About Our Department
Denton ISD Fine Arts programs are supported and celebrated by the communities they serve in the district. DISD's Fine Arts programs are a part of the vibrant music and art scene that Denton and its surrounding areas are well-known for across the state. Teachers engage in on-going professional growth that translates to excellent teaching for our students in a wide range of fine arts instruction including: general music, visual art, band, choir, orchestra, dance, and theatre arts.
ENRICH YOUR LIFE
“The arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing, and arithmetic…music, dance, painting, and theater are all keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment.” – William Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education
Fine Arts is the fuel that enriches the quality of life.
The arts provide beauty and evoke emotion.
Art education brings people together.
Creating can bring to life new ideas or new innovations.
Fine Arts students are taught mastery of their craft, and to value mastery of content.
ENGAGE YOUR MIND
“Arts education aids students in skills needed in the workplace: flexibility, the ability to solve problems and communicate, the ability to learn new skills, to be creative and innovative, and to strive for excellence.” – Joseph M. Calahan, Director of Corporate Communications, Xerox Corporation
Studies increasingly show a correlation between involvement in the arts and high achievement in school, standardized tests, and future careers.
Fine Arts Students:
…have stronger memory and reading skills.
…can process multiple things at once.
…have increased blood flow in their brains.
…have more resilient brains.
…have stronger executive brain function.
- Entrepreneur, John Rampton, paraphrased
In Denton ISD, Fine Arts students score more than 50 points higher on SAT scores and master the STAAR English test at more than double the rate of DISD students who are not involved in Fine Arts.
EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS
"Every form of art is another way of seeing the world. Another perspective. Another window." - Claudia Gray, author
"We say arts education is good for general education, but that's not the point. The arts are what great nations are remembered for. They are a mirror." - Damian Woetzel, choreographer
Denton ISD’s Fine Arts programs take students around the world and give them a wide variety of cultural and artistic experiences.
- Fine Arts groups travel to national and international destinations, including trips to Los Angeles, New York City, and Austria, for performance and learning opportunities.
- In addition to traditional arts education, many Denton ISD students have the opportunity to learn within a broad spectrum of genres, some of which include jazz, mariachi, studio art, sculpture, musical theater, theatrical design, tap dance, hip hop, and choreography.
EXTEND YOUR LEARNING
“Schools need to promote creative, inventive thinking by integrating the arts with other subjects. It’s not about art or science; it’s about melding the two and promoting both of them together.” - U.S. Senator, Florence Shapiro
The State of Texas requires every elementary student to have fine arts every year, and secondary students are required to take at least one Fine Arts course in middle school, and one Fine Arts course in high school. We encourage students to invest in their future by being a fine arts student every year of their K-12 education. Students hone their artistic skills and leadership skills by remaining involved while taking advantage of the many other opportunities on campus.
Denton ISD ensures that fine arts plays a vital role in developing students who are prepared for the future. Immersion in the arts is an important aspect of a well-rounded academic experience. The school district and its communities believe in the importance of educating the "whole child" through comprehensive, high-quality fine arts programs. 100% of Denton ISD's elementary students receive weekly instruction in art and music with approximately 82% of the secondary student population receiving training in one or more fine arts disciplines. The district's student participation in arts instruction K-12 averages 90%. Fine arts programs in Denton ISD are fortunate to enjoy broad support from the local communities, school district, Denton arts groups, and the local universities.
Full-time art and music specialists serve students at every elementary campus to develop artistic and music literacy. Introduction to strings (violin, viola, & cello) starts as an elective in fifth grade and is taught by the district's middle school and high school orchestra directors.
Middle School Experience
Middle schools offer students an opportunity to participate in band, choir, orchestra, theatre, and visual art. Our band, orchestra, choir, and theatre programs engage in University Interscholastic League experiences to help students meet and exceed state standards. Jazz band and full orchestra is offered as an opportunity for advanced music students, and mariachi is available as an additional experience for music students at some middle schools. Our teachers engage in a curriculum that prepares students for high school arts experiences.
High School Experience
At the high school level, learning continues in band, choir, orchestra, theatre, and visual arts, plus dance becomes an additional option. Students can further enhance their music learning through jazz band, show choir, and full orchestra. Advanced Placement (AP) classes are offered in art and music theory. Braswell, Denton, and Ryan High School also have mariachi ensembles. Programs participate in the UIL and Visual Art Scholastic Event (VASE) as well as in district, area, region, and state levels of competition sponsored by associations of the various disciplines.
University Involvement in our Programs
Denton ISD Fine Arts’ visual arts program have formally partnered with the University of North Texas College of Visual Arts & Design to develop a college-ready secondary curriculum based in Design Thinking, promoting creativity, critical thinking, innovation, and problem solving. Denton ISD students have attended special age-appropriate fine arts programs offered by the University of North Texas and Texas Woman's University. Many students also experience events at various art museums throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, and Bass Concert Hall in Fort Worth. In addition, students have an opportunity to travel to invitational contests and festivals held throughout the state and nation, and also participate in cultural exchange programs and performances on an international level.
Denton ISD Fine Arts programs have been recognized consistently by many regional, state, and national organizations for its educational excellence and artistic achievements. Among the most prestigious is the district being named one of the nation's "Best Communities for Music Education" by the NAMM Foundation for the 16th consecutive year in 2023. Denton ISD was also named one of the state's "Premiere Community for Theatre Education" by the Texas Thespians.