Visual and Performing Arts
Explorer Middle School offers a broad spectrum of fine arts classes. Visual and performing arts classes including band, choir, musical theater, keyboarding, drama, and art appreciation.
7th and 8th Grade Beginning Art (SEM)
As beginning students of visual arts, students will have the opportunity to develop their observational skills as they learn to examine the objects and events of their lives. Included in this course will be opportunities to create their own art using various tools and media to express their ideas visually. Activities will include lessons on helping students to understand artists of the past and present, study artwork the way experts do, and observe how other subjects or life themes can relate to visual art study.
Whether students plan on becoming artists or not, they can be shown how to look for beauty, design, and communication of ideas in everyday life through visual art study. Effort is expected in daily assignments, written quizzes, completing assignments within the time period given, periodic notebook checks, and appropriate behavior during art critiquing activities.
Advanced Art (SEM)
In this class, students will be learning Principles of Design and experimenting with more advanced techniques such as copper tooling, grid technique, linocuts, and printing. Students will complete at least two acrylic paintings on canvas, using an easel. Advanced Art class will be taking a field trip to the Phoenix Art Museum. Course syllabus
**Students must complete Beginning Art with an "A" as a pre-requisite.
7th & 8th Grade Band (YR)
This course is the study of basic fundamental technical development and large ensemble performance. The major topics covered in this class are: music theory, basic music history, and traditional and contemporary band music. Participation in this course includes at least four evening concerts and a possible day performance. Activities are scheduled to encourage and assist students transitioning into high school band programs.
Drama is designed to help students learn how to express themselves. Students will grow in self-confidence and learn to work together in groups since theater is a collaborative art form. Students will do a range of activities from small scenes, to improv to creating large scenes to perform for others. Students may take drama for more than one semester, as the activities will change.
Musical Theater (SEM)
This class emphasizes the three things that make an actor a “Triple Threat.” Students will sing solos and in ensembles. Students will act in groups. Students will include choreography in their performances. They will also learn about the history of Broadway in various ways, and learn to critically analyze various styles of acting and singing.
Choir is a year-long class that helps young singers become literate musicians by learning to read music and solfege. The students create friendships as they sing together. This is a class that performs regularly at school functions and in the community. This is also a class that can be repeated in both years because there is always something new to sing.
7th & 8th Grade Strings (YR)
This course is for students who have had a minimum of one year's experience playing violin, viola, cello or bass, and who have a commitment to expand their musical experiences. Emphasis will be placed on the development of advanced performance skills such as proper tone production, intonation, technique, articulation, interpretation, bow control, and proper posture. Music learned in class will be performed in concerts throughout the school year. Students will also study music theory to support their performance skills.
Concert attendance is a requirement of this class.
Piano Keyboarding (SEM)
This is a course for students with beginning, intermediate, or advanced-level skills. Students will learn the basics of music notation, rhythm, melody, and harmony through daily use of electronic pianos. Students progress through instruction utilizing a variety of piano books and supplementary materials. Access to a piano/keyboard outside the class is helpful but not necessary.