Middle School Arts

All Middle School students take four art courses on a rotating, quarterly basis. Each course meets for approximately eight weeks, at which point students switch to a new discipline. The courses include:

Digital Media and Film

Grade 6 Film and Digital Media

In the world we live in today, digital media constantly surround us. During this course, students will learn about the meanings behind the videos and films we see, get some hands-on experience with filmmaking techniques and tools, and explore how they, as producers, can best use the language of film to express themselves and their ideas to the world.

Grade 7 Film and Digital Media

During this course, students will learn about the meanings behind the videos and films we see, get hands-on experience with filmmaking techniques and tools, and explore how they, as producers, can best use the language of film to express themselves and their ideas to the world.

Grade 8 Film and Digital Media

The Grade 8 Film and Digital Media course brings together all of the moviemaking skills students have developed in middle school. Students will move through the different stages of film production, from planning and scripting to shooting and editing, and finally presenting their finished product to their peers. This is an opportunity to express an idea or share a story they are passionate about and bring it to the wider community.

General Music

Grade 6 General Music

Students begin their three-year general music curriculum with an introduction to music technology, mainly using Soundtrap. They then segue into ukulele performance, learning basic skills on the instrument while learning its history and importance in Hawaiian culture. The third and final unit briefly explores music history, focusing on music related to social justice and calls to action.

Grade 7 General Music

Seventh graders will continue to explore music technology, review basic ukulele techniques, and dive into basic keyboard skills while learning relevant music theory concepts. Students will end the course learning best practices for podcast production as they create their own podcast on a topic of their choice.

Grade 8 General Music

Eighth graders will apply skills and knowledge from the last two years of general music, diving deeper into songwriting, harmony, and music theory to write original songs and perform covers of pre-existing songs in various instrumentations. Students will end the year with mini band performances, where students can combine their skills and expertise (whether it be Soundtrap, voice, ukulele, piano, or other instruments) to produce and perform a polished final project.

Performing Arts

Grade 6 Performing Arts

In Grade 6 Performing Arts, students will strive to demonstrate an understanding of the core elements of public speaking. Key focus areas include projection, diction, expression, body language, and interpretation. Students will focus on strengthening their skills through explorations of storytelling, demonstration speeches, announcements, advertisements, impromptu speaking, and poetry. Students will challenge themselves in all activities and projects to grow as creative thinkers, active listeners, and increasingly confident speakers. Students will also be able to hone their writing skills as they craft and present several original performance pieces.

Grade 7 Performing Arts

In Grade 7 Performing Arts, each student chooses a short text to adapt for performance. These individual scripted adaptations will serve as a thread throughout our explorations in this course. Students will gain exposure to core elements of the production process through opportunities to take on various roles related to their individual projects. Students will create a comprehensive production portfolio through the lenses of directors, designers, and publicists. As a culminating project, students will present their theatrical adaptations through a staged reading and share their portfolios.

Grade 8 Performing Arts

In Grade 8 Performing Arts, students will have the opportunity to strengthen their skills as performers, playwrights, and creative thinkers. The course will begin with improvisation exercises designed to increase spontaneity and support students in building connections as an ensemble. Moving forward, students will focus specifically on the process of generating and exploring original performance material. As writers and actors, students will aim to deepen their understanding of dramatic tension, narrative structure, and character development. Throughout the quarter, students will engage with various creative techniques and sources of inspiration as they craft and present their original works.

Visual Arts

Grade 6 Visual Arts

Grade 6 Visual Arts provides students in their first year in the Middle School with the opportunity to work on specific techniques with a variety of materials that will together pave the way for their improving artistry. Students will work in three fundamental areas of art: drawing, painting, and sculpture. They will explore these areas using graphite, watercolor, and clay.

Grade 7 Visual Arts

Grade 7 Visual Arts continues the middle school visual arts progression with lessened strictness in material usage and heightened opportunities for students to take ownership of their artwork. As students continue to work on their skills in making art, they will also be working on talking about their artwork to others. Students will work in three fundamental areas of art: drawing, painting, and sculpture. They will utilize markers, acrylic paint, and clay to explore these areas.

Grade 8 Visual Arts

Grade 8 Visual Arts is the final installment of visual art for Milton Academy middle schoolers. Students will continue to experiment with materials and ways of making art while also having the opportunity to hone in on their learned favorites. Students will work in at least three areas of art, including sculpture and painting. They will utilize graphite, watercolor, and clay to explore these areas.

In addition to our curricular offerings, students have the option to explore the arts further through participation in our musical ensembles:

Students will spend the year learning how to use their voices and bodies to make music with healthy technique, utilizing breath control and proper posture while applying appropriate diction and vowel shape to our musical texts. While learning to sing, students will also be learning what it means to sight-read music and develop their own individual musicianship.
Guitar Ensemble
Guitar ensemble focuses on foundational skills on the instrument, such as hand position, posture, strumming, reading basic notation, chord symbols, tablature, songwriting, and musicianship. As the world’s most popular and diverse instrument, students will use the guitar to explore the styles and genres of a diverse array of cultures and backgrounds with an emphasis on contemporary music. No previous musical experience is required.
Jazz Band
Middle School Jazz offers students at all levels opportunities to explore jazz improvisation and develop ensemble skills. This is done by a “learning through doing” approach; tunes are carefully selected to teach skills. The emphasis is on learning to express yourself in a safe and fun environment in the jazz and jazz/rock language.
Students focus on developing ensemble skills, creating camaraderie among classmates, and taking pride in successful experiences in music. Students taking this course will continue to develop musical fundamentals and experience playing a wide variety of music.