8th Grade

Arts

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

Developmentally, middle schoolers are grappling with their own emerging sense of identity as they prepare for upper school.  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, students create perspective drawings, ceramics, optical illusions, and weekly sketch assignments to familiarize them with the artistic process of planning and sketching, both for their projects and as a creative outlet.

In drama, eighth grade actors push themselves to dig deeper, project farther, and live fully and truthfully under the imaginary circumstances of theatre.  They memorize a scene from Shakespeare’s works to present in our ‘Flash-mob Shakespeare’ pop-up performances.  In doing so, they learn to inhabit a character on stage with confidence, to speak comfortably in front of a crowd, and constructively and respectfully critique creative work to help one another become better artists.

Students leave the middle school drama room understanding acting as a means of knowing themselves, confident that they can contribute to a rehearsal–as an actor, improviser, designer, or director and with a firm understanding of the importance of art in society.

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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, students plan, prepare, and produce a polished theatrical production.

Every show is different, requiring kids to try new things: stage fighting, threading a sewing machine, programming light cues, editing sound effects, painting backdrops, wiring special lights, making a scale model of a set design, operating shadow puppets, designing projections for scenery, rigging scrims, and more.  Whether they’re running the spotlight or standing in it, they take on enormous responsibility, and the glow of triumph when they take their bow glows even brighter than the stage lights.

Whether they’ve been playing for one year or ten, eighth 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, eighth 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.

In guitar workshop, beginners get acquainted with the instrument itself, proper technique, reading music, and ensemble and solo musicianship. Students spend half of each class playing together and half developing skills on their own.  Those with some experience can get right to shredding (smoke machine not included).

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.

Flash Mob Theater!

Shakespeare On The Go

Is that Shakespeare being performed in a math class? It sure is! Middle school drama students spread across campus performing Shakespeare scenes in flash mob fashion to the surprise and delight of students and teachers. This is just one example of the many creative ways students present their work at MB.

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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