Music & Performing Arts
The DVFriends music and performing arts program is unlike any other. It is tailored to our students' needs, interests, and talents with a dynamic range of academic and co-curricular opportunities.
DVFriends' approach to music is rooted in the belief that there is music in each one of us and all that’s required to participate in music at DVFriends is that students find a way to make “one quality sound” whether that’s with an instrument or their voice.
Music teacher Tim Simmons has developed his own music curriculum based on improvisation to help students learn to play a variety of instruments, understand music theory, and free their creativity -- while also stimulating the areas of the brain that help students with language development. This innovative, research-based approach created explicitly for our students makes music at DVFriends accessible regardless of ability or experience -- but also scalable across talent and grade levels. Novices can play together as well as with students who are on very advanced levels in the same ensemble or classroom -- and everyone can learn from each other. The result is exceptional growth in every participant, incredible levels of creativity, and an environment where students feel safe and supported to explore and share their talents.
Music classes are incorporated into lower school specials, the middle school arts rotation, and upper school electives. Some of the electives include songwriting and music production as well as the core improvisation classes.
Students' musical talents are showcased in annual open-mic style coffeehouse performances, the annual holiday concert, clubs such as DV Rock Band, opportunities to play in the pit band for the annual spring musical, and the annual Arts Festival.
Theater and Movement
DVFriends alumnus and award-winning actor Khalil Munir teaches classes in theater and movement to lower, middle and upper school students. These classes allow students to explore their creativity and acting abilities through improvisation games and exercises. Students also develop body-awareness through dance and movement. Khalil offers electives for upper school students in tap dancing and independent study opportunities in acting.
DVFriends Original Musical Productions
DVFriends puts on a musical production each spring, but unlike most schools, every DVFriends musical is an original production where our students write the story and the songs, perform in the cast, serve as the stage and tech crew, and play in the pit band.
2020 marked the school's fifth original musical, Three Roads Home. Previous shows include Between You & Me (2019), Romeo & Juliet Remix (2018), Rough Sketch (2017), and Resonance (2016). (You can see pictures from each below.) The entire program began in 2016 when a then senior wanted to write and produce a musical. In true DVFriends fashion, Tim and Khalil went above and beyond to support that student's initiative and make that first production happen. The original musical has become an important tradition.