Art, Music & Drama

Schalmont offers outstanding music and arts opportunities for our students to enjoy and express themselves creatively and explore possible career choices.


Visual arts play a vital role in a child’s education throughout their school years at Schalmont

Elementary Art Curriculum

Students in kindergarten through 5th grade explore various materials and techniques, which enables students to actively engage in the creative art making process.

Throughout each year students are introduced to a range of artists, art movements and key moments in history based on their grade level. Students experiment and become familiar with key art elements and principles to build a strong foundation for their future years.

Primarily in the younger grades, additional time is spent focusing on fine motor skills and experimentation with hands-on activities. Each art work gives students ample opportunities to make choices, think critically, problem solve and enjoy various fun experiences that art allows. Students also are encouraged to take risks, make mistakes and learn from them in order to build determination and confidence.

All lessons are created with the students in mind and based on the New York State Visual Art Standards.

Middle School Art Curriculum

Students in grades 6-8 attend art class every day for 10 weeks each year.

Each consecutive year reinforces, refines and builds upon prior studio art experience. Students use a wide variety of materials to create two and three dimensional projects with constant reference to examination and understanding of the elements and principles of design.

Artwork produced by students are displayed in the hallways around the building, on a gallery wall in the library and regional art shows. Students also create a portfolio of work available on an online student art gallery

Students are regularly exposed to works of both historical and contemporary artists, art movements and ideas, and how the work they do in the classroom relates to the larger art world of ideas and images. Verbal and written art criticisms are conducted to describe, analyze, interpret and evaluate a variety of artworks.

High School Art

At Schalmont High School, courses are available for students with an interest in majoring in art, as well as for those students desiring to take one or two introductory courses in the field. See the Curriculum and Planning Guide on the High School webpage for details about available courses.

Schalmont Music, Band and Choral Programs

Music education is an integral part of a child’s education. It provides an avenue for children to express themselves and their emotions in a way that only music can. Music enforces a higher level of thinking and reasoning that improves children’s capacity to learn and comprehend.

Grades K-4 Music Program

At Jefferson Elementary School, children in grades 1- 3 have music class for 30 minutes twice a week. At the kindergarten level, they have music once a week. Children learn the language of music through the playing of Orff instruments, recorders (beginning in 3rd grade), active movement and singing songs using proper vocal techniques.

Throughout the school year, there are various opportunities for children to perform within their own building and in the community. The 4th Grade Chorus provides an opportunity for students to perform as a group and meets once a week during the school day.

Middle School Music Program

The Middle School program provides many opportunities for the individual growth of each student. It is focused on offering experiences that bring students joy and excitement in the creative art of music. The emphasis of the program is placed on active participation in playing instruments, singing, acting and creating new written music.

All 5th graders participate in music class and chorus. Both classes meet once a week for 45 minutes each.

General music is provided to students in grades 6 and 7 every day in a 10-week block. General music is provided to all 8th grade every other day in a 20-week block.

Sixth graders work on using their vocal singing properly, playing recorders, working with the keyboards in the classroom and developing further the language of music. In 7th grade, students continue this learning along with writing and creating music. In 8th grade, students continue their knowledge of music and gain a further understanding of its workings by learning about the history of music.

Along with general music, there are various performing groups Middle School students can join. The instrumental and choral performing groups provide students an opportunity to perform in a concert at least three times throughout the school year.

The groups in the Middle School are: 5th Grade Chorus, 5th Grade Band, 6th Grade Chorus, 6th Grade Band, 7th Grade Chorus, 7th Grade Band, 8th Grade Chorus, 8th Grade Band, Jazz Band, and a group called Nothing But Treble.

Schalmont High School Music Program

At the high school level, there are four performing groups that meet every day for one class period:

  • High School Chorus
  • Concert Choir (students can audition for the group in the spring)
  • High School Concert Band
  • Wind Ensemble (students can audition for the group in the spring)

Each student involved in the instrumental program receives a lesson once a week from the band director. All students in the Concert Choir receive a group vocal lesson once a week. Along with these performing groups, Schalmont also offers a Music Theory course that is college-accredited through the University at Albany.

The Concert Choir and Wind Ensemble groups take part in the NYSSMA Majors competition in the spring. Many of our High School students participate in the NYSSMA solo competitions in the spring as well. A number of our students also participate in the Area All-State and All-State performances held each year. Each of our performing groups perform in four concerts a year, along with other performances in the community.

Schalmont also has a chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society at the school.

Throughout the year, our students are recognized in various activities in the community, including the Empire State Youth Orchestra and singing in the Melodies of Christmas concert at Proctors Theater.

Marching Band and Color Guard

The Schalmont Marching Band & Color Guard is made up of students from grade 9-12. Their season takes them through the whole year with most of their work happening in the fall and spring. The Band & Color Guard have marched in the Rotterdam Community Day Parade, the Columbus Day Parade, the Veterans Day Parade, the Schenectady Holiday Parade, the Scotia Parade and the Rotterdam Parade. This band performs at Homecoming and can be seen at some football games.

Schalmont Drama Programs

The Schalmont High School Drama Club provides theatrical exposure and experiences for students. The club produces at least two full-length theatrical productions each school year. These productions teach students to perform the acting parts, design and build the sets for the productions, provide technical support before and during the show, design and gather costuming, produce publicity and sell tickets to the general public.