Visual Arts, Music & Theater

At Hillside Montessori, we place tremendous value on the arts. Students begin participating in music lessons at the age of 18 months and progress from general music to chorus, percussion ensemble, and rock band. Visual arts are part of the classroom curriculum from their earliest years as well, and students begin formal art lessons in the first grade. Our theatre program engages students in Kindergarten – 8th grade in full-length theatrical productions.

Visual Arts

At Hillside Montessori, our visual art class focuses on the process, and encourages the child to experience the art on their own terms. Art in itself is a form of creative exploration, and we want to nurture the tendency towards creativity that dwells within each child.

In art, we strive to nurture a child’s creative abilities and teach them to develop “…an eye that sees, a hand that obeys, and a soul that feels,” in the words of Dr. Maria Montessori.
When it comes to art, we focus more on the process rather than the product. It is the process, or the journey, that is important to the child. Children work to develop themselves, and the process of creating an original artwork, or using a new technique or medium, is to experience the process of creating something for oneself.

Each class is built on a solid foundation of studying new techniques, utilizing an ever-growing collection of mediums, and learning about art movements and the artists that have driven those movements. Taking experience from one another, we foster a community of welcoming and learning minds that are eager to learn from and to teach one another.


The theatre program at Hillside Montessori school is truly unique.

Theatre is not treated as an elective or an extra-curricular activity. Rather, every student is encouraged to participate either on stage, backstage or both. Theatrical productions are rehearsed, and master classes are given as part of the regular school day with the result being that theatre and the performing arts are recognized as essential elements in a student’s education and life experience.

Mr. Tim and Ms. Brenda’s teaching is a product of long professional careers in the theatre, and they structure classes and rehearsals as such. This exposure enables students to learn lessons in discipline, teamwork, creativity, resilience, and above all, empathy.


General Music classes are offered to Toddlers, Primary, and Lower Elementary classes. We begin with learning about high and low sounds, identifying note names, recognizing loud vs. quiet sounds, and listening to new genres of music. We learn how to feel music through movement by using scarves, parachutes, or dancing around the room. Students have the opportunity to participate in our monthly Music Performance Day, performing any songs we worked on during the previous month. Our goal is to create an environment where students will have a life-long appreciation for music through playing instruments, listening, or singing.

The Percussion Ensemble program at Hillside Montessori school is a weekly performance-based class which emphasizes introductory music reading, collaborative musical performance, rudimental theory, and percussive technique. The Hillside Montessori Percussion Ensemble functions similarly to a high school or college drumline, and serves as an excellent starting point to further participation in musical performance programs. Students will gain an understanding of a variety of percussion instruments including: snare drum, bass drum, tenors (roto toms) and marching cymbals. Each group works to cooperate on unique cadence performances which occur several times per year. In addition, students in the percussion ensemble program are taught the mechanics of the different percussion instruments and hardware.

Unlike conventional marching band or concert band, Rock Band implements all the
contemporary instruments used in today’s music. Students master use of the drum kit, electric bass, acoustic and electric guitar, keyboard, hand percussion and more as these instruments are applicable to any genre of music and skills can be carried over to other genres. All 7th and 8th grade students participate in Rock Band, learning multiple instruments (while often specializing in one), vocals, live sound equipment, marketing, and performing and collaboration skills. Rock Band is a creative outlet for Adolescents at the time in their lives when they need productive ways to express themselves. They build confidence through skill mastery and multiple performances.