Eighth Grade Art is a one-year course based on an in-depth study of art history from the Renaissance to the present day. The principles and elements of design continue to inform creative decisions. A variety of media is explored including wire or cardboard sculptures, mobiles, clay, collage, print making, and sewing. Each student learns to use a potter's wheel to make a vessel. Drawing encompasses a large scale mural, realistic portraits, and intricate scratch boards. Students study photography and computer graphics as forms of art.
Seventh Grade Art is a one-year course that offers a variety of experiences in design, color theory, basic drawing techniques, and 3-D. The course also integrates art history from the prehistoric period to the Renaissance. Many media are used such as colored pencils, watercolors, oil pastels, and tempera. Weaving, sculpting, paper mache, photography, computer graphics, and print making are interspersed throughout the course. Unique style is encouraged.
Sixth grade students may choose Art as an elective. Students complete assignments using the elements of art: line, shape, color, form, space, and texture. Value is introduced to the students. A variety of media is used, such as drawing, oil pastels, water media (watercolor, tempera, acrylic), collage, clay, paper mache, foil works, weaving, printmaking, and mixed media in creating works of art. Students study artists as they relate to the art project. They also critique their own artwork and those of other students.
Fifth grade students study Art for nine weeks each year as part of their fine arts rotation that includes Art, Choir, Drama, and Strings. During the nine week period devoted to art, students are exposed to the elements of art: line, shape, form, color, space, and texture. A variety of media is used, such as drawing, oil pastels, water media (watercolor, tempera, acrylic), collage, clay, paper mache, and mixed media in creating works of art. Students study artists as they relate to the art project. They also critique their own artwork.
Students in grades seven and eight may choose to take Concert Choir as their elective for the year. Students study and rehearse different types of music for mixed voices. Fundamentals of choral music are taught to help students develop vocal skills and sight reading ability in preparation for the rehearsal and performance of more difficult and sophisticated music at the Upper School level.
7th and 8th Grade Drama is a one-year course in which students develop and refine dramatic skills. Public speaking skills continue to be reinforced. Students address plot, setting, and character in both improvised and scripted scenes, and determine specific technical elements to safely provide support to both character and action. Students memorize lines, understand and follow stage directions, and use proper techniques for voice and body control. Students prepare scripted works throughout the year that they produce for family and friends
Sixth grade students may choose Drama as an elective for one semester. Students begin to refine their skills as they learn to express emotions and ideas using interpretive movements and dialogue, dramatize literary selections in pairs or groups, and participate in skits and scenes. Concepts of design, direction, and theater production are integrated throughout the semester. Public speaking skills are emphasized, and students use these skills as they make presentations in other courses.
During the rotation, 5th grade students are introduced to foundational concepts in theater arts. Students experience warm-up techniques, improvisation, and pantomime. Students learn the importance of voice and body control. Public speaking skills are emphasized, Fifth Grade Drama class is very participatory and encourages interaction and cooperation, respect and empathy among students.
Prerequisite: Six months to one year of experience or special permission.
Students in grades seven and eight may choose to participate in the Upper House Middle School (UHMS) string orchestra as their elective for the year. The intermediate strings class is designed to meet the needs of violin, viola, cello and bass students in an orchestra setting. These students will ideally have at least six months to one year of previous experience on their instruments. The curriculum is designed to develop their existing technique, teach more advanced techniques such as shifting and vibrato, and provide group performance opportunities. This orchestra generally performs at least six times per school year.
Sixth grade students may choose strings as an elective for one semester. During the semester, students build upon previous skills and add, for example, the bow techniques of detache, staccato, and slurring. Students recognize and apply terms for tempo such as allegro, andante, and moderato as well as style terminology such as legato, staccato, and fine. Additionally, students learn basic key signature, time signatures, and terms for expression such as f, P, and crescendo.
Fifth grade students study stringed instruments for nine weeks each year as part of their fine arts rotation that includes Art, Choir, Drama, and Strings. The course is introductory, and no prior knowledge or experience with a stringed instrument is necessary. Students may use school-owned instruments during the course. In strings class, fifth grade students learn how to hold the violin, viola, cello, or bass and how to hold the bow. They learn proper techniques for storage and transport of the instruments. Students learn to tune the instrument and develop proper playing posture. They master basic finger patterns and the first position on all strings in the keys of D. Students are taught to recognize and match pitches as well as read music.