The Middle School Music and Drama program aims to develop musicianship and theater skills through a variety of mediums, historical perspectives and cultural lenses. Students will create original compositions in 6th and 7th grades to be performed either on guitar or keyboard and use DAW (Digital Audio Workstation—a music writing and arranging computer program) to record, edit, and produce their work. Building on these skills, the 8th graders will have the unique experience of collectively creating, performing and producing a full-length opera. Students also have the option of pursuing their interests further in the After School Music Program.
music is an exploration of Diversity mainly through the medium of music technology. Students will learn how to use a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation – a music writing and arranging computer program), be able to record sounds using a variety of microphones and arrange these prerecorded sounds to create their own music. Students will also be introduced to the keyboard as an instrument. The prime objective will be to teach them basic skills that can be applied to composing. This work will be linked to their Humanities studies by relating directly to the areas of the world they are investigating.
In drama 6th graders will build upon previously learned skills as they concentrate on the craft of stage performance, as well as backstage management and other technical aspects of the theatre.
In 7th grade students study the Blues and how individual identity can be expressed in this distinctly American style of music. Students will continue to develop skills using DAW and mastering keyboarding. In addition, guitar will be introduced. Reinforcing their Humanities curriculum, students will take folk songs and transform them into new music by remixing and recreating these familiar compositions. Through the use of digital software, students will be able to link historical and modern day music. In addition to self-expression through music, students will rewrite a story and adapt it for musical theater, which students will perform.
8th grade is a culmination and synthesis of the preceding two years. As students hone their guitar skills, they will learn and perform community songs for Gatherings. They will explore how, over time and place, music has been used to forge and strengthen communities. Most excitingly, students will create an original opera using a program developed by the New York Metropolitan Opera. The opera will reflect themes of interest to the 8th grade community and will be student—written, acted, advertised, produced and performed—a bravura finale!