Music, Art & DRAMA

AAS Moscow students benefit from comprehensive Music, Art and Drama programs from Early Years to High School Graduation. 





picture of Elementary School Students playing violin during concert in Bolshoi Theatre in school campus


AAS Music Program

Elementary Music

Grades 1 through 4 have general music twice per week. In fourth grade, students have the option to sign up for strings class. It meets once per week, and replaces one of the general music classes.


Director MS and HS: Jason Drahos,

Director Grade 5: Leopoldo Sembrano,

The AAS Choral Program provides students an opportunity to experience the world of music through a variety of vocal musical genres. Choir focuses on developing both individual vocal technique and ensemble skills, as well as sight-singing, music theory fundamentals, and score use. Opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning include Winter and Spring concerts, assembly performances, AAS Variety Shows, and other informal performances for the local school community.

As an after-school activity, students may join CEESA choir beginning in Grade 6 (it is a winter season activity in MS and a spring season activity in HS). As part of the AAS curriculum (during the school day), students can participate in choir starting in Grade 5. There is also an opportunity to audition for the AMIS (Association for Music in International Schools) Honor Choir Festivals in Middle and High School. Private voice lessons may be available based on teacher availability and student interest. Please contact Jason Drahos for more information.

Choir Concerts

5th-12th Grade Winter Concert: December 3, 2019, 18:00 in the Bolshoi Theatre

5th-12th Grade Spring Concert: June 4, 2020, 18:00 in the Bolshoi Theatre

Other performance opportunities

MS/HS Fall Variety Show: October 15, 2019, 15:45

MS/HS Spring Variety Show: March 17, 2020, 15:45


Director MS and HS: Mark Waltho

Director Grade 5: Adam Wolf,

The AAS band program provides a rigorous, conservatory-style training in the fundamentals of instrumental performance in the concert band tradition. Study of an instrument greatly enriches students’ artistic lives while at the same time teaching valuable skills such as self-organization, goal setting, personal practice skills, and performance techniques. The band curriculum is a balance of performance practice and the academic study of music. Class time is spent both in small group sectional lessons and full ensemble playing.

Private lessons on band instruments are available to students after school beginning in grade 3. Band class during the school day begins in grade 5. Students without prior experience may join band up until grade 8. The high school concert band has a prerequisite of at least one year of playing experience on an instrument. Band students may choose to participate in CEESA band.

The CEESA Bands are comprised of musicians from regional international schools that collaborate to produce a four-day band festival at the host school. CEESA Middle School Band is open to students in grades 6 – 8 and occurs twice a week after school in the winter season. CEESA High School Band is open to students in grades 9-12 and meets after school in the spring season. Middle and high school students may also audition for the AMIS honor bands. Auditions are held in October. More information about AMIS honor band is available from the band teachers.

Band Concerts

5th-12th Grade Winter Concert: December 5, 2019, 18:00 in the Bolshoi Theatre

5th-12th Grade Spring Concert: June 2, 2020, 18:00 in the Bolshoi Theatre


Director: Barbara Henry,

The Strings Program has been a part of life at AAS since 2008. In the Strings Program, students learn how to play in an ensemble and are exposed to music of all styles. Students are often on stage performing in assemblies and school-wide strings concerts. Students perform in both small ensembles and the AAS String Orchestra.

As part of the AAS curriculum (during the school day), you can participate starting in Grade 4 and continue to play throughout middle and high school. In Middle School, as an after-school activity, you can join CEESA strings as a winter season activity. In high school, CEESA Strings will be offered as a spring season activity. There is also the opportunity to audition for the AMIS (Association for Music in International Schools) Honor Orchestra Festivals in Middle and High School. 

String Concerts

5th-12th Grade Winter Concert: December 10, 2019, 18:00 in the Bolshoi Theatre

5th-12th Grade Spring Concert: May 28, 2020, 18:00 in the Bolshoi Theatre

Instrument Rental


Band instrument rental will begin on August 22 and close on September 8. Any other requests throughout the school year must be directed to Mark Waltho,

Steps for band instrument rental:

Step 1: Speak to the band teacher regarding your instrument of choice and pick up your instrument rental payment slip.

Step 2: Register to rent an instrument (see link below).

Step 3: Take the completed payment slip to the cashier to pay.

