Middle School

Middle School Arts

Bullis School Visual and Performing Arts Program is designed to advance a student’s ability to discover and develop his or her own voice through artistic expression. A student-centered, interdisciplinary approach balances the exploration of artistic traditions, the development of concepts, and the building of skills. Using a newly-ascertained vocabulary, students learn to express themselves, create, and problem solve. The Visual and Performing Arts Department aspires to cultivate culturally literate, inquisitive, and independent thinkers who synthesize the greater world through the arts.


Sixth Grade

Students will take a trimester each of:

  • Art 6: This course focuses on the elements of art from around the world. Students will study and create artwork reflective of these cultural traits.

    AND

    Storytelling: This course will give the students the opportunity to learn about the basics of acting. Students will participate in exercises, games and improvisational activities while exploring the art of storytelling.

    AND
  • Students will take a year-long course in one of the following:

  • Chorus: Students learn a varied repertoire which includes folk, classical, pop, jazz and multicultural music. They also perform in several concerts throughout the year. Chorus meets two times a week. 
  • Band: The 6th/7th Band courses are open to students who have engaged in study for a period of time on a band instrument and who can demonstrate a basic level of proficiency. In certain instances, students may also begin study on an instrument. The class will focus on development of ensemble skills and attainment of intermediate instrumental objectives. Band groups meet two times per week.

    Members of the group will be expected to take a weekly lesson with a private instructor. Bullis provides a private lesson program as a resource for students who do not have a current private instructor or for those who choose to participate. Financial aid is available in our lesson program for families who qualify for Bullis financial aid. For more information about the lesson program, please contact Stephanie Mayer-Sattin.

    or 

  • Strings: The 6th/7th Strings courses are open to students who have engaged in study for a period of time on an orchestral string instrument and who can demonstrate a basic level of proficiency. The class will focus on development of ensemble skills and attainment of intermediate instrumental objectives. String groups meet two times per week.

    Members of the group will be expected to take a weekly lesson with a private instructor. Bullis provides a private lesson program as a resource for students who do not have a current private instructor or for those who choose to participate. Financial aid is available in our lesson program for families who qualify for Bullis financial aid. For more information about the lesson program, please contact Stephanie Mayer-Sattin.

Seventh Grade

Students will take a trimester of:

  • Art 7: This course gives students a basic understanding of the painting medium.
  • AND Students will take a year-long course in one of the following:

  • Chorus: The 7th Grade Chorus meets two times per week and focuses on music reading skills, vocal technique, and ensemble musicianship. A varied repertoire includes folk, classical, pop, jazz, and multicultural music.
  • Band: The 6th/7th Band courses are open to students who have engaged in study for a period of time on a band instrument and who can demonstrate a basic level of proficiency. In certain instances, students may also begin study on an instrument. The class will focus on development of ensemble skills and attainment of intermediate instrumental objectives. Band groups meet two times per week.

    Members of the group will be expected to take a weekly lesson with a private instructor. Bullis provides a private lesson program as a resource for students who do not have a current private instructor or for those who choose to participate. Financial aid is available in our lesson program for families who qualify for Bullis financial aid. For more information about the lesson program, please contact Stephanie Mayer-Sattin.

  • Strings: The 6th/7th Strings courses are open to students who have engaged in study for a period of time on an orchestral string instrument and who can demonstrate a basic level of proficiency. The class will focus on development of ensemble skills and attainment of intermediate instrumental objectives. String groups meet two times per week.

    Members of the group will be expected to take a weekly lesson with a private instructor. Bullis provides a private lesson program as a resource for students who do not have a current private instructor or for those who choose to participate. Financial aid is available in our lesson program for families who qualify for Bullis financial aid. For more information about the lesson program, please contact Stephanie Mayer-Sattin.

    or 

  • Theater: The primary goal of this course is to introduce students to the art of acting. More specifically, it allows students to recognize their own personal responses to the environment, specific emotions or a given situation, and utilize these reactions in creating individual and unique characters. Students will learn to make creative, actable and quality choices based on increased self-awareness and universal understanding. This class will develop both vocal and physical awareness through sensory and emotional responses. Using improvisation, monologues, scene work and script analysis, students will learn to communicate an understanding of their own experiences and empathy for both peers and people in worlds beyond their own.

