The Arts In Middle School

Central to the arts philosophy at ASH is the goal of cultivating a lifetime appreciation, enjoyment and love of the arts through creating and experiencing the discipline itself. Through the wide range of arts offerings at ASH students are exposed to and develop an understanding of a variety of practical and fine arts. By working creatively and gaining competence in various artistic genres and media, students develop an aesthetic understanding of the arts that will continue throughout life.

The medium is experienced and explored physically through a “hands on” learning process. The learning is process oriented; students learn skills through experience and overcome their fear of failure through taking risks as they learn. Instruction in the arts challenges students and encourages divergent thinking. Students learn to recognize different points of view and to respect each other’s products, creations, and opinions. As such, the arts classroom is characterized by spontaneity, energy, engagement and excitement that is reflected in deep involvement, on the part of both students and teachers. Students are encouraged to assess themselves in a variety of formal and informal ways, both their products and the process they went through in creating it. In this way, they are involved in the assessment of their own work and develop the valuable skill of self-reflection. Students take pride in exhibition and performance of their work and sharing it with others. They learn to prepare, practice and present their works with a positive, professional attitude.

Through the study of the arts, students learn, through self-discovery, to express their own emotions and thus to explore and express the richness of the human spirit. The expression of emotions through the arts leads students to a feeling of wholeness and a sense of connection to our humanness and to each other.

At ASH studying the arts enables all students to develop international understanding and allows them to participate in the sense of community that grows from participation in the arts.

Arts Center Rotation

All Middle School students participate in an Arts Rotation program. Students indicate their preference for four quarter-long courses, and we make every effort to meet their requests. Not all courses are offered at each grade level or each year. Our program can include: Art, Drama, Home Economics, Information Technology, Design Technology, cinematography and Dynamic Theatre. Classes run for 1 semester or 1 quarter, after which students move to another course in the rotation.

In addition to the Arts Center Rotation, students interested in performing arts can participate in the Middle School Workshop and the spring Middle School Musical.

List of 4 items.

  • Music

    Through music, every student is intellectually, emotionally and physically engaged.
    We believe that music is a uniquely human form of communication that plays an integral part in everyday life. It is one of the primary ways human beings share emotional meaning. Unique skills and knowledge must be learned to access music’s richness.

    Through music, every student is intellectually, emotionally and physically engaged. Music assists the successful transfer of knowledge and skills across learning domains. It is a potent educational medium requiring active student involvement. We believe music provides an aesthetically engaging experience that is central to the ASH core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, empathy and communication.

    It is our goal to equip students with the tools for musical self-improvement so they may participate in this dynamic art form as lifelong independent musicians and people who seek value and meaning in music.

    What We Learn:

    • All students in Middle School learn music.
      • Our courses in Middle School offer a large diversity of interests in music: vocal and instrumental performance; composition and arrangement; world music and music history are all encouraged.
    • Grade 5 students are introduced to a Performance Year:
      • All students participate in choir, and all students are encouraged to learn a band or orchestral instrument (typically, 98.5% students learn an instrument). Students learn to perform in a group, develop initial skills and perform in concerts.
    • Grade 6 students are introduced to an Electives Year:
      • Students can branch out to include world music and music technology into their musical enrichment.
    • Grade 7 and 8 students look at extending their music studies:
      • Students develop their skills to a higher level and begin to consider high school music as an option for continued study. They can also choose to study music history, which is offered starting in Grade 7.
    • Learn more about our music program
      • Visit the Academic section of our website, to browse through the course descriptions.
  • Theatre and Drama

    The Theater Department values the need for play and imagination in all students’ lives. We seek to provoke our students to walk in the shoes of others by entering various roles; through this understanding we strive to hinder disempowering images of class, race, or gender. We promote a healthy ensemble amidst individual goals. Students strive to reach new heights through risk-taking in a safe and supported environment. Individual choice and opinion in production or technical learning is valued and incorporated. We discourage hierarchy and encourage that all performance and production roles are equally valuable. Global theatre practices are investigated to help students understand that there are many definitions to drama and performance. The creative process is nurtured and revered through reflection and by developing trust.
    Technology, as it enhances the art of communication and creation, is constantly an element of experimentation. The use of physicality as a means of expression is encouraged. The engagement with, the analysis of, and the embodiment of textual material is encompassed. The language of theatre and performance is inherent to each new experience. We believe in, and promote, the unique experience of performing live, with confidence and pride, and in communion with an audience.

    Students are exposed to the performances of others to expand their understanding and empathy. They are invited to participate in experiences that will enrich their learning through ISTA festivals or by working with practitioners who bring unique experiences or skills from their expertise. Extracurricular productions extend the department’s philosophy by nurturing and developing individuals and the ensemble. A sense of community is created through the support of volunteers and production specific courses that support the extracurricular. Inter-curricular opportunities cultivate holistic understanding and foster the value of applied theater.
  • Visual Arts

    The goal of the Visual Arts Department is to engage students in the process of studying and producing art. Studying the Visual Arts fosters creativity, inquiry, and independence in students. We strive to encourage students to communicate visually, become problem solvers and risk takers. While curiosity is at the base of their learning, through the process of reflection students become more independent learners, capable of self-expression. Students are appreciative of art from around the world and are able to make informed visual decisions.
  • Movement

    Movement is intended to give a positive introduction to dance and movement as a form of expression, communication and art. The structure of the class is intended to encourage teamwork, raise self-esteem, nurture individual creativity, create a safe environment in which students can explore, and most of all, enjoy dancing. Students will develop body awareness, understand the use of basic principles of choreography, gain performance and presentation experience, improve movement skills, and learn about the history and culture of dance. Movement is an elective in the Middle School Art Center Rotation, and students involved in Movement can participate in the Middle School Musical.
University preparatory program for ages 3-18. Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges - Commission on International Education (NEASC-CIE), following the personalized ACE Learning pathway of NEASC-CIE.

American School of The Hague