The arts are a key element of Vail Mountain School’s college preparatory education. The visual arts department is driven by the philosophy that creative capacities, when enhanced by the arts, help students take risks, formulate new ways of representing thoughts, become more innovative, and have more confidence in assessing various situations with an open mind. The art department has developed a program rich in production and appreciation of art. Knowledge of art history is central to the K-8 curriculum, which incorporates materials and techniques in a variety of media and encourages originality and creative problem-solving skills.
The essence of the performing arts program lies in the development of individual self-worth, discipline, and communication skills, as well as technical and performance skills. Performing Arts classes allow students to choose their course of study through instrumental, vocal, and theatre elective options. The performance-based classes focus on fine tuning skills and furthering artistic expression, while the exploratory classes are designed to capture an interest in the arts.In lower school, students develop their vocal skills, they learn to play the recorder, they spend a year playing a band instrument, and they have the opportunity to participate in Lower School Chorus. As students progress through their middle and upper school years, they can participate in Beginning Band, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Choir, Music Appreciation, Guitar, Acting, and/or Theater Tech. Many of these ensembles travel to perform for other schools, community events, and regional festivals and competitions. Various elective offerings and after school activities – such as Jazz Ensemble, plays, and musical productions – are available to all students.