Click here to sign up for band instrument rental


String instrument rental will begin on August 21 and close on September 6. Any other requests throughout the school year must be directed to Barbara Henry,

Steps for string instrument rental:

Step 1: Speak to the string teacher (Miss Henry 2106) regarding your instrument of choice. The teacher will measure the student for their instrument and give you the instrument rental payment slip. 

Elementary students will be measured in their string classes.

Step 2: Register to rent an instrument (see link below).

Step 3: Take the completed payment slip to the cashier to pay.

Click here to sign up for string instrument rental.






AAS Arts Program

Elementary Art

Visual art is integral to the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP). It is a powerful mode of communication through which students explore and construct a sense of self and develop an understanding of the world around them. Elementary art classes provide students with a wide range of opportunities and means to respond to their experiences and engage with historical, social and cultural perspectives. The students are stimulated to think and to articulate their thoughts in new ways, focusing their attention on the creative process rather than the final product. (IBO)

The ES Visual Arts Program at AAS is created through the National Core Arts Standards, and within the IB PYP Framework. Please see the following links for more details.

IB Primary Years Program at AAS
National Core Arts Standards

Middle School Art

Visual art is an important part of the AAS Middle School curriculum. Over the course of a semester each year, students explore a wide variety of artistic mediums. Middle school art classes foster the freedom of expression to help students during their challenging middle school years, instilling in them an artistic vocabulary to cultivate a lifelong appreciation for the arts

The MS Visual Arts Program at AAS is created through the National Core Arts Standards. Please see the following link for more details

High School Art

The Visual Arts program in high school is a kaleidoscope of inquiry, struggle, transformation and meaning. We celebrate both the unique vision of every individual student, as well all that unites us as human beings. Art is learning at the highest order: investigation and discovery, critical thinking and connection, expression and communication, and of course creativity and production.

Ninth and Tenth Graders can select from four electives, Painting, Drawing, World Art and Contemporary Art, each of them one semester in duration. These are foundational courses designed to not only develop a solid repertoire of artistic skills and techniques, but also to instill the understanding that art exists in a cultural and historic context, has meaning and purpose, and that aesthetic discussion is essentially an exercise in philosophy, requiring a specialized vocabulary and as well as a refined perspective. These electives are for all students simply interested or curious about Art, but also provide the basis for those who seek to advance their Art education in their future.

Students who choose to pursue Diploma Program Visual Arts set sail on a two-year journey wherein they seek to find and express their own artistic voices. IB Art is a rigorous academic program that encourages students to be fearless in their experimentation, thorough in their research, and dauntless in communicating their personal vision. Juniors become dynamic studio artists, engaging with a wide variety of artistic media, and establishing themselves as innovators. They also become adept aesthetic thinkers, practicing the art of visual analysis through written and oral critique. As students reach their senior year they have discovered a direction and purpose in the media and styles they choose to pursue, drawing inspiration from artists whose work they deem important. The senior exhibition is the crowning achievement of the high school Art program, a testament to the courage, compassion, strength, and vision of our learners who have overcome the challenges of self-discovery, whose art work is the embodiment of this quest.  

Picture of Elementary school student in Art Room in school campus






picture of Middle School Students during Drama concert in Bolshoi Theatre in school campus


Theatre at AAS

Elementary Drama

Elementary School Drama is an after school program for students in third, fourth, and fifth grade. The program runs for 12 weeks and culminates in a musical production which is performed for the AAS community. In addition to learning stage performance skills, students also take part in costume planning, prop management, and some stage design. Students are given opportunities to apply their imagination in theatre activities in order to perform with self-confidence, participate collaboratively, and enhance problem-solving skills. 

Middle School Drama

Curricular study in the area of the Arts is fundamental and essential for the overall intellectual, emotional, and social growth and development of students. Through the study of visual art, music, dance, and theatre, students develop a greater understanding and appreciation of aesthetics, culture, and history. Students develop cultural intelligence and recognize its importance in our global society. Our mission is to guide them through exploring expression, communication, imagination, and creative experiences, towards a better understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Middle School Drama curricular study is essential for the overall intellectual, emotional, and social development of students. Through theatre, students are provided the opportunity to explore creativity while acquiring self-knowledge, communication skills, and aesthetic awareness. Drama empowers students to engage with history, literature, and the arts, leading to a deeper understanding of the cultures of past and present societies. 

