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Middle School Fine Arts
Fine Arts instruction in Middle School builds on the foundations laid in Lower School. There are two courses offered at this level: art and general music. They are taught on a rotating basis by quarter.
The Middle School art program is designed to build on the experiences introduced in the Lower School art program. Students encounter a variety of activities to develop skills in aesthetics, art criticism, art history, and production. The instructor emphasizes the development of drawing skills and encourages students to experiment with different drawing media to discover expressive drawing techniques. The program includes a survey of major trends in the history of art and activities which directly relate this study to the production of creative student works. The goal of the Middle School program in art is to provide students with a broad background in the basic art disciplines and to allow maximum time for individual experimentation and creative application of the ideas presented. Follow the links for grade level specifics.
Students become more self-reliant as they begin middle school art. Projects are multi-layered, and students must make decisions as they work on various levels of an assignment. Advance exploration of color is a central focus throughout the year. Students are free to experiment and help themselves to materials during time in the classroom. Critical analysis of their work as well as work of others continues. New painting techniques are introduced. Working from life and creating the illusion of dimension are emphasized.
Importance is placed on exploring unusual techniques. Assignments include creating a foil and ink relief, drawing with glue, and exploring the concept of depicting emotion by using color. The students keep a sketchbook that is filled with quick drawing assignments presented at the beginning of each class. Shading and creating depth using light and shadow is further developed. Rudimentary perspective is taught. Assignments are designed to introduce some of the concepts that will be explored in greater depth in upper school. Students are encouraged to work at their own pace, as different skill levels emerge in individual students as they mature.
At this level, students learn to apply the principles and elements of design using abstraction in modern art. They are introduced to scientific perspective and given the opportunity to experience a wide variety of media. Special emphasis is placed on drawing skills and perceptions. Sketchbooks are introduced as a valuable organizational tool. Students are introduced to aesthetics through teacher lead critiques.
In the last middle school opportunity for art, students will learn to implement the elements of design. They will refine their understanding of scientific perspective as increased emphasis is placed on life drawing skills. Students are introduced to basic color mixing skills and the usage of color schemes. Students will be exposed to art criticism and aesthetics through teacher lead critiques of works of art. Students further their use of the sketchbook, with emphasis placed on time management and responsibility for workspace.
Students in grades 5-6 continue their study of music elements through choral singing, instrumental ensembles, and participation in a school play. Each student performs a variety of repertoire from different genres of music ranging from Classical to Contemporary. Students are taught proper vocal and instrumental technique, as well concert etiquette. Students are carefully assessed to determine their vocal and instrumental progress as the year continues. Cumulative learning, creative expression, and music appreciation are the ultimate goals of the class.
Students in grades 7-8 experience a variety of activities during their quarter in Music. Students continue to build on their musical knowledge through ensemble singing, group piano lessons, music theory studies, and basic composition. This class does not generally perform during the year, but uses their time in the class to decide which areas of music study they most enjoy. Students are encouraged to pursue music in Upper School classes based on these preferences. Wide varieties of music are studied as students become better acquainted with intermediate theory. A composition project is the final assignment of the class, allowing students to creatively express themselves using their growing musical vocabulary, as well as the latest music technology.