The mission of Besant Hill School is to foster the development of each student’s intellectual and artistic abilities. We believe that in today’s world, just being literate in reading, writing, and arithmetic is not nearly enough.

To be truly literate, students must know and understand the world around them. They must know how to relate and appreciate one another’s point of view and perspective. They need to be able to express their passions in and for what makes them tick, and do so in an environment where a community celebrates our individual genius at each and every turn. The college prep classes at Besant Hill School go beyond just academic-focused studies.

With nearly 30 offerings in music, performing arts, visual arts, and digital arts, the arts at Besant Hill School involve the whole person and affect the whole community. Rich in artistic history, our community has a long lineage of teachers who are professionals in the stage, film, music, and visual art world in this country.

Read more in the Arts section of our site…

The Besant Hill School Performing Arts Department is dedicated to educating students of all levels in the art of theatre, film, vocal and instrumental music and musical theater. Curricular offerings include classes in acting/directing, beginning and advanced levels of instrumental and vocal ensembles, music theory, applied instruction in any instrument as well as voice and beginning and advanced levels of film.


The Besant Hill School Theater Program is dedicated to educating students of all levels in the art of theater through classes in acting, directing, design, voice, dance, musical theatre, production and technical theater. Education occurs not only in the classroom, but also in production opportunities.


The Music Program at Besant Hill is performance based, providing performance opportunities for all skill levels from beginning to advanced. These opportunities include not only school concerts, variety shows and assemblies, but off campus events as well.


Through our Dance Program, students will be introduced to dance, movement, and creative exploration through various styles of dance such as ballet, jazz, modern, tap, social dances, and the current commercialized style known as hip hop.

More details and course descriptions in our Performing Arts section…

The Visual Arts Department at Besant Hill School cultivates critical thinking and creative practices aware of our constantly evolving global environment.

We believe the Arts have the power to speak across language and culture. Creative problem solving is promoted, connecting individual ideas to larger communities.

Courses explore the fundamentals of art and design, concept development, technique and craft. Content and style are examined using history and culture as tools to discover deeper meaning. In depth portfolio guidance is available for students applying to art schools and colleges.

Studio & Art History

Studio & Art History includes courses in VisualArts Foundation, Visual Arts I & II, Advanced Visual Arts, and Studio Art History.

Photography/Digital Arts

Photography/Digital Arts is a two part course designed to foster each student’s ability to exercise their intentions, and to create interesting and thoughtful images through photography and the use of digital manipulation.

Screenwriting & Film Production

The goal of the Screenwriting & Film Production class is to provide an introduction to all aspects of film – from script to screen – and a vocabulary for intelligent discussion and critical evaluation of a film’s effectiveness.


The Besant Hill School and Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts support a long tradition for ceramic artwork. Ceramics is instructed at Lower Campus, in a secluded and peaceful spot. Students create functional work and sculpture through the application of a variety of hand building techniques, wheel throwing techniques, and glazed finishes.

Book Making and Publishing

Bookmaking and Publishing is a course designed with the intention of giving students a foundation for graphic design with the specific intention of producing print media. Over the year, students will learn how to produce a visually pleasing design, and they will produce a range of different printed products.

More details and course descriptions in our Visual Arts section…