Middle School Arts
In our art studios and rehearsal spaces, students learn to express themselves in different mediums, to interpret and appreciate the work of others, to practice a skill until they perfect it … and that butterflies before a performance or show are simply a signal that you are ready to fly.
The visual and performing arts are a core part of the Middle School curriculum. Students explore many different disciplines to develop perceptual and technical skills, an appreciation for the craft and aesthetics of contemporary and historical cultures and works, and learn creativity, collaboration, and self-confidence.
The Waynflete Art Gallery is both a resource and a showcase for the entire Waynflete community. Middle School students show their work in multiple themed gallery exhibitions throughout the year and participate in hands-on activities and exploration around the work of other students and visiting artists.
The Joan Sayward Franklin ’46 Theater is one of the premier stages in Portland, Maine and an incredible venue for Middle School students to learn and share their creativity and their craft. From the catwalk to the costume shop to the green velvet curtain, our theater spaces build drama and sustains delight.
Middle School Arts
The Middle School performing arts program includes a progression of formal classes in dance, drama, music, and production technology, and an array of performing ensembles. Additional performing arts workshops (such as dance choreography and drama club) and private music lessons are also available in the fee-based Afterschool Enrichment program.
Grades 6 and 7
In formal classes that meet twice a week, students gain skills and experience in various performing arts disciplines. Over the two-year span, students spend one full semester in each of the following: dance, drama, general music, and production technology. These four classes are exploratory, experiential, and connected thematically. An informal sharing for peers celebrates the end of each semester of exploration.
The eighth-grade theatre class builds on the sixth-grade and seventh-grade performing arts classes and includes a range of exploration, from public speaking and writing monologues and scenes to acting and collaborating on a full-grade culminating performance. This yearlong experiential class, which is thematically tied to the integrated English and history programs, encourages students to apply their skills as expressive performers, make connections across their academic experience, and strengthen their sense of community.
Grades 6–8 Ensembles
Sixth graders are introduced to ensemble music through Band, Chamber Ensemble, or Chorus. Seventh and eighth graders are combined for more advanced Band, Chamber Ensemble, or Chorus. All the ensembles rehearse twice a week and perform at formal music concerts in the winter and the spring. They also share their work with the Middle School community at assemblies during the school day.
The Middle School visual arts curriculum encourages students to be self-reﬂective members of society through activities that draw on three fundamental modes of learning: perception, self-expression, and invention. Often using personal narrative for content, students use these three modes throughout Middle School as they learn skills in drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. The development of a visual arts vocabulary is consistently emphasized so that students can better understand their own artwork, the artwork of others, and their visual surroundings and heritage. Students take studio art classes twice a week in Grades 6–8.