artistic expression in an international environment

From full theatre performances to gallery-like exhibitions to band concerts to classroom projects and activities, students are encouraged to explore their creativity. INTL takes great pride in its arts program, including visual arts, music, and performing arts.

visual arts

The arts program at INTL provides an environment that supports self-expression and creativity. Students learn about art movements, increase their appreciation for the arts, and develop an understanding of the meaning and function of arts. 

visual arts in elementary and middle school

Beginning in 1st grade, the arts (visual, music, and performing) are taught almost exclusively by a specialist teacher. Arts teachers collaborate with the classroom teachers to incorporate the arts into the Units of Inquiry wherever possible, as well as take an inquiry-based approach to the arts overall. Students collaborate, create, and perform throughout the year, and their work is often highlighted in community events.

The goals of our visual arts program in elementary and middle school are to:

  • instill confidence in each “artist”
  • develop manual dexterity through the use of a variety of techniques and materials
  • discover art through the study of line, color, form, light and shadow, and composition
  • experiment with different techniques using media such as crayons, ink, pastels, watercolors, and (block) prints
  • produce works in many forms such as paintings, collages, and sculptures

visual arts in high school


All high school students take visual art classes in grades 9 and 10. Students experiment with various mediums, develop their skills, learn about art movements, increase their appreciation for the arts, and develop an understanding of the meaning and function of arts. 

In the IB Diploma Programme in grades 11 and 12, INTL offers high level and standard level Visual Art. The IB Diploma Visual Arts course encourages students to challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries. It is a thought-provoking course in which students develop analytical skills in problem-solving and divergent thinking while working towards technical proficiency and confidence as art-makers. In addition to exploring and comparing visual arts from different perspectives and in different contexts, students are expected to engage in, experiment with, and critically reflect upon a wide range of contemporary practices and media. The course is designed for students who plan to study visual arts in higher education as well as for those who are seeking lifelong enrichment through visual arts.

performing arts (music and drama)

Music and Drama are designed to provide students with an understanding of theory, history, exposure to genres, as well as opportunities to perform.

performing arts in elementary and middle school

While drama is taught by a specialist in grades 3 -8, dramatic activities are planned on an ongoing basis by the Chinese, English, French, and German teachers at all grade levels to enable their students to develop their vocabulary, oral fluency, pronunciation, memory, and knowledge of certain historical periods or cultures, and to build self- confidence. Dance and physical expression may also be integrated into the classroom curriculum. In elementary school, students participate in Readers’ Theatre and perform short plays and skits for their classmates and students in other grade levels. Some classes elect to organize a performance for parents. Music is taught by a specialist, beginning in 1st grade. 

In addition, students in grades 4 and up have the opportunity to participate in the all-school band program. The band program offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Band students are expected to perform at school events and other occasions.

The primary goals of the performing arts curriculum are to:

  • instill enjoyment of and appreciation for music and drama
  • promote awareness of and appreciation for the similarities and differences of the school’s multicultural student body through ethnic music, dance, and theatre
  • develop an understanding of music theory and history of music
  • practice singing and learn basic instruments
  • develop understanding and use of voice, movement, pantomime, story dramatization, role play, and improvisation

performing arts in high school

High school students have the opportunity to attend the after school drama club if available, which offers all interested students a chance to be part of a larger production. Plays often incorporate more than one language, highlighting the multilingual skills of Alto students.

High school students who play an instrument are encouraged to participate in the all-school band program. Band students are expected to perform at school events and other occasions.
The primary goals of the performing arts curriculum are to:


  • instill an enjoyment of and appreciation for music and drama
  • promote an awareness of and appreciation for the similarities and differences of the school’s multicultural student body through ethnic music, dance, and theatre
  • develop an understanding of music theory and history of music
  • practice singing and learn basic instruments
  • develop understanding and use of voice, movement, pantomime, story dramatization, role play, and improvisation