriculum. Utilizing facilities at the University of Charleston pool and Triana Field, along with those in the outdoor environment, Nancy Johnston and other members of our full-time AMS trained faculty help children develop a positive attitude toward the improvement of physical health, strength and coordination. Sixth grade students are eligible to participate in the MMS Cross Country team, which competes against other Kanawha County Middle Schools.
Art is an important element in the Montessori integrated approach to learning. Under the direction of art teachers Barrie Kaufman and Nancy Johnston and classroom teachers, including David Pushkin, a former professor of fine art at at American, Columbia and Hofstra Universities, students learn to communicate and express themselves visually in a variety of mediums.
Music and performing arts
The MMS music curriculum helps children develop language, memory, math, social and emotional skills as well as build a lifetime appreciation of the arts. Music faculty members include Karen Morris, a trained Kindermusik and Orff method music instructor, Bernard DiGregorio, principal violist with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and Ron Sowell, music director of Mountain Stage (artist-in-residence). An annual performance for parents and the community provides a showcase for students to communicate through vocal and instrumental music, drama, dance and movement. (Take a look at our 2013 show, which featured the premiere of Life-Lights and other presentations.) The annual performance includes original music, composed by our students during workshops facilitated by a professional songwriting team. “At Mountaineer Montessori,” the MMS school song, is one of the many delightful original compositions written by our students through this annual project. We invite you to you to take a listen.