Q: What makes an excellent K-12 fine arts program?
A: “A great fine arts program has a dynamic balance consisting of professional faculty, quality resources and a solid curriculum that’s supported by administration and parents,” says Jennifer Shaw, department chair of fine arts and a music teacher at Lake Ridge Academy. “When you value and encourage student creativity over replication, it results in a schoolwide culture that really appreciates and embraces the arts. Lower school students that I teach begin learning music through an all-encompassing approach that ultimately prepares them for all performing arts opportunities in the middle and high school, which could include choir, string orchestra, jazz band or musical theater. Because it’s such a skill-based curriculum, they can go on whatever one of those paths they may choose and be ultimately ready for it.”