Participation in the arts is an extremely important part of the ASMS experience. We recognize that when we dedicate school time to both visual and performing arts, we foster an environment that allows students to develop a desire to learn, a facility with educated opinion, and an aptitude to innovate. From our instrumental and choral programs, to our visual arts classes and drama club, our students have access to a broad range of creative and cultural experiences that enrich their learning and their lives.
Students at ASMS take visual art classes each year, providing them with a solid foundation of skills and knowledge. Teaching for artistic behavior (TAB) is a teaching style that exemplifies how artists work in the "real world". Academic artists choose their subject, media, and process to develop their art skills and explore their personal interests. Students, analyze, and reflect on their making process and final artworks with the teacher, their peers, and most importantly, themselves. The artistic process is the most critical artifact of student learning. TAB classrooms allow students to work collaboratively as an arts community, they are respected as artists and their aesthetics will be honored.The artistic accomplishments of our students have been recognized at regional art exhibitions and in national publications.
We have an exceptional music program which requires that all students participate in concert band and chorus. Students receive a private instrument lesson weekly as part of regularly scheduled classes. Our students and faculty prepare 3 concerts per year (fall, spring, and graduation) with a variety of musical genres and several groups performing including our jazz and chorus clubs. In addition to our concert schedule, ASMS provides students with a number of opportunities to showcase their musical talents:
ASMS Solo Festival
In April, all ASMS students participate in the Instrumental Solo Festival. Students prepare a solo (at a level appropriate to their skill), play scales, and sightread for professional musician evaluators. The evaluation uses rubrics based on the ASMS music benchmarks and standards.
Mansfield University Music Trip
Students rehearse side by side with the Concert Choir and Wind Ensemble of Mansfield University and participate in 'master classes' with music students and faculty. This is a very fun Saturday in March for all of our students and culminates in a social and recreational activity.
NYSSMA Solo Festival
Students interested in applying for NYSSMA Area All State ensembles must have a NYSSMA solo rating in order to be considered. Students perform a solo, scales or rudiments (instrumental), and will sightread a short musical piece for that evaluation. The NYSSMA Solo Festival takes place in April.
NYSSMA Area All State
Students (7th and 8th grade) who have received a NYSSMA solo rating from the previous April may apply to be considered for participation in the NYSSMA Area All State ensembles. The application process occurs in the first two weeks of September.
In lieu of an activity period, students may choose to participate in a dramatic production which can take the form of a play or a musical depending on the number of participants, the experience level of our actors, and the judgement of the director. Each spring, ASMS students perform wonderful works of theater designed to accommodate the skills and talents of new and experienced actors. Opportunities for students interested in the technical aspects of production are also available. Shows have included "Seusspeare: Meets the Macbeths," "The Purple Pancake Skit," "The Ransom of Emily Jane," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Mary Poppins Jr.." While most of the preparations for these productions take place during Activity Period, some after school time is necessary as the performance date approaches.