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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.

Accordion

In this course, students may:

  • Explore basic concepts of singing techniques, such as proper breathing and vocal production, good intonation, ear training, and sight-reading skills
  • Perform a variety of musical genres in two-part harmony

In this course, students may:

  • Build on the basic concepts of singing technique introduced in sixth grade, with further emphasis on range expansion, choral blend, and choral balance
  • Further their study of music theory and solfège, as well as their sight-reading proficiency
  • Perform a variety of musical genres in three-part harmony

In this course, students may:

  • Explore musical expression through phrasing, dynamics, and performance techniques
  • Extend their musical skills through choral singing techniques such as vowel placement, articulation, and breath support
  • Study sight-singing techniques through note-reading and ear-training exercises that help them become more independent musicians

In Instrumental Ensemble, students begin their musical journey by learning to play their respective instruments through skill-appropriate music.

In this course, students may:

  • Learn basic rhythms and following a director
  • Rehearse instrumental skills and establish technical proficiency

Building on the foundation from the sixth-grade year, students progress further and perform more complex music with the ensemble.

In this course, students may:

  • Dive deeper in musical theory and technique
  • Practice and hone their skills on a regular basis

By this time, students in the ensemble are expected to be dedicated to music and willing to pursue instrumental training more seriously and at a faster pace.

In this course, students may:

  • Become stronger listeners, better readers, and more confident performers
  • Improve their skills through specialized instruction in preparation for Upper School Ensemble

This course builds on students’ knowledge, activities, and experiences from the previous year, shifting the focus to history and more complex music theory.

In this course, students may:

  • Discover specific ways we hear music and where music fits culturally
  • Gain exposure to a variety of composers and genres, seeing how music connects us as global citizens

This course is an elective for the curious and serious-minded student who loves music but prefers an academic rather than a performance focus.

In this course, students may:

  • Discover the roots of 20th-century American music
  • Learn about the musical contributions made by African and European cultures

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