Middle School Art and Design
Middle School Art and Design classes act as an introduction to the world of visual expression. Students are given project parameters based upon student interests. Methods and materials are emphasized, as students learn to manipulate tools and approaches for the best, desired outcome. Students may delve into the areas of architecture, interior, graphic and product design as well drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, and photography.
In sixth grade, students are exposed to a wide range of artistic experiences through dynamic group and individual activities and projects. For example, 6th grade students were recently commissioned to design a futuristic zoo. They not only drew their choice of animal but they also created it three dimensionally, built a model of the animal’s enclosure, explored the proposed site using a drone to create aerial photographs and videos, and even created a hybrid animal center and gene enhancement research division of the zoo.
In seventh and eighth grades, students develop a foundational visual vocabulary and gain exposure to many genres, movements, and methodologies (both manual and digital) to support the building of problem solving skills, background knowledge, and abilities to create and innovate. For example, students were recently commissioned to design large panels of artwork for a dining hall. Using the theme of food and nourishment, students had to work as a team to brainstorm ideas, draw solutions to scale, create a digital mock-up of the design, prepare a proposal and presentation for kitchen staff, and complete the final project. Students learned how to tackle a real world problem and execute an ideal solution from initial concept to completed work.
Middle School Media Arts
Middle School Media Arts is an elective that allow students to explore the fundamentals of media creation; from pre-production (planning, budgeting, script writing, storyboarding) to production (recording images, video and sound, setting up lighting, green screen special effects, etc) to post-production (editing, titles, audio). Analysis of various types of media, artist movements, and fundamental elements and principles of design are also studied. Students use Apple iMovie, GIMP, and Garageband as well as various online design tools to create, manipulate, and analyze digital artworks. Middle School students build skills in generating a variety of assignments, such as photo collage and manipulations, public service announcements, video games, and website designs. All students build executive functioning skills as they manage short and long term projects.
Middle School Drama
The Middle School Drama Program offers opportunities for students to help shape a class by sharing their interests, knowledge and ideas and proposing projects and possibilities. Beginning with Improvisational Theater, students learn the basic rules of Improv and work together as a team to take risks, develop self confidence and find their voice as an individual, a supportive scene partner and constructive ensemble member. As students progress through the program they have opportunities to take part in plays and musicals in our after-school Drama Club and may use class time to prepare for their roles. Students may also choose to focus on playwriting, create original choreography, or show an interest in set design, stage management, costuming, hair and make-up or running lights and sound.
Middle School Music
The Middle School Music Program offers a broad introduction to basic skills and techniques in instrumental playing (guitar, piano, bass, drums), singing (musical theater, pop, classical, solo/choral), music technology (using GarageBand and a digital interface), music improvisation and songwriting. Music Elective classes are focused on student interest and talents, and also provide solo and ensemble opportunities. Examples of extracurricular options in Music include Middle School Choir, which meets weekly during lunch and Drama Club Musical productions, which rehearse after school.