Visual Arts

Upper School Visual Arts classes foster an appreciation of the visual arts and help students develop the creative forces that inspire them to be innovative thinkers in all endeavors. Students draw, paint, sculpt, design and build, and then display their works in school exhibits. Projects are designed around different subject themes and are inspired by the works and styles of various artists. In Upper School Art, students develop an art vocabulary of technical processes, tools, art movements, and artists.

List of 4 items.

  • 3D Design

    In 3D Design, students explore different facets of sculpture and 3-dimensional design. There are a great variety of hands-on projects intertwined with paper and pencil design activities in addition to computer assisted assignments. Media for sculptural projects will be found objects, wood, clay, plaster, wire, paper, and cardboard.
  • Art and Technology

    In this course, students work with graphic manipulation software (whether free and open source or professional depending on available resources) and focus on projects geared toward digital art, graphic design, animation, and video editing. Other intended course topics include interactive technologies and basic video game design.
  • Contemporary Art

    Students learn how to interpret contemporary art and to appreciate its many forms in today's American art, as well as its global context. Topics and styles include abstract painting, sculpture, video, installation, digital and computer, interactive, social practice, performance, conceptual, feminist, sound, Internet, and political art.
  • Independent Art Study

    In this self-driven course, students aim to complete a critically developed portfolio of works connected by thematic unity and medium mastery. The teacher guides the students in creating artist statements and a short thesis for his/her work and also extensive research into a topic of their choice. The student will also be expected to display his/her work in a public format. Accepted media forms include (but are not limited to) drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, video, fiber, fashion, digital art, animation, collage, printmaking, anime, comics, graphic design, photography (digital), woodworking, sound art, and mural art.


The Upper School Music curriculum builds and expands on the strong foundational skills that students develop in Middle School. By learning to play the ukulele, students gain an understanding of music that allows them to recognize, melody, theme, and structure. Students explore arrangement and composing through the use of glockenspiels, xylophones, and percussion instruments. As more age-appropriate skills are introduced, care is taken to make sure that new students, whose former music experience might be limited, are assisted and prepared to move forward. From there, students are able to explore more advanced courses that explore, analyze, and perform sophisticated musical pieces.

List of 5 items.

  • Ukulele

    In this participatory music course, students learn how to play ukulele from the very beginning or build on what they have already learned, exploring chord progressions, strumming patterns, playing techniques, learning how to play different pop songs, as well as singing while accompanying themselves on ukulele.
  • American Musical Theater

    In this study of the art form of musical theatre, students explore the answers to the following questions: What is a musical? What are the elements that go into making a musical? How does a creative team develop the book/music/lyrics? How do those elements work together to create a piece of art? What is the story being told and how is it conveyed on the stage? What makes a musical work or not work? Why are some musicals successful box-office hits while others are flops that last only a few performances? Students also study the classic musicals of the past (e.g. The Sound of Music, The Music Man, etc.) as well as contemporary musicals of today.
  • Music Performance Ensemble

    In this intermediate music course, students begin by examining musical arrangement—how songs are structured and constructed. They then work in small and large ensembles, playing xylophones, glockenspiels, piano, guitar, ukulele, and percussion instruments to explore how multiple instruments come together to form a cohesive whole. Emphasis is placed on composing as a group and working toward performing both existing and original compositions.
  • Music in Film

    In this music appreciation course, students find an introduction as well as an in-depth exploration of the art of film scoring: original music written specifically to accompany a film. Students will investigate the aesthetic relationship between film and music and discuss the many functions of film music with analysis of its most effective application to dramatic situations. This course also explores the work and careers of influential film composers who have had an extraordinary impact on the art of film scoring.
  • Piano Lab

    This course offers beginner and intermediate piano players a classroom laboratory to learn the basics of playing piano or continue to hone their piano playing skills. Students will benefit from both one-on-one and group instruction as they play individual keyboards to improve their skills and to practice for performance opportunities.

The Kew-Forest School

119-17 Union Turnpike
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 268-4667
The oldest independent school in the borough of Queens, The Kew-Forest School is an independent co-educational, college preparatory school for students in Preschool through Grade 12.