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Fine and Performing Arts
General Information


Natick Public Schools Department of Fine & Performing Arts
Steve Miller
Director of Fine & Performing Arts K-12
508-647-6400 ext. 1701
smiller@natickps.org

Welcome to the Fine and Performing Arts page of the Natick Public Schools website.  Like many school districts throughout the Commonwealth, Natick Public Schools strives to provide every advantage in arts education that our resources will allow.

MISSION STATEMENT

The Natick Public Schools' Fine and Performing Art teachers strive to empower their students. Students are encouraged through creative expression to develop an enduring appreciation for the Arts.  Through process orientated experiences in the Fine and Performing Arts students enrich their cultural awareness, engage higher-level thinking skills, expand creativity, and discover their innermost self. To this end, the Natick Public Schools Fine and Performing Arts Department is focused on and dedicated to making the arts accessible and relevant to all students while fostering excellence in the pursuit of their creative endeavors.

  • Accessible:  The Arts invite both independent and collaborative work and are open to all who wish to participate.
  • Relevant:  The Arts are relevant. The Arts help produce informed, responsible and productive citizens by promoting self-reflection, social understanding and cultural acceptance. The Arts teach vital ways of seeing, imagining, inventing and thinking.
  • Excellence: Though we believe the Arts are about acceptance and accessibility, the Arts are also about the pursuit of excellence.  This pursuit of excellence in the Arts requires self-discipline.  This kind of self-discipline celebrates and rewards effort as artists strive to improve their craft. The pursuit and study of the Arts foster positive character development in the areas of perseverance, responsibility, determination and willingness to accept challenges.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
In our elementary schools, students receive one 40-minute lesson per week in general music and visual art. Fourth grade students participate in a weekly chorus class and they also have an opportunity to participate in the Instrumental Music Program, a voluntary, fee-based enrichment program that will prepare students for the band elective available to them in middle and high school.  Band lessons are offered once per week in 30-minute, small group lessons during the school day.  Additionally, starting in mid-October each year, the band students gather at their individual schools one morning per week before school for a band rehearsal/performance program.  Each elementary school will host a band concert for parents in December.  There is an all-town 4th grade band concert held at Natick High School in June.  To learn more about the elementary band program go to the Instrumental Music Program page on this website (Click Here).  Visual art made by students in grades K-4 is regularly exhibited throughout each elementary school. The annual student art exhibit held at the Morse Institute Library during the month of May is a capstone exhibit featuring every fourth grade student in our district.

MIDDLE SCHOOLS
In middle school students will participate in a variety of arts curricular arts programs.  Students may elect to continue with band or chorus classes throughout the school year and many students remain in band or chorus during their four years at the middle school level.  In addition, students will receive one trimester per year of visual art and both middle schools offer general music to students in grades 5 & 6. Emerging programs at both middle schools include drama. At Kennedy Middle School, students in grades 5-6 and 8 receive one trimester of drama. While at Wilson Middle School, students in grades 7 & 8  can choose to participate in the VAP program (Video, Art, Performance) in lieu of band or chorus.  In addition to the curricular opportunities in middle school, each middle school offers a variety of extra-curricular opportunities including musical theatre productions, art clubs, specialty chorus, and jazz band.  Students who participate in band are encouraged to continue to take instrumental lessons after school (see Instrumental Music Program page - click here).  And students in 7th and 8th grade are encouraged to participate in the Jr. District instrumental and choral festival auditions, an opportunity for young musicians to have an individual audition and adjudication for inclusion in the Eastern District Music Festival sponsored by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association.  Band and chorus groups also have an opportunity to participate in other music festivals at the discretion of their music teachers.  An annual art exhibit, in conjunction with the high school, takes place during the month of April at the Morse Institute Library featuring select artworks from students in grades 5-8.

HIGH SCHOOL
Natick High School students have many opportunities to participate in arts electives as well as a variety of extra curricular programs and activities.  Students interested in visual art may enroll in a comprehensive sequence of electives from Introduction to Art, Drawing/Painting, Ceramics/Sculpture, Honors Portfolio, and AP Studio Art class. An annual art exhibit, in conjunction with the middle schools, takes place during the month of April at the Morse Institute Library featuring select artworks from students in grades 9-12 and NHS students regularly enter their work in the Boston Globe Scholastic Art competition, a state and national program for middle and high school students.  Students may also elect to continue in choral or instrumental rehearsal/performance classes such as Concert Choir or Symphonic Band, both offering an Honors designation, and students who desire to play an instrument as well as sing, may be able to participate in Jazz Band, Chamber Singers, or the Men's Vocal Ensemble, which are scheduled to meet 1 to 3 days a week immediately after the regular school day.  Students enrolled in the Honors Music Program perform a series of Honors Recitals throughout the year held at the Morse Institute Library.  Instrumental students also have an opportunity to perform in the Pep Band during football season, the Pit Orchestra for the annual fall musical theatre production, as well as marching in local parades.  Music students are also encouraged to audition for the Jr. District Festival (9th grade) or the Sr. District Festival with some students advancing on to the All-State Music Festival. Band and chorus groups also have an opportunity to participate in other music festivals in Massachusetts and out of state at the discretion of their music teachers.  Theatre electives are emerging at NHS with Theatre GSS (Games, Script Writing, and Scene Work) and Theatre PEI (Performance, Improv, and Theatre Exercises.)  Two semester courses that may be repeated for additional credit. Students may also participate in annual fall musical and spring theatre productions, art club, and dance club.

Please look forward to utilizing the district website and the Arts Department page as your source for all aspects of the Fine & Performing Arts Department grades K-12 as well as the Arts & Cultural Calendar for listings of student and guest performances and arts events including a wide range of guest artist programs sponsored by the Natick Cultural Arts Council. 


Please feel free to contact me at anytime with your comments, suggestions, or any other feedback you might have about arts education in the Natick Public Schools.  My office is located at Natick High School, room M77.