The art domains of music, dance, theater, and studio art are emphasized at every level at Mount Madonna School (MMS). Elementary students take classes taught by specialists in dance, music and visual art, and they perform both in the winter and spring. Middle and high school students use a fully equipped art studio for weekly and bi-weekly visual arts classes. They take dance, choreography, and digital photography, and spend an additional four hours per week in an extensive integrated performing arts program that requires all students to perform in two major productions each year. Each production involves significant rehearsal time, including one-week intensives during which students focus solely on preparing for the show.
School faculty often use arts integration across the curriculum. Arts integration is a research-based best practice, and the School encourages teachers to sample from best practices throughout philosophical modes in education. For example, upper school science and social studies classes use sketchbook journals and train students in visual notetaking. In addition, all English classes at Mount Madonna encompass a strong creative writing component, culminating in a community reading for high school families each year. In the elementary, all students integrate an annual study of world culture with a music, dance, and theater production attended by the entire school community. Most teachers encourage artistic representation and open-ended creativity in projects across academic subjects.
Mount Madonna’s middle school includes an optional STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) program in conjunction with mathematics. Students have the opportunity to study music theory and keyboarding in-depth, as well as integrate design thinking and engineering through this program.
Encouraging creative self-expression is a primary goal of the program at MMS. The School uses practices that reflect current research and growing awareness of how to develop creativity in students at all levels and in all subjects.