Middle School Drama program: 
• Emphasizes student collaboration and the importance of ensemble. 
• Reflects theatre’s socio-cultural significance and relevancy. 
• Emphasizes the importance of being an informed observer of theatre. 
• Instills in students a respect for the theatre. 
• Engages students in acting, devising, writing, directing, designing, and producing theatre. 

Drama in grade 6 is an introduction to Theatre Arts.  Students learn basic acting skills to develop characterizations with particular emphasis on concentration, diction, body alignment, and posture.  In addition, students explore character behaviors through improvised scenes and tableau stories.  
Drama in grade 7 is designed to help the students to develop their basic acting skills.  Students begin to explore using their body and voice as a flexible instrument, which allows them to develop a character’s behavior through a combination of movement, vocal pitch, and tone.  They learn basic ensemble and production through different theatre games and projects, as well as dramatizing a fable.
Drama in grade 8 is designed to further develop fundamental skills in Theatre Arts.  Along with enhancing their acting skills through improvised and scripted scenes, students work on learning essential construction elements of dialogue and action, stage business, internal monologue, and Stanislavski Method acting.

High School Drama

The Drama and Theatre Arts program in high school is designed to enable the growth and development of all students in a variety of ways. Both the Drama electives and the IB Theatre Arts diploma are highly experiential and present the students with the excitement of challenge and highest levels of personal and collaborative creativity. The program endeavors to expose students to a range of theatre practices and theory so as to expand the students’ outlook on theatre-making and performance. Students feel far more inclined to take risks and express their ideas with the hindsight knowledge of the joy and ‘payback’ that it instills as well as accruing new and sophisticated knowledge into the world of theatre.

The Grade 9 and 10 electives are mixed and are governed by the objectives intrinsic to Acting and Ensemble work and then to build upon that – the Theatre Connoisseur elective.

The Acting and Ensemble elective places an emphasis upon artistic group awareness, improvisation, comedy and the inventive use of sound, light, props, and costume. Students learn clowning skills for spatial awareness and skills in performance tempo and rhythm. They also create comedy skits through naturalism and scenarios with heightened conflicts that are developed through the students’ own imaginations. The students also develop performance pieces using broad stylized gestures, impassioned speech, and the Greek Chorus to cultivate performances based on the Brothers Grimm ‘Dark Tales’. 

The Theatre Connoisseur class looks more closely at the theory and the practice that ensues through practitioners such as Bertolt Brecht and Meyerhold’s Biomechanics. Students create comedy pieces that are politically charged with stylized performance techniques and an assortment of supporting production elements. Students also consult play texts to enhance and inspire their learning and creativity. Connoisseur also looks into Absurdism to encompass either the texts of Samuel Beckett or Harold Pinter. This culminates in playwriting and directing pieces for and with the support of their peers.

The IB Theatre Arts diploma is a journey of practical and intellectual exploration through research, experimentation, and presentation. Students are offered the opportunity to truly appreciate other practices of theatre that defy or compliment practices of the Western World. They also explore practices that strongly contrast with Naturalism and the kinds of theatre with which they are significantly less familiar. 

Students work with Grotowski, the work of professional theatre companies such as DV8 and Forced Entertainment and the joy of their own stimuli for technique implementation. Students explore Magical Realism and Phenomenology via the work of Romeo Castellucci and Marina Abramovic. They also somatically study the neutral and expressive mask training of Jacques Lecoq as well as more sophisticated avenues into the political world of Bertolt Brecht. The final assessments are the collaborative project which is performed in the Malyy Theatre in school, the Solo Presentation, the Director’s Notebook, and the Research Presentation.





Early Years Program

For our youngest learners in PreK and Kindergarten, AAS has a specialized early learners program encompassing music, art, and theatre.


Early Years

Early Years music is an important aspect of a child’s early educational years. It helps them to express in different ways, through movement, music, drama and art. We have found that these subjects are all naturally connected.

In class, your child will be learning about rhythm by moving, singing and playing percussion instruments. We will be using stories to add speech and instrument accompaniments. We will be moving and dancing to be more self aware of our bodies as well as our personal space. We will also be feeling the beat to the music we are dancing too. In art, we will be exploring the elements, of line, shape and patterns.

The children will have time to explore in each of the areas, to problem solve and to come up with a process to get to their ‘final product’. However, the emphasis is not so much on the final product but more on the ‘creative process’. 

Picture of Elementary school student  in Art classroom