Studio Arts

The art program cultivates student growth and development in many facets of studio art and art appreciation. Students are introduced to a wide variety of media, and the program is designed around the belief that the experience and enjoyment of art is more likely to occur when there is structure and sequence. We view the creative process as a journey of unfolding and surprising developments that should be encouraged and exploited. Through the creative process we encourage exploration, creativity, and self-expression while promoting mastery of basic art skills and concepts. The sequence of lessons within each grade level is carefully planned to accommodate the interest spans, skills, and abilities of the students, as well as seasonal topics and school holidays. Lessons are varied to sustain student interest, yet organized so that concepts and skills introduced in one lesson can be reinforced and expanded upon in later lessons.

Performing Arts

The MTS performing arts department develops the whole child, stimulating each child's creativity, encouraging each student's self-expression and ability to communicate, challenging students to think and organize information sequentially, and, of course, developing skills in music and theatre arts. Over the course of a school year, MTS students have numerous opportunities to gain performance experience and develop confidence when presenting themselves to an audience.

The music curriculum for students in kindergarten–grade 3 focuses on developing their basic understanding of rhythm and pitch. Introductory classes in creative dramatics provide an outlet for further self-expression through role-play and improvisational theatre games. Weekly movement classes develop their locomotor skills, sense of spatial relationships, body awareness, and confidence.

Students in grades 4–5 gain valuable performing experience while putting on a large-scale musical theatre project, the MTS winter play. Cast in supporting roles, fourth graders have their first experience with a challenging theatrical production, while fifth-grade students go through the audition and rehearsal process for the first time. In addition to developing projection, memorization, and dramatic interpretation skills, students learn to use props and costumes effectively, to stay in character while on stage, and to build a relationship with the audience.

The music curriculum for grades 6–8 is designed to increase the knowledge of and exposure to a wide variety of music, to expand the scope of their musical interest, and to deepen the social studies curriculum. Students are introduced to music of the Australian Aborigines, the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, and various Middle Eastern and Asian cultures. They also study the history of Western music, from the Medieval period through the twentieth century. Through the study of their own musical heritage, along with the musical traditions of various cultures, students acquire a broader understanding of cultural diversity and its importance in developing civilization as a whole.

MTS produces a spring musical, open to students in grades 6–8 by audition (with priority given to eighth grade students when casting lead roles). Students in grades 4–8 may participate in the instrumental music program, which involves both individual private lessons and three bands (Junior Band, MTS Concert Band, and Jazz Band). Additionally, students in grades 6–8 may participate in many different performing arts groups, including the MTS Chorus, the Boys' Dance Ensemble, the Girls' Dance Ensemble, the Vocal Ensemble, and Scene Study. Weekly rehearsals are held during enrichment periods on Thursdays and after school, preparing students for the Fall and Spring concerts.

Performing & Studio Arts Faculty