The Performing Arts Department puts the Breck mission into action by providing students the opportunity for self-expression, creativity, social interaction, collaboration and self-discipline. As the arts engage the whole person – the intellect, heart, spirit and body - so our Arts faculty is committed to knowing students as they are and to evaluating progress relative to each individual. The emphasis is on the process. Performances are designed to be guided extensions of what happens in the classroom. Department members are working artists who have received specialized training and are committed to the professional model in educating our students. They provide a supportive environment in which everyone feels safe to explore, practice and perform. The ultimate goal is to instill a life-long commitment to the arts and to open the imagination in challenging, joyful and even daring ways.
Exposure to the performing arts enriches and delights children at each stage of development. There is a rich comprehensive music curriculum offered where students’ skills are nurtured and built as they become artistic, literate musicians engaged in music that fosters creativity, play, and exploration. Master teachers of Orff Schulwerk, Kodaly and Dalcroze combine an innovative variety of approaches in music instruction. Students in preschool attend music class once every three days and students in kindergarten through fourth grade attend every other day. Fourth grade students have the exciting opportunity to participate in instrumental classes in which they can experience first-hand playing band and string instruments.
Energy and enthusiasm guide Middle School students as they begin to self select performing arts that are of particular personal interest. Our teachers are gifted artists in their own right and help cultivate students’ creativity and artistic growth. Beginning to advanced opportunities exist in year-long courses of Band, Strings, Chamber Singers and Dance. Semester offerings include Drama, Choir, World Music, Dance, Stagecraft/Technical Theater and Digital Music. The JazzMob is an extracurricular offering to band students who are particularly interested in jazz. Every spring over 50 students dive into a full production of a musical performed in the 450-seat Cargill Theater.
The arts engage our highest faculties of listening, imagination and reasoning. In the Upper School passion inspires joy in focused work and the best sort of discipline - that which is self-motivated. Elective courses include Dance I & II, and a more advanced Dance Repertory course. Acting I & II are offered along with a service-oriented course, “Performance and Social Change” which can be repeated multiple times. The Breck Chamber Players provides opportunities for more advanced string players while the Intermediate Orchestra offers an opportunity for those students who want to continue playing in orchestra in a less demanding setting. Advanced brass, wind and percussion players have the opportunity to perform with the Symphonic Winds/Jazz Band. Singers can join Concert Choir or audition for Breck Singers and plenty of opportunities abound for students to explore Theatrical Design and Theatrical Production. A diverse and eclectic offering of extracurricular opportunities for developing individual talents include Fall Dramas, US Musical, Breckappella and Breck Bowties (a cappella ensembles), Theater Improv and Theater Tech.