Fine Arts Courses

Art 5

This 12-week studio course includes work in drawing, painting and pottery. There are a variety of projects presented to increase technical skills as well as foster imagination. Each student is encouraged to rely on his or her creativity to incorporate this information into uniquely expressive works of art. There will be an emphasis on the principles and elements of design (art). Grasping the importance of imagination in art and understanding the roles of observation and personal perceptions will play an important part in this class. They will learn how art can be integrated with other disciplines, thus seeing art as a visual language through which they can communicate. A safe atmosphere in which students gain a positive attitude about themselves and others and their work will develop into taking risks and using their problem solving skills. Techniques are presented and each student is encouraged to incorporate these skills into uniquely expressive works of art. Relating to and relying on each student’s major interests and personal surroundings are major themes in fifth-grade artwork.


Art 6

This 12-week studio course includes work in drawing, painting and pottery. There are a variety of projects presented to increase technical skills as well as foster imagination. Each student is encouraged to rely on his or her creativity to incorporate this information into uniquely expressive works of art. There will be an emphasis on the principles and elements of design (art). Grasping the importance of imagination in art and understanding the roles of observation and personal perceptions will play an important part in this class. They will learn how art can be integrated with other disciplines, thus seeing art as a visual language through which they can communicate. A safe atmosphere in which students gain a positive attitude about themselves and others and their work will develop into taking risks and using their problem-solving skills. 

Art 7

Taking what has been learned from fifth- or sixth-grade art, this year-long studio course will include an in-depth focus on drawing, painting, printmaking and pottery. A variety of projects will center around the rhythmic subtleties of the elements and principles of design (art). Each student is encouraged to develop his or her uniquely expressive talent in his or her artwork. Advanced drawing techniques along with multiple mixed media projects will be explored. An understanding of the role that observation and personal perception plays in their work will be emphasized throughout the year. It is important that the students see that art is a visual language through which they can communicate. Great masters along with contemporary artists that relate to their artwork will be introduced and studied.

Art 8

Taking what has been learned from fifth- or sixth- and seventh-grade art, this year-long studio course will include an in-depth focus on drawing, painting, printmaking and pottery. A variety of projects will center around the rhythmic subtleties of the Elements and Principles of Design (Art). Each student is encouraged to develop his or her uniquely expressive talent in their art work. Advanced drawing techniques along with multiple Mixed Media projects will be explored. An understanding of the role that observation and personal perception plays in their work will be emphasized throughout the year. It is important that the students see that art is a visual language through which they can communicate. Great masters along with contemporary artists that relate to their artwork will be introduced and studied.

Band 5

Fifth-grade band class is a 12-week hands-on experience with each student choosing a band instrument and learning the fundamentals of playing that instrument. Concentration will be given to learning notes, tone quality, rhythm, and musicality. At the end of the 12-week rotation, the fifth-grade band class will combine with the sixth-grade band class to perform a concert of elementary band selections during an evening program for parents.

Band 6

Sixth-grade band class is a 12-week hands-on experience with each student choosing a band instrument and learning the fundamentals of playing that instrument. Concentration will be given to learning notes, tone quality, rhythm and musicality. At the end of the 12-week rotation, the sixth-grade band class will combine with the fifth-grade band class to perform a concert of elementary band selections during an evening program for the parents.

Band 7

Seventh-grade band class is a full-year course with the band meeting five out of seven cycle days. The band works on age-appropriate selections with emphasis on tone, rhythm, dynamics, ensemble and overall musicianship. Each student will continue to improve his or her individual technique and skills learned in the fifth- and sixth-grade band rotation through daily drills in class, including scale and chord studies. The seventh-grade band usually performs two daytime assemblies and three evening concerts during the year. 

Band 8

Eighth-grade band class is a full-year course with the band meeting five out of seven cycle days. The band works on age-appropriate selections with emphasis on tone, rhythm, dynamics, ensemble and overall musicianship. Each student will continue to improve his or her individual technique and skills learned in the fifth- and sixth-grade band rotation through daily drills in class, including scale and chord studies. The eighth-grade band usually performs two daytime assemblies and three evening concerts during the year along with an assembly at the Lower School and the Halloween festivities. 

Chorus 5

Fifth-grade chorus is a 12-week course. Students will learn about their singing voice through vocal exercises, breath support and understanding the changing voice. Use of the "Rhythm Reader" book 1 will support rhythm reading and music theory for fifth grade. A composer such as Bach, Handel or Beethoven will be explored through DVDs and research on iPads. Age-appropriate choral music from different genres will be learned and performed in a concert at the end of the rotation. There is also an emphasis of learning history through music. 

