The Arts in High School

Central to the arts philosophy at ASH is the goal of cultivating a lifetime appreciation, enjoyment and love of the arts through creating and experiencing the discipline itself. Through the wide range of arts offerings at ASH students are exposed to and develop an understanding of a variety of practical and fine arts. By working creatively and gaining competence in various artistic genres and media, students develop an aesthetic understanding of the arts that will continue throughout life.

The medium is experienced and explored physically through a “hands on” learning process. The learning is process oriented; students learn skills through experience and overcome their fear of failure through taking risks as they learn. Instruction in the arts challenges students and encourages divergent thinking. Students learn to recognize different points of view and to respect each other’s products, creations, and opinions. As such, the arts classroom is characterized by spontaneity, energy, engagement and excitement that is reflected in deep involvement, on the part of both students and teachers. Students are encouraged to assess themselves in a variety of formal and informal ways, both their products and the process they went through in creating it. In this way, they are involved in the assessment of their own work and develop the valuable skill of self-reflection. Students take pride in exhibition and performance of their work and sharing it with others. They learn to prepare, practice and present their works with a positive, professional attitude.

Through the study of the arts, students learn, through self-discovery, to express their own emotions and thus to explore and express the richness of the human spirit. The expression of emotions through the arts leads students to a feeling of wholeness and a sense of connection to our humanness and to each other.

At ASH studying the arts enables all students to develop international understanding and allows them to participate in the sense of community that grows from participation in the arts.

List of 3 items.

  • Music

    Through music, every student is intellectually, emotionally and physically engaged.
    We believe that music is a uniquely human form of communication that plays an integral part in everyday life. It is one of the primary ways human beings share emotional meaning. Unique skills and knowledge must be learned to access music’s richness.

    Through music, every student is intellectually, emotionally and physically engaged. Music assists the successful transfer of knowledge and skills across learning domains. It is a potent educational medium requiring active student involvement. We believe music provides an aesthetically engaging experience that is central to the ASH core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, empathy and communication.

    It is our goal to equip students with the tools for musical self-improvement so they may participate in this dynamic art form as lifelong independent musicians and people who seek value and meaning in music.


    Music in the High School offers two distinct streams: Electives and IB/AP courses.

    Elective Courses
    : ASH Music offers performance courses in School Choir, Concert Band, String Orchestra. ASH Music offers music technology courses focusing on composition and on Film Scoring as a separate specialization.

    AB/IP Music: Students may choose to learn music at a higher level, culminating in courses specifically aimed at Diploma or Certificate level studies. The courses represent subjects for International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement courses.

    Learn more about our elective offerings by visiting the Academic section of our website, to browse through the course descriptions.
  • Theater and Dance

    The Theater Department values the need for play and imagination in all students’ lives. We seek to provoke our students to walk in the shoes of others by entering various roles; through this understanding we strive to hinder disempowering images of class, race, or gender. We promote a healthy ensemble amidst individual goals. Students strive to reach new heights through risk-taking in a safe and supported environment. Individual choice and opinion in production or technical learning is valued and incorporated. We discourage hierarchy and encourage that all performance and production roles are equally valuable. Global theatre practices are investigated to help students understand that there are many definitions to drama and performance. The creative process is nurtured and revered through reflection and by developing trust.

    Technology, as it enhances the art of communication and creation, is constantly an element of experimentation. The use of physicality as a means of expression is encouraged. The engagement with, the analysis of, and the embodiment of textual material is encompassed. The language of theatre and performance is inherent to each new experience. We believe in, and promote, the unique experience of performing live, with confidence and pride, and in communion with an audience.

    Students are exposed to the performances of others to expand their understanding and empathy. They are invited to participate in experiences that will enrich their learning through ISTA festivals or by working with practitioners who bring unique experiences or skills from their expertise. Extracurricular productions extend the department’s philosophy by nurturing and developing individuals and the ensemble. A sense of community is created through the support of volunteers and production specific courses that support the extracurricular. Inter-curricular opportunities cultivate holistic understanding and foster the value of applied theater.
  • Visual Arts

    The goal of the Visual Arts Department is to engage students in the process of studying and producing art. Studying the Visual Arts fosters creativity, inquiry, and independence in students. We strive to encourage students to communicate visually, become problem solvers and risk takers. While curiosity is at the base of their learning, through the process of reflection students become more independent learners, capable of self-expression. Students are appreciative of art from around the world and are able to make informed visual decisions.

    Visual Arts at ASH is a vibrant and colourful discipline in the Fine Arts Department. We offer tremendous opportunities for students to develop their artistic potential in many areas of the visual arts. Students learn techniques in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking and design in our Visual Arts.
    They may also choose to concentrate in the areas of Photography or Video Production, in these specialized courses. Our Yearbook course offers the opportunity to explore both photography and graphic design. Stage Production is a course where students design, create, build and install the sets for Middle and High School musicals and plays. From Grade 10, students can choose to study AP Studio Art (2D) and from Grade 11, students may choose to study Visual Art at the IB level.

    The Visual Arts Department fosters and enhances the creative and aesthetic domains of the whole student. Skills developed are transferred to understanding the nature of the arts and its relevance to oneself as a human being. It is in this way that experiential learning is highlighted in and out of the studio. Sensitivity to students, their peers, their environment and culture are highlights of day-to-day learning. Whenever possible, field trips are taken to complement concepts studied in class. The Visual Arts Program is inclusive: all students, from novice to the well-skilled artist, are welcome in the program.

Find Out More...

List of 3 items.

  • Private Music Lessons - Credits

    Can students receive High School credit for their lessons?

    Students enrolled in the High School (Grades 9-12) may receive High School course credit for private lessons (.25 credits per semester). Students wanting High School credit must fill out the Private Lessons For Credit Application found above and submit it to the High School office no later than the third week of the semester. Any questions about receiving High School credit can be direct to Mr. Fox at
  • High School Music Festivals

    ASH students can get involved in a number of music festivals and ensemble opportunities.

    The Association of Music in International Schools (AMIS) holds performance festivals several times a year throughout Europe and Asia. Festivals are mainly auditioned, and successful applicants then perform in a subsequent Festival. There are financial costs involved including fees, transportation, accommodation and so on. More information can be obtained from the AMIS website. ASH students are welcome to audition for the following festivals:

    Honor Jazz Festival: Auditions occur in May preceding an October Festival. Vocalists and Band students are eligible.

    High School Honor Orchestra and Mixed Choir: Auditions in October for all High School strings and choral students.

    Honor Band and Choir: Auditions in October for High School band and choral students.

    Solo and Ensemble Festival: Entry by registration (non-auditioned) by the end of November. Held at ASH in January for all vocal and instrumental students, solo or small ensemble. . They may perform as a soloist or in a small ensemble. Private instruction is strongly encouraged for students who wish to participate in this festival.
  • Special Annual Events

    • Disney Trip
    • 9/11 Service
    • Concerts in December and May
    • Thanksgiving Service
    • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
    • The High School Musical
    • A Night to Remember
    • International Day
    • ASH/Excelsior Concert
    • "All That Jazz”
    • Jazz on the Beach
    • Student Recitals
University preparatory program for ages 3-18. Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges - Commission on International Education (NEASC-CIE), following the personalized ACE Learning pathway of NEASC-CIE.

American School of The Hague