Manhattan Country School’s music curriculum supports children’s natural love of music. In the 4-5s through 7-8s, class time is given equally to singing and movement. Children progress from unison singing to rounds and four-part harmony. The use of rhythm instruments develops skills in improvisation and accompaniment. The 8-9s through eighth grade have choral singing and are conducted by a choral director with the assistance of a professional accompanist. The 8-9s and 9-10s take recorder as well.
The visual arts program stresses the individual, imaginative and artistic potential of each child and encourages the development of self-confidence, self-discovery and self-expression. Activities include drawing, painting, clay, collage, printmaking, fabric arts and other crafts. An art specialist, based in the art room, combines a structured approach with encouragement of free expression. Art instruction, however, is not confined to the art room; the art teacher collaborates on classroom projects, and students visit museums. Backdrops for plays, watercolors depicting trips to the Farm or nearby gardens, and sculptures relating to cultural and current events are among the projects widely displayed around the school.
Students in the 5-6s through sixth grade attend art classes in half groups once a week. Art is one of the required electives for seventh- and eighth-graders. Those applying to specialized art high schools are given additional individual guidance and instruction in preparing their portfolios.