Music, Visual Arts & Theater

At The Leelanau School creativity is encouraged and students are welcome to explore each arts discipline. Parents are often amazed that their “non-singing” child has a beautiful voice or that their camera shy child feels perfectly comfortable on the other side of the lens!

You don’t have to come with a talent,
we will help you discover and develop your talents.

Arts offerings include:

Photography and Darkroom            Ceramics            Improv            “Mighty Snappy” Band
Singing and Songwriting            Musical Theater            Applied Design


Visual Arts Instructor Kaz McCue  has learned the theory of multiple intelligences and uses this in teaching visual art.  He works with each student on how to learn, not to show what they already know, but to build on processes.

He has to help students break away from the pre-conceived notion of what the finished piece “should” be, and to instead engage in the process.   “I have to help them get out of their own way, because that inhibits their potential, but to help them see that they are creating experiences.”

Ceramics /Pottery Instructor Bruce Hoods says the true definition of “hands on learning” comes from the ability to work with your hands, and get dirty.  But the process begins well before the clay hits the wheel.

Hood also emphasizes process and sequencing, and works with the students on building from an idea to drawing up a sketch to the actual 3-D work.   “Oh, and we always have to build the clean-up time into the process.  That is a very important part of the process.” Because ceramics involves a small group of students, they are able to come in and strongly focus.  Through ceramics the students learn about chemistry through the creation of glazes, as well as respect for equipment.

performing-at-cherry-republicMusic Instructor Laura Hood says starting beginning musicians on guitar allows them to learn quickly, even to the point of having brand new guitar students able to play three songs by the end of their first class period.

“Seeing quick success is key to them sticking with it.  I like to believe there is a hidden musician in everyone. “

Songwriting is a class she offers during winter term, and during this from the first day, the only music that can be performed and shared must be all original.   They learn music structure and composition, basic theory and lyric writing.

Another gratifying experience is being able take the “Mighty Snappy” musical ensemble on the road to nursing and retirement homes and other schools.  The instrumentation changes year-to-year, but the ability to spread joy and goodwill through music is a constant goal.