Skip to main content

Middle School Arts

This is the time when hidden talents emerge, undiscovered passions surface, and creative exploration is endless.

Exploring Your Interests

The fine and performing arts curriculum at Seven Hills provides students with a progression of concepts, skills, projects, and performances that facilitate creative and aesthetic thinking, nourish the intellectual expression of the whole person, and encourage them to explore their personal interests and develop their individual talents.

In grades six and seven, students participate in all three disciplines: music, theater, and visual art. In grade eight, students choose one or two of these disciplines to study further.


In this course, students study the foundations of music including rhythm, melody, harmony, and sound production. They are introduced to a musical vocabulary, they write and perform rhythmic notation, and they learn how to write what they hear. Students will learn performance skills through a variety of small musical ensembles involving percussion and tonal instruments.

Building on the foundation from the sixth grade, this class explores music theory and history and music from other cultures. Students will put their knowledge to work by writing, arranging, and performing individual compositions.

In the eighth grade, students examine the impact music has on history and culture. A majority of the semester is spent studying and evaluating 20th century American music and its relation to culture. Students will also learn the fundamentals of music technology, including sound production and recording, and will learn the basics of several instruments including keyboard and percussion.

Middle School Chorus introduces students to choral singing techniques such as vowel placement, articulation, breathing, phrasing, dynamics, performance techniques and two- and three-part harmony. Students also study sight-singing techniques through note reading and ear training exercises. Students will perform several times throughout the year. Participation in all performances is required. A calendar of events will be distributed early in the school year.

Instrumental Music is a yearlong course open to all students who currently play, or are committed to learn, a wind, brass, string or percussion instrument. Student instrumentalists are strongly encouraged to take private lessons. The course teaches ensemble skills and is not an environment for individual instruction. The sixth grade ensemble works on the fundamentals of ensemble playing and instrument technique. The seventh and eighth grade ensembles continue to develop instrument proficiency and rehearse more challenging works. All ensembles perform throughout the year and participation in those concerts is required. This course is designed to best serve those students committed to private instruction and maintaining a regular practice schedule.

After completing this course, students are able to think on their feet and solve problems creatively. These skills translate to any endeavor they may undertake, both on and off the stage.

In this course, students may:

  • Cover important concepts such as self-expression, communication, and collaboration
  • Adapt, take risks, and innovate through theater games and improvisation

This course builds on the concepts learned in Theater 6 by introducing empathy into the creative process, allowing students to see the world through the eyes of another and to immerse themselves in the world of their characters.

In this course, students may:

  • Go beyond traditional concepts such as voice and movement
  • Gain knowledge of tools such as objective, obstacle, and tactics, enabling them to live truthfully through an imaginary world

This course shifts the emphasis from the actor’s perspective in Theater 7 and opens the students’ world to the creative process from the points of view of writer, director, and designer.

In this course, students may:

  • Learn the fundamentals of planned performance and the collaboration involved in that process
  • Express themselves and their relationships to the world through their study of the human condition

In Art 6, the curriculum reviews the elements and principles of art and progresses through introductory units in many artistic mediums.

In this course, students may:

  • Learn the basics of perspective drawing, figure drawing, glass fusing, clay hand-building, painting, creating an installation, and art history
  • Explore and appreciate both the artistic process and the product

Art 7 reinforces the skills learned in sixth grade and adds more advanced techniques, while emphasizing art in the context of history and culture.

In this course, students may:

  • Continue to discover new techniques in perspective and portraiture drawing, glass blowing, slab and coil ceramic building, papier-mâché and sculpture, graphic design, and reverse glass painting
  • Focus on the creative process and experimentation

In Art 8, students extend their artistic skills and their knowledge of art materials.

In this course, students may:

  • Complete more technically challenging projects that encourage self-expression
  • Dive deeper on units such as still life drawing, glass casting, sculpture, landscape painting, ceramic vessels, digital stop-motion animation, and art history

Tech Art challenges students to use digital fabrication technologies to translate original digital designs into physical objects. Areas of study include: generating vector graphics, precision measuring with calipers, using plotter, laser, 3D printing technologies, and exploring the technical and aesthetic questions unique to digital fabrication technologies.