Chorus 6

Sixth-grade chorus class is a 12-week course. Students will learn about their singing voice through vocal exercises, breath support and understanding the changing voice. Use of the “Rhythm Reader” book 1 will support rhythm reading and music theory for sixth grade. A composer such as Bach, Handel or Beethoven will be explored through DVD and research on iPads. Age-appropriate choral music from different genres will be learned and performed in a concert at the end of the rotation. There is also an emphasis of learning history through music.

Chorus 7

Students will learn to sing accurately, with expression, technical accuracy and with good breath control throughout their singing ranges, alone and in small or large ensembles. "Music Theory" book 2 will be used to reinforce music skills, sight reading and listening skills. There are two concerts; the first is in December, and the second is in May. For the May concert, the seventh-grade chorus and movement classes will combine, performing a piece together with movement.

Chorus 8

Students will learn to sing accurately, with expression, technical accuracy and good breath control throughout their singing ranges, alone and in small or large ensembles. For the spring semester drama, chorus and movement will combine classes to perform a Broadway Jr. musical.

Drama 5

The fifth-grade drama class is based on the creative drama concepts expressed eloquently by the AATE – The American Association of Theatre in Education. They define creative drama as “an improvisational, nonexhibitional, process-centered form of drama in which participants are guided by a leader to imagine, enact, and reflect upon human experiences. The leader guides the group to explore, develop, express and communicate ideas, concepts and feelings through dramatic enactment.” The activities we engage in include movement, pantomime, theatre games, improvised story drama, and group improvisations. The students get practice in developing imagination, independent thinking, the opportunity to cooperate with others, developing their own ideas, and developing an understanding of the art of theatre. 

Drama 6

The sixth-grade drama class is based on the creative drama concepts expressed eloquently by the AATE – The American Association of Theatre in Education. They define creative drama as “an improvisational, nonexhibitional, process-centered form of drama in which participants are guided by a leader to imagine, enact, and reflect upon human experiences. The leader guides the group to explore, develop, express and communicate ideas, concepts and feelings through dramatic enactment.” The activities we engage in include movement, pantomime, theatre games, improvised story drama, and group improvisations. The students get practice in developing imagination, independent thinking, the opportunity to cooperate with others, developing their own ideas, and developing an understanding of the art of theatre. 

Drama 7

Drama 7 will focus on the fundamentals of acting, the history of theatre, the techniques of performance, and the literature of drama. Acting fundamentals will be explored through movement, vocal production, imagination, emotion, observation, characterization, and motivation using varied forms and methods of acting. Techniques used will include theatre games, pantomime, improvisation, monologue and scene study. History and literature will be explored through play production, including the technical aspects of set design, costume design, lighting design and sound design.

Drama 8

Drama 8 will focus on the fundamentals of acting, the history of theatre, the techniques of performance, and the literature of drama. Acting fundamentals will be explored through movement, vocal production, imagination, emotion, observation, characterization, and motivation using varied forms and methods of acting. Techniques used will include theatre games, pantomime, improvisation, monologue, and scene study. History and literature will be explored through play production, including the technical aspects of set design, costume design, lighting design, and sound design. 

Movement 5

Movement in the fifth grade is an introduction to the body moving in space, executing shape, utilizing weight and incorporating time. Through the use of music and emotional emphasis, dancers begin to recognize this language and apply it to the creation of dance pieces. Activities include components of choreography and improvisation, developing self-awareness and respect for others, group problem-solving tasks, class sharing of choreography and guided visualization/relaxation techniques. It is through this approach that technique is introduced and an appreciation of the art form evolves.

Movement 6

Movement in sixth grade explores further the foundations of the body moving in space. The emphasis on proper body alignment, building strength, balance and extending flexibility is further emphasized. The utilization of space, shape, weight and time is extended into longer phrases of movement and with a more sophisticated and ordered introduction of specific dance techniques, including classical ballet, jazz, modern and international. Tasks become more project-based, often centering around components from other sixth-grade subject curriculums. Choreography and improvisational activities draw more from an experiential level; students are encouraged to discover and recognize the difference between literal and abstract applications and interpretations of dance as an art form.

Movement 7

Seventh-grade movement incorporates body awareness, self-control and non-verbal communication as a vehicle to employ elements of choreography as a means of self-expression and individuality. Students are encouraged to recognize and measure their varying levels of strength, flexibility and extension as they progress in skills and utilization of vocabulary. Gender stereotypes are often challenged and respectful support of peers and their work is highly encouraged and expected. Content of curriculum progresses from process based to a gradual introduction of performance opportunities, based around school life, cultural holidays, and historical events.  

Movement 8

Eighth-grade movement draws from the student’s ability and experience to use dance as a medium for self-expression and physical awareness. Opportunities for collaboration and performance in the other fine arts offerings are afforded through the Middle School musical. Students are instructed as to the connections that can be recognized and facilitated between the disciplines of vocal, dramatic and dance arts as well as preparation of the body, voice and brain for an authentic on stage presence and performance. Ensemble work

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An independent, coeducational day school, pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
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