Visual & Performing Arts

Teachers: Mark Dungan, Jennifer Ellington, Brittney Kerby, Tiffany Ou and Linda Papanicolaou

Visual and Performing Arts Departments

Art 

Prerequisite:  None 7th and 8th grade Semester

In the elective art class, students develop their knowledge of visual art as a means of communicating and expressing ideas. Through both whole-class instruction and independent art making, students explore and build their skills in various materials and techniques, including drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, ceramics and sculpture.

They will become increasingly self-directed in their art making, be able to set goals and strategies for an art work in progress, discuss and evaluate their work and the work of others both others, and become aware of future opportunities to incorporate art in their lives through high school and beyond. The class is based on the framework of the new National Core Art Standards. Students are invited to take the class as often as they wish.

Drama 1A
Prerequisite:  None
7th and 8th grade Semester

This is a beginning theatre course that offers a more in-depth exploration of theatre skills and techniques that were learned in the drama wheel class. Students will study pantomime, improvisation, different theatre terms and script construction. Students will participate in projects that will include writing, memorizing and performing scenes, plays, skits, and poems for the class. The class will not only cover the performance side of theatre but an introduction to the “behind the scenes” technical aspects involved in every production including set and costume design. This class focuses on development of communication, self-confidence, and cooperative learning through the use of performance. The culmination of this class is an in-class production to which families and friends will be invited.

Drama 1B
Prerequisite:  Drama 1A
7th and 8th grade Semester

This course is a continuation of what was learned in Drama 1A. The class will start with the basics of pantomime and improvisation.  Students will then move on to study the different theatre terminology and parts of a story. Students will be expected to write, memorize, direct, and perform scenes, monologues, plays, and skits for the class. The students will also further their skills in technical aspects of theatre productions.  We will focus on prop and set design and may assist with the school productions.  Students will also have further exposure to Shakespeare’s plays by performing scenes from some of his works. We will then explore a unit on musical theatre and choreography. Finally, towards the end of the semester, the class will rehearse and perform a play for parents/guardians and other students during class time. This class will prepare the student to continue theatre during high school if they so choose.

 

Musical Theatre

Prerequisite:  None                                              

7th and 8th grade Semester

This class will study musical plays and will perform in the school musical.  The class will also provide an opportunity to become familiar with many aspects of theatre, students will experience coursework in acting, singing, and movement in order to develop characters, practice vocal development and articulation, improve stage presence and movement skills, and work on the sets costumes, and props for the musical play. Students will also have the opportunity to practice ensemble singing/dancing techniques and to develop solo skills in preparation for the end of semester performance. This class requires after school, evening, and weekend rehearsals and performances.

Music

Band
7th and 8th grade Year

Concert Band and Symphonic Band are composed of students who have previously studied a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument. Both of the bands perform at formal concerts, the May Fete parade, and travel to the elementary schools to perform assembly programs. Other music concerts and activities are available during the year. Small ensemble experiences are encouraged for all students.

Placement in the appropriate band will be made by the middle school band directors based on such criteria as: recommendation of the 6th grade music teacher, audition by middle school teachers, and the instrument the student plays.

In both Concert and Symphonic Band students will expand their knowledge and skills of basic music fundamentals, such as key signatures, rhythm patterns, and tone quality. Music studied will be drawn from various periods and cultures reflecting our global heritage. By the end of the year, students will become acquainted with classical, popular, rock, and jazz music.

Choir 
7th and 8th grade Year 

This class is for students who love to sing!  Choir students will develop and improve their voices, learn to read music, and perform together in a cooperative, supportive environment. The choir will perform a wide variety of choral music, including classical, multi-cultural, popular, jazz, and Broadway. There will be opportunities for solo and ensemble singing for those who are interested. The choir will perform in concerts, elementary school tours, and other events in the community.

Orchestra 
7th and 8th grade Year

The orchestra is designed to further the string student's ability with emphasis on note reading, fingering, bowing, and rhythm. Much attention is given to intonation, playing with expression, and the reading and learning of as much music literature as possible. Important goals are improved sight-reading, playing skills and playing techniques.

Performance and the discipline of performance are necessary parts of the course. Formal and informal concerts and performances for special event assemblies, and tours to different schools are included as a valuable part of the orchestra experience. Ensemble and solo playing are also encouraged. Other music activities are available throughout the year.

 

6th Grade Arts and Music

Physical Education and Music – During one period, sixth grade students spend alternate days in Physical Education and Music. Music students with no prior experience may select Beginning Band or Choir. Students are encouraged to continue with the instrument they started in the 5th grade.

Exploratory Wheel – The remaining period is Exploratory Wheel. Students rotate every 6 weeks through specially designed classes in Art, Computers, Drama, Industrial Technology and Language Transfer. The Art portion of the wheel is an exploratory course to help students develop introductory skills and vocabulary, learn new techniques, and expand their knowledge of art. Instructional units include the tools of three-dimensional and figural drawing, observational drawing, and thinking like an artist.  While in Drama, students will participate in pantomime, improvisation, learn theatre basics, and present partner scenes. They will end the section with a whole class performance to which family is invited.