Arts in the Curriculum
Turning the known into the new and unique
An integral part of the curriculum, the arts at MKA teach students to develop, express and evaluate ideas; think critically and imaginatively in problem solving; produce and interpret images and creative work; and develop self-discipline and focus.
Participation in the arts is essential to being both a well-rounded scholar and a well-rounded person. Research over the past decade has attributed enhanced confidence, critical thinking, leadership skills and academic performance to an arts education.
A rich array of arts experiences are integrated into the MKA curriculum, Pre-K–12. Primary School students have classes weekly in music, dance and visual art with experts in those fields. In addition, each class in grades K–3 performs a play that combines these three areas with theater arts. Students take pride in sharing their work with large audiences in semiannual musical performances, the annual art show and the third-grade dance concert.
Middle School students have quarterly classes in music, dance, visual art and theater arts. In addition, all fourth-grade students sing in the chorus and can take up an instrument in the band or string ensemble. This curricular structure encourages students to experiment with a wide variety of arts experiences and get excited by new interests. As students progress through their Middle School years, they can also choose to study an art in more depth. The performing arts have at least two performance opportunities each year, while visual artists display their work throughout the Middle School building and publish in Voices and Visions: Art and Writing from the Middle School.
At the Upper School, students are required to complete the equivalent of three years of study in the arts, and most take art all four years—typically specializing in one or two areas. Visual arts courses teach art appreciation, drawing and painting, sculpture and digital and traditional photography, with honors and AP Studio Art available to qualified students. Dance classes include Dance Workshops and Choreography, and theater classes range from Acting to Improv. Music offerings include Concert Band, Jazz Band, Beginning Strings, String Orchestra and Advanced Strings, Concert Choir and Chamber Singers and Music Theory. As at the Middle School, Upper School students in the performing arts have at least two opportunities a year to perform for a large audience, and visual artists exhibit their work throughout the school and publish in Stylus, the Upper School literary magazine.