Our Approach

How do you craft a well-rounded education? With clay? Through watercolors? In three-part harmony? Yes, yes, and yes. The Dawson arts program gives exceptional depth and richness to our student’s learning experience and is a priority within our educational program. 

Students are introduced to and work with an array of media starting in kindergarten. Middle school students are exposed to more advanced arts classes, including Ceramics, Graphic Design, and Woodworking, and in Upper School, there are numerous arts electives in both performing and visual arts. Combat Theater, Musical Ensembles, Ceramics, Jewelry Making, Digital Art, and Woodworking are just a few.

Students are encouraged to explore as many areas as possible across fine arts, digital arts, music, and performing arts. Our goal is to expose all students to as many creative concepts as possible, develop an appreciation for the arts, and nurture those students with a desire to take their artistic passions beyond Dawson.


Sarena Hebebrand
Art Department Chair

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  • Photo of Sarena Hebebrand

    Sarena Hebebrand 

    Department Chair, MS/US Art and Innovation

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  • Lower School

    In grades K-5, students express themselves through the experimental use of different media. Their work is often based on homeroom studies. Lower School also has an emphasis on music,  and when children leave the Lower School, they can read and compose music, follow a written score, and play various musical instruments. Music literacy is emphasized, using the Kodaly and Orff-Schulwerk approaches.
  • Middle School

    The Sixth-grade art curriculum includes art production, art history, art criticism, and aesthetics. They explore visual arts, music, and theatre and gain a basic proficiency in concepts and skills. Many middle school students also participate in the spring musical. Following sixth-grade students choose semester-long classes in visual art, woodworking, computer graphics, rock band, and theater. 
  • Upper School

    Students can choose from 18 different art classes. Performing arts options include Music Ensembles, Improv, 10-Minute Plays, Film Studies, Tech, and Combat Theater. Visual arts options include Ceramics, Digital Art, Digital Photography, Drawing and Painting, Jewelry Making, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Woodworking. Dawson also provides more advanced or bespoke instruction for those excelling in the arts.

Arts at a Glance