Arts at NGFS

It is necessary to be concerned about the importance of educating a really beautiful human spirit.
— Shinichi Suzuki

At New Garden Friends School, the arts are an integral part of our curriculum. While there is overwhelming brain research to justify the arts contribution to academic proficiency, there is something far more critical at stake when we sit down to determine how our students will spend the valuable hours of their school days.    

As Quakers, we believe that our school is a community of teachers and learners. Some days the teachers are the taller people in front of the room, at other times, they are the people in the small chairs. As a community, we are charged with nurturing and supporting each other’s gifts. Creativity, the ability to listen and collaborate, to appreciate differences, to articulate a point of view, these are the qualities of great artists and also the qualities of people who will make a difference in the lives of those around them.

When we give students ample time to work on their music, their poetry, their drama, and their creations in visual arts, we communicate to them that we take them seriously; we are not just interested in how well they can make use of information we have imparted to them, we care about their discoveries, their impressions, their thoughts, and their concerns.          

If science and technology help us to answer questions of "what" and "how," the arts and humanities give us ways to confront the intangible, to contemplate the "why," to imagine, to create. If ever there were a time to nurture those skills
in our young people, it is now, when our nation's future may depend on our creativity and our ability to understand and appreciate the cultures around the world as much as on our proficiency in reading and math.
— David J. Skorton, president Cornell University    

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