How Michigan's schools teach music, drama, painting and more

Lauren Williams's picture
Monday, December 23, 2013

From parents funding elementary art classes out of their own pockets, to a school district with more than 100 art and music teachers, to urban charter schools specializing in the arts, Michigan's arts education landscape is as varied as its geography.

Over the next week, online and in print, MLive will take a look at how schools across the state teach the arts, focusing on how districts have cut, maintained or brought back classes through hard budget choices and generous fundraising.

The state's educational guidelines call for students from kindergarten through high school to learn about dance, visual art, music and theater, and the Michigan Merit Curriculum requires students to complete one course in "visual, performing or applied arts" in order to graduate and receive a high school diploma.

That graduation requirement, coupled with budget pressures facing districts across the state, has often put elementary and middle school arts programs on the chopping block.

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