Music Classes (weekly)
Music classes are a regular part of the 7th-8th grade schedule. The curriculum combines music appreciation and history, music literacy, and choral training. All students perform in choral programs twice yearly. Additional opportunities for choral training and performance are provided for 7th-8th grade students who show special interest and ability. Orchestra is offered as an optional program, including individual and ensemble instruction and public performances twice yearly.
Students in grades 7 and 8 participate in studio art classes on a rotating basis with other enrichment classes throughout the school year. In Westminster’s large, naturally lit art studio, students are guided through a variety of projects which further their understanding of art processes, skills, and media. Projects are often designed to provide expression of the student’s individual interests and self-image. Students also learn about the work of different artists, and discover much through experimenting with a particular artist’s style. Throughout the year, each student produces a portfolio of art works, and all students have a work included in the annual school-wide art contest.
The drama program at Westminster is central to its mission to instill confidence and poise in the students and to nurture their sense of what is possible for them in life. In 7th grade, the students are directed by the Headmaster in a full production of a Shakespeare play. Eighth grade brings the culmination of the drama program with the staging of a Broadway musical. The level of effort, engagement, and personal courage required by these ambitions projects is transformative for both the individual students and the class as a whole. The upper-school plays provide an artistic highlight and experience of shared pride for the entire Westminster community.