Senior School Arts

An education in the arts teaches students to perceive and think in new ways. At the Senior School level, students are encouraged to build on their existing appreciation for the arts by expanding their understanding and trying new techniques and forms of expression.
Creativity, reasoning, imagination, intuition and art-specific skills are all developed as students learn to build bridges between verbal and nonverbal communication, and logic and emotion. At the Senior School level, students may choose to study drama, music, visual arts and film (Gr 11 and 12).

The arts program at The York School help our students:
  • Develop a lifelong enjoyment of the art
  • Become informed, reflective and critical practitioners in the arts
  • Understand the dynamic and changing nature of the arts
  • Explore and value the diversity of arts across time, place and cultures
  • Develop perceptual and analytical skills
In particular, we provide opportunities for students to create and to perform, both in the classroom and as part of our co-curricular programming. Students can participate in arts nights, assemblies, coffee houses, plays, musicals, inter-scholastic festivals and music, film and visual arts trips.

Drama Program
At The York School, we have an outstanding drama program that develops self-expression, confidence, public-speaking skills and fosters an appreciation for theatre and performance arts.
The Senior School offers courses in dramatic arts at both the IB’s Middle Years Program (MYP) and Diploma Program (DP) level: 
  • Grades 9 and 10 (MYP): students study a variety of theatrical practices including movement, character development, vocal technique, scene analysis and scriptwriting.
  • Grade 11 and 12 (DP): students examine different theatrical traditions and practitioners, develop performance proposals and in-depth theatrical analyses, and participate in collective creation work as performers and technical practitioners. 
  • Students at all levels see a wide variety of professional plays in Toronto and further afield.
  • Drama students take part in routine workshops with professional theatre, film and television artists. 
Each year, Senior School students mount a major play or musical. They also have other opportunities to share their talents through the school year during coffee houses, arts nights and at the Canadian Independent Schools Drama Festival.

Music Program
The goal of the music program is to foster a lifelong appreciation of and connection to music in its many forms: 
  • Grades 9 and 10: we offer band and vocal programs as well as various small ensembles to complement our in-class performance-based program. Students explore composition, both on their laptops and in the MIDI lab, as well as music history.
  • Grades 11 and 12: we offer the IB Diploma music program in which students explore music from all over the world (both past and present), and learn how to respond to what they hear. Students also complete both performance and composition portfolios.
There are frequent opportunities for performance at all levels such as:
  • Music assemblies
  • Music and art afternoons and evenings
  • Musical productions
  • Conference of Independent School’s Music Festival, an annual event held at Roy Thomson Hall
  • International performance trips are held every other year
Visual Arts Program
In keeping with the IB vision, we aim to instill visual literacy in our students, and at the same time encourage moral and personal growth and a sense of responsibility to the global community.
Through creative exploration, students develop skills in drawing, digital images, painting, print making and sculpture. Students explore the elements and principles of art to understand how visual design can convey symbolic messages. The relevance of art history and aesthetic theories are considered through the study and research of specific artists, cultures and art movements, both past and present.  Students further their oral, written, and artistic skills, their creative and critical thinking, their ability to act as independent learners and their personal understanding and appreciation of studying art from a variety of cultures.
Highlights Include:
  • Trips to local art exhibits
  • Annual arts trip to a major US city
  • Arts exhibits in December and April
  • And more!

About the York School

The York School is a gender-inclusive JK to Grade 12 independent school located in the heart of Toronto. The York School was founded in 1965 and is the first English speaking school in Canada accredited to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) from junior kindergarten (JK) to university entrance. As an IB World School, The York School's motto is Experience Teaches.

Contact Us

Junior School (Grades JK-5) 1639 Yonge Street Toronto, Ontario M4T 2W6 
Middle School (Grades 6-8) & Senior School (Grades 9-12) 1320 Yonge Street Toronto, Ontario M4T 1X2 | Tel: 416.926.1325
Mailing address: 1320 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M4T 1X2
Junior School:
Middle & Senior School:


General Questions: