• Arts
A Place for Expression and Growth
Nick Hitchens, Director of Arts

The Stone Ridge Arts Department is flourishing! Students in all divisions are benefiting from our robust and challenging arts curriculum, reinforced by the new state-of-the-art Mater Center. Through dynamic programming in visual art, drama, chorus, band, and orchestra, our students get access to a top-notch curriculum led by a world-class group of instructors. Stone Ridge Arts is a space where students explore their passions and develop critical technical and conceptual skills at every age—especially in the middle years. Our Middle School arts programs are prime to encourage students to think critically and take risks as they naturally find their place in an ever-changing world.

Students look at a roll of developed film.

Visual Arts

Middle School students in visual art focus on building skill and proficiency in the fundamentals of Art while learning new processes, materials, and artists. Students are also given project objectives and expected to make artistic decisions about the subject matter. The curriculum is based on the creative process and building studio habits while fostering independence and encouraging personal voice. Through sketchbook work, students learn that there are never any mistakes and value quality over quantity. Practice and process play a vital role in the artistic development of adolescents and are emphasized as students explore their individuality and personal voice through the process of self-expression.

students painting a stage prop


In Middle School drama, students play various improvisational games emphasizing the importance of communicating with eye contact and active listening, as well as the uses for non-verbal communication. Students also engage in ensemble-building games, focusing on the success of the group rather than the individual. When students end an area of study, they reflect on their strengths in collaboration and identify growth areas. Throughout all their work with drama, students navigate how to collaborate best while bal- ancing having their voice in the product and blending their ideas with others’ ideas. Whether performing solo on stage or co-producing and acting in scenes with their classmates, students acclimate to taking risks at every level.

students playing the flute

Music, Band & Orchestra

Middle School music, band, and orchestra students begin their exploration of music by experimenting with various instruments, including their voice. Through skill- building and targeted lessons on technique, students learn the expectations of ensemble work, building community along the way. Students then delve deeper into playing as an ensemble, playing harmony and multi-part arrangements. By the end of their Middle School experience, music students are well equipped with the know-how and expertise they will need to succeed in future music programs.

With a diverse range of opportunities for students to develop and share their unique gifts within the Arts at Stone Ridge, there is much to be excited about in the Stone Ridge arts department.