Eighth Grade

The new eighth grade arts program at Bullis is designed to allow for an experience of greater depth in a primary area and additional study in a secondary area. Students will choose one Major and one Minor and will commit to each of these courses for the academic year. This structure will preserve the overall time allotted for the arts but allow an element of choice and greater focus on areas of interest. We will do our best to accommodate and honor student requests.

Majors and Minors are listed as follows:

  • Majors: Band, Choir, Strings, Technology, Visual Arts
  • Minors: Dance, Technology, Theater, Visual Arts

Arts course meetings will vary according to the term:

  • Fall Term: Majors - 4 classes/week; Minors - 2 classes/week
  • Winter/Spring Terms: Majors - 3 classes/week; Minors - 2 classes/week

Eighth Grade Course Descriptions

  • Band Major : This class is designed to help students progress toward the attainment of intermediate and advanced woodwind, brass, and percussion objectives. The emphasis is on the concept of ensemble playing and the repertoire will encompass a range of musical styles. Band will also include opportunities to learn improvisatory and compositional skills.

    Members of the ensemble will be expected to take a weekly lesson with a private instructor. Bullis provides a private lesson program as a resource for students who do not have a current private instructor or for those who choose to participate. Financial aid is available in our lesson program for families who qualify for Bullis financial aid. For more information about the lesson program, please contact Stephanie Mayer-Sattin.
  • Choir Major: Choir is a mixed vocal ensemble devoted to the study and performance of music from a wide range of traditions. The course emphasizes learning to express and respond to different musical styles and on developing sensitivity to the relationship between harmonized vocal lines. The curriculum also focuses on developing vocal technique, expanding vocal range and cultivating ensemble skills. Singers will work to improve sight-reading, sight-singing, basic ear training and part-singing skills.
  • Visual Art Major: Eighth grade grade students who select art as a major begin their trimester with various drawing and painting exercises inclusive of still life, portrait and figurative subject matter. Through these exercises, students become more familiar with the Elements and Principals of Art while expanding upon understanding of the use of line, shape, form, color and dimension. Students explore various wet, dry and three-dimensional building and sculpting materials. Wood, foam board, wire, fabric and clay are used in creating collage and relief constructions—allowing students to think and create “in the round”. Historical references to art will be integrated into lessons and studio experiences. Students leave this intensive eighth grade major more confident and better prepared for new visual arts challenges and experiences offered in the upper school.
  • String Major: This class is designed to help students progress toward the attainment of intermediate string objectives as outlined in the Suzuki string method. The emphasis is on the concept of ensemble playing and the repertoire will encompass a range of musical styles.

    Members of the ensemble will be expected to take a weekly lesson with a private instructor. Bullis provides a private lesson program as a resource for students who do not have a current private instructor or for those who choose to participate. Financial aid is available in our lesson program for families who qualify for Bullis financial aid. For more information about the lesson program, please contact Stephanie Mayer-Sattin.
  • Dance Minor: This course is designed for students who have had little or no dance background. Students will explore and practice the principles of dance technique while working toward developing awareness, freedom, and control in the use of the body as an instrument of expression. Students learn basic technical skills and creative aspects relative to a variety of dance styles. Students will focus on building the skills of coordination, balance, body alignment, flexibility, strength, endurance, musical awareness, phrasing, precision and rhythmic accuracy.
  • Theater Minor: The primary goal of this course is to introduce students to the art of acting. More specifically, it allows students to recognize their own personal responses to the environment, specific emotions or a given situation, and utilize these reactions in creating individual and unique characters. Students will learn to make creative, actable and quality choices based on increased self-awareness and universal understanding. This class will develop both vocal and physical awareness through sensory and emotional responses. Using improvisation, monologues, scene work and script analysis, students will learn to communicate an understanding of their own experiences and empathy for both peers and people in worlds beyond their own.
  • Visual Art Minor: Eighth Grade students who select art as a minor will enjoy similar creative explorations as do eighth grade majors—though using less time-intensive procedures. Pencil, charcoal, paint and collage materials are used in creating both realistic and abstract works. Animal, architecture and geometric themes combine with various media techniques and tools for exploring individual creative potential.
Bullis Middle School Visual and Performing Arts