Private Performing Arts High Schools for Aspiring Artists

Performing, Dramatic and Graphic Arts

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Only a handful of private schools in the United States are devoted exclusively to the arts and the performing arts. From drama and dance to music, most of these private performing arts high schools integrate intensive training in a given craft with rigorous academics. If your child is gifted in the arts, be sure to explore some of these fine schools that can help your child achieve success.

Article edited by Stacy Jagodowski

Adda Clevenger School
On Stage at ACS. Photo © Adda Clevenger School
  • Religious affiliation: Nonsectarian
  • Grades: K-8
  • School Type: Coeducational, day school

Recent Adda Clenvenger graduates have gone on to prep schools such as The Branson School, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Lick - Wilmerding, Jewish Community High School, St. Ignatius College Preparatory, School of the Arts (SOTA), Stuart Hall, Urban, and University, among others.

Parents choose Adda Clevenger because their children have artistic talents which thrive in the supportive environment and community that the school offers. As day school tuitions go, the school is much more affordable than other similar schools. More »

The Conservatory
The Conservatory. Photo © The Conservatory
  • Religious affiliation: Nonsectarian
  • Grades: P1-12
  • School Type: Coeducational, day school

Helen Grigal founded The Conservatory in 1979. It is Baltimore's only college preparatory school for musicians, dancers and actors. Graduates of The Conservatory have gone on to the best institutions around the world. More »

Boston Choir School
Boston Choir School. Photo © Boston Choir School
  • Religious affiliation: Nonsectarian
  • Grades: 5-8
  • School Type: Coeducational, day school

Boston Boy Choir School educates its students musically as well as academically. It also develops each child to the fullest extent socially, emotionally and spiritually. Students are highly sought after by the area's leading prep schools. More »

The Chicago Academy for the Arts
The Chicago Academy for the Arts. Photo © The Chicago Academy for the Arts
  • Religious affiliation: Nonsectarian
  • Grades: 9-PG
  • School Type: Coeducational, day school

The Chicago Academy for the Arts was founded by a group of individuals who felt that Chicago young people desiring a career in the arts should not have to leave their city to receive that specialized training. Afternoons are devoted to one of these arts disciplines: Dance, Film & Writing, Music, Musical Theatre, Theatre, and Visual Arts. More »

  • Religious affiliation: Nonsectarian
  • Grades: 9-12
  • School Type: Coeducational, day school

Conservatory Prep Senior High School integrates the performing arts with an enriched academic curriculum. The school is highly-regarded in the South Florida area for both its programs and the manner in which its students embrace arts-based learning. The tuition is reasonable too. If your child is artistically inclined, put Conservatory Prep on your list. More »

The Crowden School
The Crowden School. Photo © The Crowden School
  • Religious affiliation: Nonsectarian
  • Grades: 4-8
  • School Type: Coeducational, day school

The Crowden School was founded by violinist Anne Crowden in 1983. Its goal is to produce "virtuoso children," not virtuoso musicians. In other words the school tries to balance the demands of an artistic training with the academic work necessary to succeed in later life. More »

Idyllwild Arts Academy
Idyllwild Arts Academy. Photo © Idyllwild Arts Academy
  • Religious affiliation: Nonsectarian
  • Grades: 9-PG
  • School Type: Coeducational, day school

Idyllwild Arts Academy offers a performance-based curriculum for young people aspiring to a career in the arts. The campus is located in the San Jacinto Mountains which makes it free from the usual sort of city distractions. The faculty lists like a who's who of top professionals. Because of its proximity to Los Angeles the opportunities to see and hear concerts and exhibits are first-rate. More »

Interlochen Arts Academy
Interlochen Arts Academy. Photo © Interlochen Arts Academy
  • Religious affiliation: Nonsectarian
  • Grades: 9-PG
  • School Type: Coeducational, boarding/day school

One of the most prestigious art schools, Interlochen Arts Academy provides a variety of college preparatory courses designed to expand students' thinking and develop the skills necessary to succeed at college level studies. This complements the students' studies in their chosen arts discipline. They also offer a summer program.  More »

The Professional Children's School
The Professional Children's School. Photo © The Professional Children's School
  • Religious affiliation: Nonsectarian
  • Grades: 6-12
  • School Type: Coeducational, day school

The Professional Children's School offers flexible, concentrated schedules so that its students can pursue their professional careers and/or training. For example PCS students also pursue studies at institutions such as The Juilliard School, the School of American Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Manhattan School of Music, the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, Mannes College of Music and the Skating Club of New York.
PCS has been around for over 90 years. PCS can tailor a rigorous college preparatory program to accommodate your child's busy professional schedule. More »

Boy Chorister
Boy Chorister. Tom Le Goff/Getty Images
  • Religious affiliation: Episcopal
  • Grades: 3-8
  • School Type: Boys, boarding school

Founded in 1919, St. Thomas Choir School is the only residential church choir school in the U.S. The boys are trained to sing the soprano or treble line in the famous St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys. They sing several times a week in the grand Gothic edifice on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue and perform dozens of concerts a year both at home and around the nation. More »

Walnut Hill School for the Arts
Walnut Hill School for the Arts. Photo © Walnut Hill School for the Arts
  • Religious affiliation: Nonsectarian
  • Grades: 9-12
  • School Type: Coeducational, boarding/day school

Walnut Hill School for the Arts was founded in 1883 as a private girls school. In 1970 the school became coeducational with a major arts emphasis. Today WHSA has one of the finest arts programs of any school in the world. It offers a rigorous college preparatory curriculum combined with an exciting artistic training. More »