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Academics

Language: Middle School students choose among three different languages, French, Spanish, and Chinese.

Chorus 7 and Chorus 8 are classes in vocal performance and pedagogy taught at a beginning through intermediate level. The program includes instruction in music theory, sight reading, and vocal technique that is specifically designed to meet the needs of the young singer. Notation, rhythm, sight-reading, and musical styles are all a part of the curriculum. As with the Instrumental Music class, vocal students also participate in a performance at the end of the course.

Select Chorus: Interested middle school students may audition for Select Chorus at the beginning of the year. The group works on close-harmony singing and other advanced vocal techniques, and performs at least once each year.

Big Band is a performance class which is by audition and targets students at the intermediate to advanced levels. The curriculum assumes an intermediate level knowledge in sight-reading and instrumental technique. The class focuses primarily on different jazz style arrangements for “big band” or “swing band.” Styles include swing, funk, rock, Latin, and fusion. Rehearsals focus on ensemble playing and emphasize concepts such as blend, color, and ensemble “tightness.” All students perform at the various school events throughout the year.

Middle School Chamber

Music 7 and Music 8

Middle School Rock Band is open to any student interested in making great rock music with others. Students may sing or play instruments, and beginning instrumentalists are welcome. Students work together to choose what music they want to perform, rehearse those pieces, and prepare for performances. This group may perform in major concerts. Through the year, students develop practice skills, rehearsal skills (including collaboration), and performance skills. Students who take this course are exempted from Music 7 (as 7th graders) or Music 8 (as 8th graders), though many students choose to take those courses anyway.

Dance 7 and Dance 8 raise each student’s awareness of her potential by encouraging artistic expression, encompassing Western Traditions (ballet, modern and jazz) as well as dance from other areas of the world. Students connect the nature of dance, the body and the self in a stimulating environment. Dancers are encouraged to develop imaginative solutions to movement problems. The program provides a supportive surrounding to investigate body alignment and technical proficiency. Classes include a rigorous warm-up and a discussion of dance vocabulary and movement combinations that are designed to cultivate and enrich the young dancer’s experience. In addition, we will prepare a performance piece to be shared in the winter concert and in the Middle School Performing Arts concert in May.

Life Skills is for Middle School students in 7th and 8th grade. Life Skills is designed to introduce new material to the students that may fit outside of the traditional curriculum. This course is offered during a semester and covers a variety of topics. Students are engaged in discussions on health and wellness, community, basic anatomy and reproduction, fitness, culture, social media, and peer pressure. This course integrates developmental social skills and autonomous thinking into each topic.