Music, Visual & Performing Arts:
Core Courses & Studio Blocks


Visual and Fine Arts

All students in grades 7-9 take studio art classes that hone their drawing, design, painting, and sculpting skills. The school’s two art studios are open and available to students even when they are not in a scheduled class. Upper School students who wish to continue studying painting, ceramics, sculpture, metalworking, jewelry making, or other studio arts do so in very small classes designed to support the individual’s growth. Students work independently much of the time. Photography courses are available to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Several Academy alumni/ae are now professional visual artists working as sculptors, photographers, or gallery owners.

Academy students regularly visit local museums and galleries as part of their coursework in the humanities or studio arts.

Our twice-weekly studio blocks program affords all students the time and space to work in a variety of art mediums alongside professional artists from the local area.  A sampling of visual and fine arts offerings include: Ceramics, Painting & Drawing, Basket Weaving, Rug Braiding, Jewelry Making, Film Studies, and Creative Writing.

Musical and Performing Arts

The Academy’s music program is rich, varied, and inclusive. The goal is to encourage learning and participation, and to find a fun, satisfying role for everyone. Musical opportunities range from singing in a choral or a capella group to joining a Klezmer Band to playing saxophone in a Jazz ensemble to hammering on an electric guitar in one of the rock bands. Because of our Studio Blocks program, local artists are able to join our faculty to bring not only expert instruction but also experience in performance and a range of resources. Thus, motivated students have had the opportunity to create and record their own music, as well as exposure to working professionals who act as both teachers and mentors. Lower School students are required to take some music classes, and after satisfying that requirement can elect to focus on other interests, or can take their passion for music as far as they wish.

In addition to musical performance, students have the opportunity to participate in full-scale dramatic productions as actors, technicians, stage crew, or assistants. The annual winter show, usually staged in February, is one of the major milestones of the school year. For many years during the course of the school’s history, Academy actors worked with Shakespeare & Company of Lenox, MA. As his senior project, Will Melnick `10 directed a student production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Most recently, humanities teacher Neale Gay directed a production of George Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara.  Stay tuned for news of upcoming performances.