In the Middle School, the Performing Arts Department recognizes the importance of artistic development in each student. Our performing arts curriculum and opportunities become more sophisticated as student artistry evolves.
This method includes creative artistic expression, groundwork in technique, an inclusive environment, a desire to spark dialogue, integrated studies, and the discipline required of artists. It also implies an understanding and appreciation of a cross-fertilization of ideas, studying the arts of various cultures.
Working through a dynamic sequence of curricula, Middle School art students continue to build upon their exploration and discovery taken from the Lower School and anticipate the exciting Portfolio opportunities in the Upper School. Students investigate a variety of media including drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media assemblage, photography and digital imagery to establish an understanding of the elements and principles of design. They simultaneously participate in rich, expressive projects that explore themes of identity, memory, community and self-image. Students collaborate with one another as they grapple with complex visual problems, foster an understanding of authentic communication, give and receive constructive criticism, and develop analytical skills that will benefit them in the art room and beyond. Learn more.
MIDDLE SCHOOL MUSICAL
Each winter, the Middle School stages a musical. In February 2017, Broyles Art Center hosted performances of High School Musical, Jr., which showed off the students' dancing, acting, and singing talents. The cast and crew were comprised of dozens of students, supporting the idea that "We're All In This Together."
There are so many opportunities to explore your artistic skills at Westminster. I can perform in the spring musical, be creative in art class, and perfect my instrument playing in the orchestra.
Class of 2023 Student
Students are placed into one of three band classes—beginner, intermediate, or advanced—based on their knowledge and playing experience. Students learn instrument playing fundamentals, basic musicianship, music theory, and rehearsal techniques in the beginner band classes. As they expand their desire for music performance, students refine individual playing skills and begin exploring the expressive qualities of musicianship in intermediate band. The advanced band class is designed for students aspiring to dive deeper into their passion for performance.
The Middle School Chorus program at Westminster is committed to developing lifelong singers and music appreciation. Each class includes vocal technique appropriate for the age, music theory, and music history. The objective is to create independent singers and musicians who have enough knowledge and confidence to feel comfortable and confident in any singing or audition situation.
Performance is an integral and rewarding part of the Middle School Chorus Curriculum. The Middle School Choirs perform in a variety of settings including Middle School religious services, Demonstration Concert, Spring Concert, Small Ensemble Concert, and Winter Recognition Assembly.
Two levels appropriate to age and skills are offered for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade Orchestra students. Prelude Orchestra offers young musicians the opportunity to develop basic performance technique and music reading skills. Participation in the Junior Chamber Orchestra helps develop technique through ensemble performance.
Dance begins in the eighth grade at Westminster. The dance program focuses on technique, challenging repertoire, and an overview of the history of dance. Students participate in daily modern and ballet technique classes in addition to being introduced to the basic elements of dance composition. The class incorporates flexibility and strength training, and the classroom exercises and technique are adapted for both novice and experienced dancers.
Public Speaking is offered in the eighth grade. It begins with the basics of effective communication and presentation skills, and moves into delivering informative, persuasive, and policy speeches. There is an overview of speech evaluation, and the students learn to give each other constructive feedback. Whether an evaluation, a presentation, or a classroom exercise, every student speaks every day with a variety of speech opportunities offered including interviews, debates, toasts, improv, voice-over, impromptu speeches, and interactive speeches. Students benefit from individual attention, personal direction, and specific feedback and advice about presentation style.
In every level of the Film & Theatre Arts department, we desire to create a solid foundation of good technique and powerful, specific, personal storytelling. We develop the individual artists’ instrument, and encourage them to become craftsmen and collaborators. The Film & Theatre Arts department in the Middle School offers a selection of courses during the academic day as electives, including theatre arts, theatre and film, and drama in performance. There are also extra-curricular performances during the school year, and all students are invited to audition.
Building on the principles of design, we continue our artistic journey through Middle School, enlightening students and empowering them to explore uninhibited creativity through self-awareness and increase their level and understanding of visual communication. Peruse the narrative and galleries below to gain a clearer understanding of the aesthetic development of the Middle School art student.