From the Director of Arts...
The Arts at Friends Academy are vibrant and students engage in all we have to offer with enthusiasm, curiosity and dedication. We offer programming in Music, Visual Arts, Digital Arts, Theater, and Dance, beginning with our youngest students in Early Childhood through 8th grade, shifting to electives in the Upper School and culminating in challenging college preparatory programs for our 11th and 12th graders. Each program area provides a vertical curriculum informed by current best practices in the field and challenges students to excel. The Arts faculty works closely together to share resources, to support programming in the different areas, and to create opportunities for students to engage in a variety of artistic experiences both inside and outside the classroom.
We embrace our Quaker values as we strive to meet every student where they are, and to provide them with the inspiration, techniques, and experiences necessary to discover and express their inner light. We value the individual and the infinite possibilities of the individual. We seek to help students understand who they are and what they are capable of, and help them build the confidence to carry their voice into the world.
All of our classes are largely experiential. Students are constantly engaged in the process of making art -- whether that is making music, creating works in visual art, performing scenes or dancing. There is a strong emphasis on developing skills and techniques. As students approach new concepts or techniques, we provide context by introducing related history, literature, and critical analysis.
The Arts Faculty teaches cross-divisionally, creating developmentally appropriate curriculum that allows each student to make discoveries, explore and develop their creative potential. By problem-solving and working through mistakes, students gain confidence and perseverance in their artistic and non-artistic endeavors. Participation in ensembles, casts, group projects, and group critiques teach students to work collaboratively, listen to others, and be respectful of other voices in a group.
A tremendous benefit of our cross-divisional work is that we are able to create opportunities for students of multiple ages to work with one another, such as the collaborations between Upper School and Lower School art classes, mentorship between Upper School and Middle School students in the Middle School Play, the occasional all-school musical, and the Honors Concert, which invites our most advanced musicians from all three divisions to perform.
Opportunities exist in all three divisions for students to pursue their interests outside the classroom. These include SLAM (Student Leaders and Musicians), Middle School Jazz Band, Middle School and Upper School Theatrical Productions, Trips and Travel Opportunities, the three divisional Honors Concert, and the Upper School Honors Arts Program.
The arts come alive at Friends Academy and offer each student a unique and exciting experience as they grow, find their passion and develop their own voice.
- Tracey Foster