Middle School Fine Arts

There are a wide range of Fine Arts activities offered to pique students’ interests in creative expression.

All Courses are Electives

Visual Arts
The art program is designed to give students a working knowledge of the tools and language of the visual arts so that they are able to think effectively, work creatively, and know first hand the artistic experience. The offerings of the program are varied and aim to meet the individual needs of the student at any level of development and from any background of artistic experience.

The music program at Saint Thomas Academy is designed to promote and direct musical growth, help members become proficient on their chosen instruments or with their voices, and provide a creative outlet for musical talent. The music department also serves as a support group for the Academy at athletic events, liturgies, parades, and concerts where the general public is invited.

SIXTH GRADE ART - Grade Level: 6, quarter-based
Sixth Grade Art is an introductory course designed to give students a sampling of art projects that emphasize the elements (line, form, color, value, texture) and principles of art (balance, variety, harmony, emphasis). Understanding and appreciation of self and others through art history and culture is emphasized. A variety of media and techniques create an active learning experience.  Class graded A-F.

ARTSTART - Grade Level: 7-8, quarter-based

Artstart introduces students to a wide variety of art media; emphasis placed on the basic techniques of drawing, painting, printmaking, clay modeling, and glass fusing. Students will explore materials to create original works of art that will show basic understanding of techniques and traditions. Students will create and utilize a wide range of subject matter and creative ideas into their own original works. Students will study and evaluate major art movements to discover how people have used art to express ideas across cultures and how it influences our world today. They will understand and apply art elements and principles of design into their original artworks. Students will be given the opportunity to reflect, revise, and refine their work. They will learn not only how to reflect on their own work, but how to critique others work, giving constructive criticism in order to find ways to improve and move forward.  Class graded A-F.

COMPUTER GRAPHICS - Grade Level: 7-8, quarter-based

In this computer graphics course, students will develop an understanding of the power, precision, creative inspiration, and the possibilities of computer graphics. Students will explore the Adobe Creative Suites 5 with an emphasis on Photoshop and Illustrator. They will learn the basic tools and techniques to digitally alter photographs as well as learn how a Graphic Designer can help create a business from the ground up. Course work will be completed on Macintosh computers along with the use of digital cameras, printers, and other multimedia. They will be given the chance to critique their own work as well as others, in an effort to open their eyes to the opportunity of reflecting, revising, and refining their work. Students will learn the basic functions of how to create digital media as well as how to read it. They will explore the depths of digital art and how it influences our world today.  Class graded A - F.

BEGINNING BAND - Grade Level: 6-8, semester 1 only
Students without any previous band experience may register for beginning band to learn to play a wind or percussion instrument. Students will learn the basics of playing an instrument and learn to play in an ensemble. Students wishing to continue with band will have an opportunity to move into Intermediate Band 2nd semester.  Class graded A-F.

INTERMEDIATE BAND - Grade Level: 6-8, semester 1 and 2
Band at Saint Thomas Academy is open to any student with at least one year of experience playing a wind or percussion instrument. The band rehearses 2-3 times per week in preparation for concerts and other school and community functions. Band is a great way to become more proficient on a musical instrument and to enjoy the participation and teamwork of ensemble playing. Class graded A-F.

VISTA STRING ORCHESTRA (MIDDLE SCHOOL) - Grade Level: 6-8, year long
at least one year of a string instrument.
The Vista Middle School Orchestra includes string players in grades 7-8 from Visitation and Saint Thomas Academy. Musicians interested in this class must play the violin, viola, cello, or bass, and must have at least one year of playing experience. String Orchestra is an elective that meets weekly before school. The Middle School String Orchestra focuses on developing musical skills, and learning to be a member of an orchestra through rehearsals and performances of concert repertoire. The string orchestra participates in numerous concerts and special events throughout the school year.
Class graded A-F.

INTRO TO MUSIC - Grade Level: 6, quarter-based
In this class we explore the elements of melody, harmony and rhythm.  Students will listen to, analyze, and perform music.  General music appreciation will also be emphasized. Students should leave with an understanding of how music works and how music has progressed through history.  Elements explored will include:  Beat vs. Rhythm; Note and Rest Values; Time Signatures; Reading Music on a staff; and Musicality.  Class graded A-F.

SCHOOL OF ROCK EXPLORATION - Grade Level: 7-8, quarter-based

Students will create their own songs on new
I-Pad 2 computers using garage band, play in a drum circle using West African Drums and percussion instruments, compose music with Boomwackers (a la Blue Man Group Style), and sing a song or two. They will learn how to be more confident on stage and in life through movement and drama exploration. Students will help produce a video of their work at the end of the semester. Class graded A- F.