7th Grade

Arts

Seventh graders at Moses Brown have an extensive menu of fine and performing arts opportunities available to them.

Whether they’ve been playing for one year or five, seventh graders can join the middle school string orchestra, having fun and honing their abilities to blend, follow a conductor, sight-read, and perform with confidence.  Our repertoire is wide-ranging, from Bach to Bartok to Bieber (as in Justin).  In addition to formal concerts in December and May, they also have informal ‘gigs’ throughout the year.

Whether they’re highly accomplished or brand new to singing, seventh graders are invited to join the middle school chorus.  Every student is quickly brought up to speed on how to use their bodies properly to produce a beautiful sound, both as members of a group and soloists.

Developmentally, middle schoolers are grappling with their own emerging sense of identity.  The art room is a place where they can discover the tools and techniques of art-making, and how making art is a helpful mirror with which to know oneself.  In Studio Art, seventh graders create self-portrait sculptures, ceramics, and movie posters, and other projects. Students complete weekly sketch assignments to get familiar with the artistic process of planning and sketching, both as preparation for their projects and as a creative outlet.

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Seventh graders have wood shop three times in each seven-day rotation.  In shop, they select their own projects and plan the steps necessary for construction and finishing.  While developing control of hand and power tools (and a hefty dose confidence as a result), they also learn to balance functional and aesthetic elements of the project.  Students use non-linear design techniques, carving gouges, scroll saws, and shaping tools to create a wooden spoon and a hardwood bowl.  With saws, drills, and a power lathe, they design and construct a piece of furniture they can sit on.

The main goal of wood shop is to teach children how to transform an idea in their heads into a tangible, useful, beautiful object.  It’s immensely rewarding, and gives children a sense of their own ability to make things happen in the real world.  Along the way, they also practice problem-solving strategies, a lot of applied math, and how to follow through when a project gets tough.

In drama, seventh grade actors use improvisational acting games to create an environment of fun and trust. Each student learns to push themselves in their own way to become their best possible performer and public speaker by learning what body language says about a person’s psychological and emotional state, how to use their voice and body to reach listeners, and understand how to reflect upon and improve our work.   The drama program works very closely with 7th grade English classes in interdisciplinary “Dramglish” units that bring literature from the page to the stage.

In the middle school musical, students unleash their inner actors, singers, dancers, and stagehands.  In the Woodman Center, our professional-grade 33,000-square-foot theater, children learn how to plan, prepare, and produce a polished theatrical production.  Whether they’re running the spotlight or standing in it, kids learn the techniques and tools of inhabiting a character, learning ones’ lines, and making sure the technical systems run smoothly so the show goes on, and comes off without a hitch.

Middle School Musical

The Lion King Jr.

A striking moment from middle school’s production of Lion King Jr. — the first middle school presentation in the Woodman Center.

Faculty

Dominique Avila ’11

Middle School and Upper School Art

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Dominique Avila ’11

School of the Museum of Fine Arts – B.F.A.
Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts – M.A.

Justin Peters

Middle School Chorus and Upper School Chorus, Performing Arts Department Chair

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Justin Peters

Wittenberg University – B.M.

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