Arts

Performing Arts
Music 6 students perform as an ensemble with a varied repertoire of secular and sacred songs in two-part harmony. Vocal production, musical terminology, theory, and sight reading are emphasized.

Music 7 students are introduced to more difficult harmonies and rhythms than they experienced as 6th graders. They continue to study theory including vocabulary, vocal production, and how to be good ensemble members. Development of the ear is a major focus.

Music 8 students will ring handbells both semesters of the school year. With three octaves of bells, we offer an extraordinary opportunity to enhance sight reading skills, technique, and the fun of working together as a team of synchronized musicians. This group will be performance oriented.

Theatre 6 students walk into the theatre, remove their shoes (if they choose), and gather as an ensemble of creative thinkers. Care is taken to establish a healthy environment for young people to play. Using a game-based curriculum in the style originated by theatre trailblazer Viola Spolin, students are introduced to games that have specific theatre objectives but are accessed through play. This teaching philosophy encourages students of all ages and abilities to participate fully and to enjoy the participation of others.

Theatre 7 builds on the foundation of Theatre 6. Students continue to develop their performance skills by participating in increasingly sophisticated theatre activities. One example is an introduction to masked acting. Masks have been used for centuries both for performance and for acting training. In a curriculum based on methods that trace back to commedia dell’arte, medieval Japan, and ancient Greece, students learn to make mind-body connections and delineate choice from impulse. Denied the use of facial expressions, students learn to communicate with their entire bodies which, in turn, enables them to perform with more expression, intuition, and power.

Theatre 8 students in their previous year studies have seen and discussed several live theatre productions and possess a working theatre vocabulary. They understand that the actor’s three tools – the body, the voice, and the creative mind – are utilized to achieve an effective performance. Curriculum threads that continue into the 8th grade theatre program are improvisation, game-based curriculum, and mask work. New units of theatre education include a study of performing Shakespeare. While tackling classical theater, they practice memorizing difficult text, decoding Elizabethan verse, and formally presenting heightened language. At the same time, they broaden their familiarity with some of literature’s most famous passages and plays. Three years of middle school drama class leaves them stronger, more able to creatively collaborate, able to appreciate dramatic art, or, if they choose, ready to continue as theatre artists.

Visual Arts
Visual Arts 6 meets in the art studio twice a week. Sixth grade artists engage in a variety of processes and techniques and experiment with many materials. We consider the traditional use of our tools and media as well as contemporary approaches. We maintain a process portfolio in our sketchbooks and create a portfolio for exhibition at year’s end. We talk and write about our art, the art of others, and the role of art in our contemporary culture and in history. The themes of 6th grade art explore our campus as studio and place-based art. The outline listed for the year is organic and will evolve as we cross disciplinary lines and generate enthusiasm in specific directions.

Visual Arts 7 meets in the 2-D studio twice a week. We engage in a great variety of processes and techniques and experiment with many materials. We will consider the traditional use of our tools and media as well as contemporary approaches. We will maintain a process portfolio in our sketchbooks and create a portfolio for exhibition at year’s end. We will talk and write about our art, the art of others, and the role of art in our contemporary culture and in history. The themes of 7th grade art explore the relationships between art, design, and everyday life. Another aspect of the class is "Voices of the Village," founded in 2015 and inspired by the African Proverb "It takes a village to raise a child," this program invites volunteers from our local and global communities to inspire, inform, and support our students.

Visual Arts 8 investigates the elements of form and design in 3-D through two distinct semester courses: Drawing and Painting and Clay. In Drawing and Painting, students work with a variety of media and continue to explore unity of form through line, shape color, texture, and tonal value. Students examine how individuals interact with the spaces around them, learn to draw 3-D space in a representational manner, and invent imaginary spaces. In Clay, students acquire the basic skills of hand-building and throwing on the potter’s wheel, exploring how form and design relate to the purpose and function of a piece. Students develop confidence in their ability to engage in an artistic endeavor. They conceive of and execute work, using imagination and self-discipline to follow through with all the steps necessary to complete a project successfully.

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