C.C.S.D. Fine Arts Department
C.C.S.D. Fine Arts Department
Public schools play a large role in the world of the arts. Arts educators are constantly exploring and analyzing the creative process and what commonalities artists have. They bring this knowledge to all children, making connections between the arts and other areas of learning. Opening up kids to the arts paves the way for future creativity and gives children the tools to start down the path of artistic freedom. Clarkstown offers its students comprehensive instruction in the arts from kindergarten through the twelfth grade. All art and music teachers are certified in their respective fields. The District not only gives its students the opportunity to study the arts, it also encourages excellence in these areas. The recognition and incorporation of the arts in students’ lives at school validates their learning and accomplishments in these areas.
In elementary school, all students study both art and music, experiencing curricula based on the 2017 Learning Standards of the Arts put out by the NY State Education Department. In addition, all third graders study recorder and fourth and fifth graders can choose to learn either a band or orchestral instrument. Each elementary school has its own marching and concert bands. All upper graders perform in chorus and many are involved in acting and in producing musicals. Outstanding musicians can participate in All-County festivals and NYSSMA Solo Ratings. Many schools perform for local nursing homes, hospitals, and Veterans’ groups. Art students have the opportunity of displaying their work in many area shows and in the Chestnut Grove Art Gallery.
Middle school students all participate in the many art and music classes and activities at that level. In addition to the General Music classes given, there are performance opportunities for both beginning and more advanced musicians. Many Middle Level musicians also perform in the All-County festivals and NYSSMA Solo Ratings. All students study art and some have the chance to take the more advanced Studio Art classes. The Middle School hosts its own Art Show to showcase talent in fine arts.
Both Senior High Schools offer Clarkstown students a wide range of experiences in the arts. Students may explore Band, Chorus, Orchestra, Jazz Band, Troubadours, Chamber Music, Guitar (SHS), Music Technology (NHS), TV and Video Production, Photography, Studio Art, Painting, Ceramics, Sculpture, Advanced Painting and Drawing, as well as many AP and IB classes. Many Clarkstown students participate in the All-County and All-State festivals, as well as the NYSSMA Solo Ratings. Both schools produce full-scale theatrical presentations each year and all teachers in the arts share their programs with the community in Clarkstown.
C.C.S.D. has recognized that the arts should be a part of the core curriculum, along with other challenging subject matter. We applauded them for recognizing the value of arts education in preparing our students for full and productive lives.
For many years the Clarkstown Central School district has been named as one of the Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation, and we are happy to once again be awarded this distinction for 2021! This award recognizes all of the excellent music educators, parents, administrators and community members who help make Clarkstown one of the Best Communities for Music Education. Please check the links on the left side of this page to learn more about the many fine arts and music activities taking place in each of our schools!
Elizabeth vonWurmb, Ph.D.
K-12 Coordinator of Arts, Music and Library Services