Middle School Visual & Performing Arts

Music Classes (weekly)

Weekly classes provide a pleasurable environment in which students continue to develop appreciation for a variety of musical forms as well as elementary music literacy.  Progressing through the grades, the students learn about the instruments and structure of the orchestra and are introduced to several major composers and samples of their work. Sixth-graders are introduced to opera, usually including attendance at a professional performance.  Choral training continues in all grades, and students perform in choral programs twice yearly.   

Art Classes (weekly)

In Westminster’s large, naturally lit art studio, middle-school students are guided through a variety of projects which explore increasingly sophisticated art processes, skills, and media.  Projects are based on the child’s current life experiences or imaginative life, and often relate to topics under study in the academic classrooms.  Students also learn about the work of different artists, and discover much through experimenting with a particular artist’s approach. Throughout the year, each student produces a portfolio of work, and all students have a work included in the annual school-wide art contest.


Orchestra

This optional program is offered to students in grades 3 – 8.  Students receive instrumental instruction on a rotating weekly schedule during the school day, meeting twice-weekly before school for ensemble practice.  (Students who are committed to lessons outside of school may participate in Orchestra, with coordination between the instrumental instructor and the Orchestra Director).  The Orchestra performs at school music programs.  


Drama

As part of Westminster’s Drama Program, each grade presents a play during the school year.  Each child has a speaking part, and most productions include group and solo singing.  Participation in this important class project develops self-confidence and poise, group cooperation, and provides an opportunity to be recognized and celebrated by the entire school community.  In grades 3 – 5, students are directed in their plays by their homeroom teachers, with help from parents regarding costumes, set, and props.  In 6th grade, the students are directed in a “junior musical” by the music teacher, and two separate casts and performances allow greater participation by each student.  This serves as a bridge to the more sophisticated, upper-school drama experience.