Welcome to

Da Vinci’s Toolbox

 

A Premier Classical Art Studio Program for Children

 

Enrollment open year-round
CLICK HERE to register for Summer 2022

 

All instruction offered in English

 

The Study (2021)
Graphite on paper (8 x 6 inches) by Shaili P., Age 12
Academy of Art of Highland Park/Da Vinci’s Toolbox © AAHP 2022

Banana Spy (2022)
Marker pointillism on paper by Aarya P., Age 9
Academy of Art of Highland Park/Da Vinci’s Toolbox © AAHP 2022

Lost Gem (2022)
Chalk pastel on black paper by Gitu K., Age 12
Academy of Art of Highland Park/Da Vinci’s Toolbox © AAHP 2022

The Climb (2021)
Charcoal drawing on paper by Zahra G., Age 12
Academy of Art of Highland Park/Da Vinci’s Toolbox © AAHP 2022

A Quack in the Mirror (2021)
Charcoal on paper (8.5 x 11 inches) by Aditi M., Age 10
Academy of Art of Highland Park/Da Vinci’s Toolbox © AAHP 2022

Cut to Pieces (2021)
Wax color pencil on paper by Niyati P., Age 13
Academy of Art of Highland Park/Da Vinci’s Toolbox © AAHP 2022

Da Vinci’s Toolbox (DVT) is a premier, online art studio program offering classical training for youngsters ages 7-12. 

Through this program, a young studio practitioner learns, develops and refines skills and sensibilities as an artist/designer/maker/builder. 

When the young practitioner turns 13, they will graduate into the Portfolio Prep Program Online (P3.O), the AAHP’s honors studio program for teens.

A Deep Practice, not an Activity

Working with time-honored, Western approaches to art as a form of inquiry, the DVT learning experience lets the youngster develop creativity through exploratory, yet disciplined practice, as opposed to a chance activity for a rainy day. 

A Glimpse at How Da Vinci’s Toolbox Online Classes Work

In Da Vinci’s Toolbox (DVT), we engage in project-centered work, not textbook-centered learning, as does regular school. While Zoom and similar platforms force regular schools to deliver content unidirectionally, Zoom actually serves as a perfect back and forth platform for our project-centered teaching and learning, based on hands-on-and-eyes-on construction.

Keeping Immediate Visual and Verbal Contact with Our Students
  • We remain in immediate verbal and visual contact with the student at all times. 
  • We can work on screen in real-time with any one student, and also deliver group content that suits all.
  • We demo live, on- screen, to continuously exchange demonstrations, trials, tests, etc. 
  • We use whiteboards and markers, as in live studio, as well as the drawing software Krita, to demonstrate on-screen, in real time, for an even more immediate experience. This drawing software also allows us to make temporary demonstrations directly on screen-captures of the student’s artwork, without ever touching their real paper; this allows for very clear and specific demonstrations of how to improve their techniques.
  • Students see each other, and each other’s work, more readily than in live studio. This aids in collaborative learning.

Working in Small Groups

  • As in the live studio, we do not sit any more than 10 youngsters at once.
  • Every student works on a completely different and individual project that pertains to their age, level of advancement, and interests. And now, with the computer screen, we have an even closer visual survey of all of these projects, and all at once, than we did even in our live studio.
  • The proof is in the pudding! Please enjoy samples of some of the amazing learning going on in our online class! We only publish children’s works that have been completely done online, and under our instruction classes. (We have blurred the names and faces of our students and teen staff to protect their privacy and security.)

FAQ’s

1. What will my youngster learn at DVT’s online studio?
Our students begin with inspiration, then move on to observation, interpretation, and construction. They learn to utilize specialized tools and instrumentation, and come to understand new design and construction as a process all on its own.
2. Who will be working with my youngster?
DVT is directed by Aaron Scott Balavram, AAHP Assistant Director, and a veteran of the AAHP’s teaching staff for more than 15 years. Mr. Balavram also serves as DVT’s Chief Instructor. He trains a highly dedicated team of Online Safety Moderators/Studio Mentors (OSM2s) who serve as his assistants. These teaching assistants  help guide and ensure our young practitioners’ online safety and comfort, and support their love of learning. Mr. Balavram develops the DVT curriculum and pedagogy alongside AAHP founder, Director, A.E. Soto-Canino.
3. What is the program structure?
Class Slot Schedule: Classes run every week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, after school. All classes are on Zoom. 

Class Duration: Each class runs for 1.5 hours, starting at various times throughout the afternoon and evening. For the full DVT Class Schedule, click here

Makeups: Students can easily do makeup classes by arranging to attend another day on the posted class slot schedule. 

Enrollment by Subscription: Practitioners are enrolled in DVT through a monthly subscription, which they can enter, leave and re-enter at any time.

4. How long will it take my youngster to create the next Mona Lisa? 😉
It is very important to remember that studio practice is just that…a deep practice. It is not something that can be simply learned in an afternoon, a month, or even a year. As with all classical training in any art form, be it dance, singing, music, etc., studio requires a brainy and emotional commitment. 

Parents can expect to see a notable difference in the works that youngsters create on their own, compared to the works they create in their studio classes. But over time, with continuing practice, this difference will diminish and eventually dissolve. What matters most is the ongoing exposure to the craft of the artist and designer, and then through actual practice.

5. Are art classes really effective in an online setting?
Ours are! Yes. Absolutely. Please look closely at the photos above. All of these remarkable works were completely developed in our online studio. 

A drawing cannot lie. 

We remain committed to strong teaching and mentoring offline or online. Our community of artists has been thriving online. At DVT, we do not simply use these online platforms as a substitute for in-person classes; we use them to enrich our teaching even further. 

The most important part of the learning space, of course, is the construction process itself, and the craft command that drives it, all of which are, and remain, invisible. But that process cannot possibly me bonk if the outcomes display this high level of excellence in invention, integrity and elegance. This, along with the smiles on these artists’ faces throughout, and after class, is material evidence of their joy in their strong learning and practice online!

Registration Open Year-Round!

Have your child enter and leave at your convenience.
Of course, committed practice is best practice.

Prepare your Youngster for Classes in 3 Easy Steps:

  1. Schedule your youngster for a 1.5 hr Free Introductory Class!
  2. After your youngster completes their Free Introductory Class, you will be invited to subscribe them to DVT.
  3. Once you have activated a subscription for your youngster, you will need to review your Welcome Kit, which will include a list of required materials and technologies needed to start classes. Once you purchase your youngster’s materials and help them to set up their very own home studio space, they will be ready to go!

Seating is limited! Don’t miss out on this opportunity! 

Sign up your youngster NOW for

Da Vinci’s Toolbox!

Privacy and Online Safety & Security Notice to Minors. Please read.

If you are under the legal age in the country where you live, and/or at the actual place or virtual space wherever you use the Internet, you CANNOT submit to AAHP Online information about yourself, or anyone else, without written consent of your legal guardian. In addition, you cannot reach AAHP Online by using any channel or means that ignore legal age where you live and/or operate online. Failure to follow all rules at AAHP Online may lead you to face disciplinary action, which may include summary dismissal from AAHP Online. Please work with us to safeguard everyone’s privacy and personhood. This is a huge part of the ethics of being a Studio Practitioner in AAHP Online. Please read and discuss with your legal guardian all privacy and online safety and security rules, listed in the AAHP Online’s Terms of Use. These rules are also found in the AAHP Online’s User’s Manual. The Manual is issued to you if and when your legal guardian initiates your monthly subscription. Thank you for being awesome!