AES to begin art, music program Monday

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cathy Powell helps students, from left, Dalton Spears, Rachel Fleming and Sydney Ray with a project.

Cathy Powell helps students, from left, Dalton Spears, Rachel Fleming and Sydney Ray with a project.

Andalusia Elementary School teacher Cathy Powell says art and music are essential parts of a child’s early educational development, which is why she is excited over a new program that will offer both to local students.

“This is a combination of music and art,” Powell said of the class, which begins Monday. “I think we might be one of the first (elementary schools) to have both.”

Powell, who has spent year teaching AES’ gifted classes, said music has been part of the school’s curriculum for some time, but the art element of the course is new.

“It took us a couple of weeks to get it going,” Powell said. “We didn’t have supplies, so I wrote a grant. I’m hoping by next year we’ll kind of weave these together, and maybe even add drama.”

For now, Powell, who teaches art in the Andalusia community, and has directed plays with her husband, said the class will be available to all students at AES for about 30 minutes a week.

“A lot if it is going to be trial and error at first,” she said. “We try to bring in a lot of different things. We want to make each lesson an experience a child can remember.”

Powell said, in addition to art projects, teaching art history and music components, such as rhythm and tempo, will all be part of the class.

“Music goes right along with the art, as far as teaching children how to express themselves,” she said. “They are learning to play the xylophone using iPads, for example.”

Powell said both elements of the class are also key in helping kids succeed in core subjects, such as math and reading.

“They learn notes and keys using colors and numbers,” Powell said. “It’s a reflection of what they’re doing in the classroom.”

While Powell says the possibilities are endless for the new program, help is still needed in order insure students have all the supplies they need.

“We can always use things that you use up, like paper towels, crayons, markers and wet wipes,” Powell said. “We could also use help from parents are grandparents who just want to come and be here to help.”

While the class is only just beginning, Powell said parents can look forward to seeing their kids’ work as early as March.

“We’re going to have a school-wide art exhibit March 11,” she said. “There will be a piece on display from every student in the school.”

Powell said anyone who would like to donate time or supplies to the school’s new program, can call AES at 334.222.1224, or send a message through the school’s Facebook page. Powell herself may be reached via email at