Creative Program

Many students with diagnosed learning disabilities  never have a chance to develop their creative talents; they’re pulled out of arts classes in order to receive more individualized academic instruction.  Greenwood School provides students with art, music, and woodworking classes as part of the Creative Program.

Technology - Building A Robotic Car

Greenwood strongly believes that students need to develop their hidden talents. We have seen how the arts:

  • Encourage creative problem solving and self-expression
  • Foster patience and confidence
  • Help students improve their visual-spatial, fine motor and auditory skills

Many of our students have been found to possess superior creative abilities in art, woodshop and music — often with little or no prior background. Greenwood is committed to awakening student talents through a strong creative program taught by professionals in their respective fields.


Studio arts at Greenwood begin with a foundation in drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics and art history.  Students learn color theory, elements of design, and methods for working with a variety of media.  Student art work is prominently displayed throughout the school.

Creative Program - Art Class

More advanced students deepen their understanding of technique and theory, learn to use new media, and gain a deeper appreciation of the arts in history and across cultures.   Work includes:

  • Drawing and printing (composition, perspective, drafting, still life and life drawing)
  • Painting and color theory (watercolor, gouache, oils, acrylics, use of color to convey meaning)
  • Sculpture (in conjunction with the wood shop for welding and woodwork)

Elective art activities include pottery, jewelry-making and filmmaking.

Students have a chance to work with visiting artists and complete internships with local artists and craftspeople. Students who are interested in exploring career paths in the arts create a portfolio and have the opportunity to work on long term projects and/or to mount a show.



Creative Program - WoodshopThe Woodshop program, housed in a new 1600 square foot facility, serves several educational functions. It teaches direct building skills in materials including wood, metal and composites; it serves as an extension of the Visual Arts program, when student’s art projects (a large sculpture, for example) may be created under the joint instruction of the Art teacher and Shop instructors; it supports the Academic program by increasing students’ skills in spatial imagination and reasoning, applied math and sequencing; and, perhaps most importantly, provides a place for students to follow their creative visions.

In addition to the Shop itself, the facility includes a covered outside forge for metalworking, a bread oven built from local materials, and a ceramics studio.

Several skills are common to all building projects and form the core of the curriculum. They are:

  • Visualizing the completed project
  • Creating accurate, dimensioned drawings of the proposed item (including revisions on paper as necessary)
  • Accurately measuring and marking, including the use of squares and bevel gauges
  • Cutting with hand and power tools
  • Assembling the project using screws, glues or welding, depending on the project
  • Finishing, using hand planes, scrapers, hand and power abrasives as well as stains, paints or oils

Creative Program - Woodshop - Boat BuildingInitially, students are expected to make a wooden box of their own design. This project incorporates all of the skills listed above and the quality of the box is a good indicator of the degree to which the skills have been mastered. When this project is completed satisfactorily (it may take several tries), the student is free to develop his own projects with the approval of the instructors.

Current projects include:

  • a sixteen foot ‘skin-on-frame’ canoe
  • a sheet metal hood for the outdoor forge
  • a composite (foam and fiberglass) stand-up paddle board
  • a wind tunnel for experimenting with the aerodynamics of various wing shapes
  • several longbows, cut from local woods and shaped in the traditional fashion
  • a number of different pieces of furniture, including hardwood tables and chairs

The shop is open and supervised during regularly scheduled class times, after school several days a week, and on weekends. Students are encouraged to work on their projects outside of class time, which helps them to develop independent problem-solving skills and confidence.



Creative Program - Music ClassMusic is a valued part of the curriculum at Greenwood. Many of our students study an instrument through private instruction during the regular class day. Advanced students participate in ensembles including rock band, and study composition and improvisation. Students are also able to explore digital music composition.

Greenwood is fortunate to have a partnership with the Yellow Barn chamber music school. Yellow Barn conducts residencies throughout the year bringing world class musicians on campus. Greenwood students are introduced in an intimate way to chamber ensembles including duos, trios and string quartets, dramatic performances, multi-media performances, and a wide range of classical through post-modern art forms through involvement in these residencies.