Studio Program

Instruction in the Arts enhances the social, emotional and academic experience of all our students


Our award-winning studio program is the result of our uniquely talented and experienced teaching artists creating fabulous program over the past 15 yeas. Our talent selection includes: 

  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Instrumental Music
  • Fine Arts
  • Photography/Mixed Media 
  • Vocal Music

Students are immersed in their talent four periods per week (two times a week double periods) over three years and many talents require additional time commitments for rehearsal, travel and performances. Once admitted to MS 51, students audition for their talent of choice. Performances and art exhibitions happen throughout the year. Our talented students audition for and are accepted to the most competitive, top performing, arts high schools in NYC.


6th grade curriculum includes Ballet and Modern dance technique, as well as composition and improvisation

7th grade curriculum includes West African and Caribbean Folk forms, Jazz, and Dance History

8th grade curriculum includes Ballet and Contemporary, Musical Theater Jazz and Hip-Hop

Additional Dance Company programs offered for advanced students

students in traditional costume dancing on stage
kids on stage


The Drama Program is a three-year sequential drama program that incorporates extensive use of the Process Drama work of Cecily O’Neill as well as playwriting, set building, acting, creative play, fight choreography, scene study, Shakespeare, costume design, and storytelling. Students will study plays from Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, August Wilson, Lynn Nottage, Samuel Beckett, as well as a new concentration on Asian American playwrights.   

Visit the Drama site at

Instrumental Music


Brass and Woodwinds

No prior music knowledge is needed to go from basic to mastery by grade 8.

Jazz band – Best middle school jazz band in NYC

art show

Fine Arts


From watercolors to sculpting, our three year program features numerous opportunities to explore various media, artistic styles, skills, and personal vision to prepare students for Specialized Art High Schools throughout NYC.

Visit the Fine Art site at


Photography/Mixed Media


Digital photography and darkroom

Create pin cameras and portfolios

Create and develop photos

Work to edit collections


boy looking up at negative strip
singing students

Vocal Music


Breath projection and enunciation for performances

Not just singing but movement and dance

All students have the opportunity to audition for solos