6 Wonderful Arts Programs For Creative Students

Creativity and self-expression may not be core subjects in schools, but giving kids an artistic outlet is vital for their development as students and individuals. Outside the classroom, a large number of groups have taken on this responsibility, offering opportunities in music, performance, and the arts. Here, in no particular order, is a selection of established programs for creative students.

Coming in at #1 is Midori & Friends. With roots going back to 1992, this organization, formed by violinist and activist Midori Goto, provides musical education to students in more than seventy schools across New York City. Since its founding, it has served more than 250,000 students.

Through workshops, concerts, camps, and other programs, Midori & Friends strives to combine high-quality musical education with the development of core life values. It teams up with schools and communities that have traditionally been underserved in the arts, delivering long-term, sequential programs that expose students to new instruments, singing techniques, and music traditions from different cultures.

In the #2 spot is School of Rock, a multi-location music education program. With franchises across the United States and in countries from Peru to Australia, this company runs in-person and online music instruction for people of all ages and skill levels. Its lessons incorporate specialized performance-based teaching techniques, in areas such as guitar, drums, singing, and keyboard and piano.

School of Rock's offerings are varied and flexible, with opportunities in songwriting, performance, and the fundamentals of music. Specific programs include House Band, which helps students under eighteen establish themselves as gigging musicians in their communities, as well as the Adult Program, which works with older individuals who want to improve their musical proficiency. School of Rock also runs workshops and summer camps in numerous locations.

At #3 is the Philadelphia International Music Festival. Operating on the grounds of Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, this summer program enables students from the United States and all around the world to immerse themselves in music education and performance training. Attendees receive instruction from members of The Philadelphia Orchestra.

PIMF offers several individualized programs, which run the gamut from symphony orchestra and piano studies to college audition preparation and chamber music. These programs feature a variety of edifying elements, including private lessons, master classes, faculty recitals, and daily electives. PIMF also takes students on day trips to Ocean City, New Jersey, and the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

Coming in at #4 is Greenwich House. Based in New York City, this organization was founded in 1902, initially to help the area's immigrants acclimate to life in a new country. Since then, it has expanded its scope and populations served considerably, offering health and senior services, as well as arts education and social programs for young people.

At Greenwich House, learning opportunities for children and adolescents abound. This organization operates Barrow Street Nursery School, a progressive institution powered by collaboratively designed learning experiences. In addition, its Greenwich House Music School offers group classes and private instruction, both of which work with children from a young age. Elsewhere, this nonprofit runs its own youth center, which features a summer arts camp, a student enrichment program, and extracurricular classes.

In the #5 spot is Arts Garage, which is based in Delray Beach, Florida. A diverse and multicultural organization, this nonprofit hosts visual and performing arts experiences, connecting the local community with emerging and established artists. To this end, it offers performance opportunities for musical acts, comedians, poets, and other artists.

Arts Garage runs the Grassroots Gallery, a space that promotes the work of local artists and has, in the past, featured exhibitions on gratitude, race and sexuality, and domestic life. Elsewhere, it provides educational opportunities for kids and adults. Its classes center on things like painting, salsa dancing, acting, and creative movement.

Last but not least, at #6 is British Youth Music Theatre. Working across the United Kingdom and Ireland, B.Y.M.T. focuses its efforts on performance arts education, with the goal of creating new theatrical acts. Drawing on the expertise of industry professionals, it provides training and other opportunities to young creatives, particularly in the areas of singing, acting, dancing, and music.

In support of its mission, B.Y.M.T. runs several short-term musical theatre camps for young people. These camps offer intensive training to participants, many of whom later audition to perform in one of B.Y.M.T.'s summer musical productions. This organization also has options for those looking to gain experience in backstage roles, with courses covering stage management, lighting, and props and costumes.