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Visual and Performing Arts

The Milton Hershey School Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) program impacts students as they learn and grow. All students in pre-K through 12th grade participate in VPA. They have access to classes, activities, and performing groups.

Download the Program Flyer
Milton Hershey School elementary student learns from his instructor during a saxophone lesson.

What We Offer: A Snapshot

Elementary students take classes in art, music, dance, and drama every week.
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Middle school students have one marking period each of art, music, and dance.
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High school students complete one year of work (minimum) in a performing or visual arts course of their choice.
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Opportunties to Create

Visual and performing arts positively affect people’s lives daily. Students feel this benefit directly.

Students easily can explore areas of interest or passion right here on campus. They can take advantage of a wealth of expert instruction through our staff. Milton Hershey School even covers the cost of instruments, equipment, and lessons! View the list of MHS programs.

Visual Arts

  • Traditional art classes: drawing, painting, sculpting, etc.
  • Photography
  • Video production
  • Art media evening program
  • Clyde Stacks Art Museum volunteer work
  • Trips to area museums
  • National Art Honor Society


Instrumental and Vocal Ensembles

  • Concert, jazz, and marching bands
  • Fourth-grade band
  • Praise band
  • Piano ensemble club and other instrumental ensembles
  • Hand-bell choir
  • Indoor percussion ensemble
  • Individual and small group piano and instrument lessons
  • Strings and guitar lessons
  • Elementary, middle school, and varsity choirs
  • New Horizons audition choir
  • Color guard

Dance and Drama Performance

  • Full-length theater productions in each division
  • Stage production and management
  • Ballet, jazz, tap
  • Other dance programs
A Milton Hershey School Senior Division visual arts student works on a dragon sculpture.

A Balanced Approach

Much like our athletics program, a strong focus in the VPA program is balance. Students are supported as they manage academics and VPA program demands. We also seek to drive 21st century learning skills while reinforcing the MHS Sacred Values.

See How VPA and the Sacred Values Align
Milton Hershey School Senior Division students participate in a dance lesson.

Showcasing New Skills

After weeks of hard work and practice, students can to show off their new skills. Performing builds confidence and collaboration skills. It also provides a natural culminating moment for one’s discipline. MHS provides a variety of settings in which students can perform or exhibit work.

Students grow personal grit and character through VPA experiences.

Read More about MHS Character Education

Explore a Visual and Performing Arts Classroom

Drag to see a 360-degree view of the Milton Hershey School Visual and Performing Arts program. Then, click to engage with interactive content.

Why the Arts Matter

VPA offers all students instruction in visual art, dance, drama, and music. These experiences—and their sparks of creativity—impact lives in many ways.

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The Importance of Art at MHS

Art touches our lives daily, whether watching a movie, viewing an advertisement, or listening to music. Students who participate in the arts at MHS benefit academically.

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Making Role Models through Music

MHS middle school students are given the opportunity annually to learn from and perform with the high school Spartan marching band. The students rehearse for several weeks together.

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Proven Achievement through Arts Education

Arts education is preparing students for the 21st century job market in meaningful, measurable ways.

Milton Hershey School Middle Division students learn about performing arts during a guitar lesson.

Higher Engagement

A National Assembly of State Arts Agencies study found that art students perform better on tests, have higher classroom engagement, and volunteer more in their communities.
Read Details from the Study

Milton Hershey School elementary students work on painting in a visual arts class.

Creative Teamwork

Employers want people who can work as a team and think creatively. Students master teamwork and collaboration when involved in ensembles and art classes.
See Research on Music Benefits

Two Milton Hershey School Middle Division students participate in the stage crew for a musical production in Catherine Hall.


VPA assignments are often open-ended. This approach correlates with our commitment to problem-based learning at MHS and embodies STEAM education.
Review How We Align Nationally

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.