Middle School Arts Program
In the Middle School Arts Program, the arts are integrated into the the core curriculum. Students in sixth grade take classes in music (band, chorus, or string ensemble), visual art, and video production as part of their coursework. Students in seventh and eighth grades may focus on music or visual art. All arts classes include formal performances and art showings.
Beyond the classroom, Middle School students may participate in a number of after-school opportunities, the most popular of which are the Middle School play and the Middle School Jazz Ensemble. Middle School students with a passion for the arts and the appropriate skills may also participate in Upper School arts programs and events that include the drumline and orchestra performances.
The Visual Arts curriculum at The Out-of-Door Academy has been designed to provide students opportunities to master a wide variety of approaches to personal expression through the use of artistic media. Our curriculum encourages independent personal artistic exploration and exposes students to significant artistic works from a wide variety of global cultures.
Some classes offered include:
- Computer graphics
- Mixed-media techniques
- Art appreciation
The Out-of-Door Theater Arts Department is a developmental after school program, encouraging students to explore all aspects of stage performance. Opportunities exist for students to be actors, directors, light and sound technicians, set designers and set builders.
Out-of-Door Student Productions
The Out-of-Door Theater Arts Department mounts, on average, four productions per academic year - One Middle School play, which is usually a musical, three Upper School plays, which includes one Upper School Musical. All students have the opportunity to participate. Performers audition by presenting a short monologue and singing a song in order to participate in any of the plays. The audition process is the same for each student, ensuring equal treatment for all. Shows are not chosen until after auditions, enabling the director to determine the best vehicle to showcase the student talent. Once the shows are chosen and cast, students prepare in after-school and weekend rehearsals. The cast and crew work together building a team and learning to respect each other’s talents and gifts. Each show is performed three to four times during its scheduled run.
Students interested in being crewmembers have hands-on experience in light design, sound, makeup, costuming, prop management, and set design within the rehearsal period. The program strives to support student actors with character development and physical presentation. Moreover, it is important for students develop an appreciation for the theatre, and, most of all, to make wonderful memories!
Middle School Classes
Communication Arts (7th/8th grade class)
All disciplines with Communication Arts are centered upon a single concept, storytelling. This one semester course will explore the conceptual, organizational, and technical skills of modern-day storytelling: public speaking, which will include but is not limited to persuasive and informative presentations, drama – monologues, group scenes, and filmmaking. Students will explore, analyze, and apply various strategies to improve communication skills and be effective storytellers. In the end, students will become more self-confident public speakers, build self-awareness as effective communicators, and demonstrate an understanding and command of film as a storytelling device.
Media Communications (formally known as WODA)
Students will develop foundational skills in media production. Through a series of discussions, lectures, and analysis of broadcasts, students will learn how to gather, assign, and produce broadcasts for both television and radio. This course will also give students a general overview of the historical development, contemporary function, and study of media industries and their products. Students will predominantly work in teams and will be responsible for completing various projects as they are assigned.
Middle School Chorus
Full Year Course
Students entering Middle School Chorus have already experienced singing in two-part harmony. They will be familiar with basic rhythmic values and the do-re-mi syllables. They will be able to follow choral music and the music director. In Middle School Chorus, standard choral literature in three-part harmony from the classical western repertoire will be studied. Students will be taught to sight -sing using the movable do-re-mi solfeggio system, as well as sight-singing by note letter name. Beginning intervallic identification is taught. Students will perform in concerts by memory. Intonation, dynamics, articulation, rhythmic accuracy, and balance are emphasized.
Middle School String Ensemble
Full Year Course
Students entering Middle School String Ensemble will have completed two years of string ensemble instruction in grades 5 and 6. They will be familiar with the G, D, A, and E major scales, be able to read music at level 2, and follow a conductor. In Middle School String Ensemble, standard literature from the Classical Western Literature will be studied. Students will increase their knowledge of major scales, and add minor scales to their list of scales learned. Concert pieces will feature pieces rehearsed through the school year. Intonation, dynamics, articulation, and rhythmic accuracy will be emphasized. The development of independent practice habits is expected.
Middle School Band
Full Year Course
Students entering Middle School Band will have completed 2 years of band instruction in grades 5 and 6. They will be familiar with the B flat, E flat, A flat and D flat major scales, be able to read music at level 2, and be able to follow a conductor. In Middle School Band, standard band literature from classical western repertoire will be studied. Students will be taught 12 major scales and the chromatic scale. Concert performances will feature pieces rehearsed through the school year. Intonation, dynamics, articulation, and rhythmic accuracy will be emphasized. The development of independent practice habits is expected.