It is our mission to provide equitable access to high-quality arts education for all Milwaukee Public Schools students.
The MPS Fine Arts Department serves schools in the visual arts, music, theater, and dance curricular content areas in kindergarten through grade 12.
Saturday Instrumental Music Programs
Milwaukee Public Schools offers instrumental music lessons through the Department of Recreation. Classes provide students with the opportunity to learn and develop their skills on woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings, and piano. Students from grades 4-12 are welcome. All experience levels are welcome. For more information, please go to www.MilwaukeeRecreation.net or call 414-475-8811.
Milwaukee Public Schools offers programs in instrumental music, choral music, and musical theater. For one week, students develop knowledge and skills, perform with peers, and connect with professionals in the arts. All programs culminate in a closing performance at the end of the week. Students from grades 4-12 are welcome. All experience levels are welcome. For more information, please go to www.MilwaukeeRecreation.net or call 414-475-8811.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Art Contest
The MPS Fine Arts Department invites your school to participate in the district’s annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The art contest is open to students in K4–grade 12 who live in the city of Milwaukee or are enrolled in a school, either public or private, in the city of Milwaukee. Each year the theme is based on Dr. King’s speeches or writings.
Deck the Halls
The MPS Fine Arts Department will present school vocal and instrumental ensembles in the halls of Central Services, located at 5225 W. Vliet Street. This is an opportunity to perform winter concert material for an enthusiastic audience of MPS Central Services staff.
Middle and high school drumlines have the opportunity to participate in competition and receive feedback from drumline performers and educators.
WSMA Solo and Ensemble
Middle and high school students prepare vocal or instrumental solos, duets, trios, or small ensembles to perform before an adjudicator. The festival is free and open to the public.
WSMA music festivals provide students with the opportunity to perform and be evaluated. Over the years, the emphasis of these musical events has changed from “contests,” where ratings were the most important, to “festivals,” which are clearly focused on providing a positive learning experience for students.
WSMA Concert Festival
School bands, choirs, and orchestras perform two to three selections – one of which is chosen from the WSMA Festival music list – for a panel of adjudicators. The adjudicators provide written and verbal critique for the ensemble and award a rating based on defined criteria. Directors also have the option of performing for “comment only,” for which their group will receive written and verbal critiques but no rating is given.
Biennial Music Festival
This festival is one of Milwaukee Public Schools’ largest events and involves thousands of students across the district from a wide range of grade levels making music in bands, choirs, and orchestras.