A child educated at Muscota is provided instruction and active engagement in all areas of human development. Along with academic achievement and building successful social relationships, children have regular experiences in three of the arts disciplines: visual arts, music and drama.
The arts are not just additional subjects for the child "to learn" but rather important avenues of expression of how a child understands the larger world. Arts, at the service of other studies, can highlight and reinforce work in other subjects: the mural of the community for social studies integration, writing plays for literacy, and studying metre and rhythm for math and patterning. The arts also create opportunities to explore the self and nurture each child's social and emotional development. An active arts program provides a common ground to break down racial stereotypes and prejudices by providing a multicultural outlet. Children with specific talents and/or learning or emotional needs have been shown to find their voices through the arts, often in ways that were not seen in more traditional classroom work. Having the input of the arts teachers as another perspective in how every child functions in school and group settings adds a more complete dimension to our assessments, evaluations and plans for each child.
All Muscota students receive weekly classes in each arts discipline. There are regular presentations at group functions (Candlelight Night, Town Meeting) and occasionally more formal performances in the older grades. Individual classrooms work in collaboration with the Joyce Theater to give exposure to dance. Teaching artists from the Salvadori Center bring architecture and engineering into the classrooms to teach math, physics, and problem-solving skills. Our music program is designed in conjunction with Carnegie Hall's Educational outreach programs that bring instruments into the classroom. Arts work, whether whole class or small group, is available to all interested children; there are no competitive auditions to take part. After school programs are added as grant opportunities arise, including Parents As Arts Partners and Fly By Night Dance Theater.
The Parents' Association made it a goal of the 2010-11 year to increase the quantity and quality of music instruction. A committee of parents and teachers drew up a vision for how to implement a program without the funding for a dedicated teacher. A draft is attached here in pdf form.
The MNS tradition continues!!!! This year we submitted 32 original plays to the Young Playwright's Inc. Write A Play! NYC playwriting competition.
We won 1 of the 3 main awards for Carmen Kunkel's play, "Nilap and the Sausage Factory."
We won 2 finalist awards:
Ashton Jimenez and Nicolas Castillo's play, "The Ultimate Gambling Game"
Finlay Sklar and Zane Albis-Burdige's play, "Your Last Halloween"
Carmen's play was the only one submitted to the YPI NATIONAL competition and she won an Honorable Mention!!!!!
50 of 115 plays submitted were written by MNS 1st-5th graders AND we received 6 of the 12 awards! The 2011 Writopia Lab's Best Playwright's Festival took place at the June Havoc Theatre in NYC on Sunday May 22nd.
In the category of Kids' Long Plays we won honorable mentions for:
"THE PROBLEM AT THE PARTY" by Sitara Gale (Lauren & Marissa's class)
"MAD SCIENTIST CREATION" by Bodhi Liveright, Paul Bachler, Jubair Kaiyum and Luna Reyes (Becky & Toby's class)
In the Kids' Short Plays category, we won 1st place for:
"THE PRESIDENT'S IPHONE" by Nicolas Flores, Ayleen Zenon, Gabrimelly Acevedo, Alan Pineda and Sarah Nau (Louisa's class).
This play was performed by professional actors too.
3 honorable mentions for:
"SNOW DAY DISASTER" by Aidan Zika, Sylvia Johnson, Lyanna Brenton, Chassidy Morales and Caden Burton (Victoria's class)
"TRAGIC MAGIC" by Mia Krstovska-Guerrero, Casey Cruz and Elona Hoffeld (Kathy's class)
"THE MAGIC WRITER'S NOTEBOOK" by Liliana Peeler, Kaitlyn Pacheco, Justin Medina, Dominick Torres Anisha Reyes (Lesia's class) with the help of 5th grade playwright mentor, Nicolas Castillo (Kathy's class)
Muscota is so proud of our young playwrights! Yippie!!!!!!