For Crotched Mountain School, the arts have played a critical role in its half-century-plus history. From the early years, when we served children with polio, to present day, where our school population is made up of students from all ages with varying disabilities, creative outlets for personal expression and contributions from the professional artist community have led to unforgettable experiences.
At Crotched Mountain School we are committed to the arts. Our dedicated art and music classrooms are staffed by qualified teachers who give students hands-on interaction with clay, paint, drums, homemade cigar-box guitars, and more!
In our art room there is no rush. No deadline. There is creation and expression. And that is a universal truth regardless of ability.
Most of the art projects fall into the mixed media category. With mixed media projects, students can use a variety of art making materials and techniques. Sometimes a student may prefer one material or art style over others, so mixed media projects allow them the flexibility to work with familiar materials—or try something entirely new.
Music and Performing Arts
Music class at Crotched Mountain School is built aroud the goal of giving students with disabilities the experience of being part of a group making music together. Students receive hands-on opportunities with a great variety of instruments–drums, tambourines, ukuleles, xylophones, you name it.
When it comes to theater, our music department blends time-honored productions with creative customization to ensure as many young actors and actresses can participate as possible. Characters, lines, and musical numbers are all modified to best fit with the unique Crotched Mountain troupe (for our version of Anni, the show’s narrator delivered all of his dialogue through his speech device!).
The annual Talent Show offers all students the chance to let their creative talents fly in front of their teachers, classmates, and families. Many students participate with their classes, displaying a production they’ve worked on together during music class.
Supplementing this robust arts and music curriculum are the artists-in-residence, who come to CMS for a week to share their craft. Over the past several years, Crotched Mountain has welcomed artists like :
Teresa Taylor, Ceramics
Teresa worked with 12 classrooms of students how to make clay masks. Following a demonstration, the students rolled their own clay slab, determined the shape and facial features, and, after a firing in the class kiln, decorated the masks with acrylic paints.
Marek Bennett, Cartoonist
It was all about storytelling for the students who participated in Marek Bennett’s comic workshop. Marek worked with students a range of abilities and helped them discover a way to tell their stories in an entirely new way.
Courtney Bent, Photographer
Courtney Bent helped students build their own photography portfolios. That October, the photos were shown at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture Today in Peterborough in a special exhibit called New Views from the Mountain.
Michael Wingfield, Drumming
Michael Wingfield returned to Crotched Mountain in 2019 for a spring artist residency and also for Mayfest. Michael is a performer and teacher with over 25 years of experience in the rhythm and song of the African New World. Through instruments such as conga drums, bata, shekere, flute and voice, Michael interactively imparts the spirit and history of the African Diaspora in ways that speak to today’s issues of diversity.
Michael’s residencies include workshops for small groups in the school music classroom as well as a culminating event in Carter Hall for the community.
Jason “Scorpio” Andrews, Hip Hop
James “Scorpio” Andrews teaches Hip Hop at the Community Music School of Springfield, MA and other community based programs. He teaches Hip Hop across the curriculum, bringing in history, math in music, art, writing lyrics and performance individually and in a group.
These residencies are supported in part by the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the John A. and Carol A Hubbard Charitable Foundation