The Arts at Friends School
Friends School of Minnesota believes that the opportunity to respond to, create, and perform in the arts is essential to the development of the whole person. Education includes learning through music, drama, dance, and visual arts, as well as learning to enjoy those disciplines for their own sake. We also believe the arts are an integral part of our humanity and our cultural history; therefore, the arts are an integral part of our school’s culture and our students’ personal and social development.
Currently, students have art and music with a specialist one to two days a week. Students study drama with their classroom or core teachers. For example, 3rd-4th grade classrooms join together for a two week drama unit during which they write, produce and perform an original play.
We continually explore creative ways to make the arts vibrant and meaningful to students, and to expose them to as wide a range of arts experiences as possible within a school of our size. At each grade level, the arts (visual arts, drama, movement, music, poetry, and literature) are used as ways of learning as well as ways of expressing what has been learned. Children perform plays, sing, write poetry, create collages, design models, paint, sew, sculpt with clay ,and draw as part of their inquiry process and in response to themes they are studying in the classroom.
Special projects and visiting artists provide additional enrichment experiences to the children. Recent artists-in-residences have offered children the chance to learn songwriting, drumming, and mural painting from working artists. Often arts residencies have a multicultural focus.
Performance opportunities happen throughout the year, ranging from the annual all-school Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration, to informal plays performed for parents or classmates. Many students also choose to participate in our after school music program or drama clubs and FSM's summer programs.