Valley Christian Schools

Equip and Inspire

Middle School Art

Imagine the grown and development in middle school students as they explore the arts! Our highly accomplished art and music teachers challenge these adolescents, with great joy and love, to work to their highest capacity in courses like Interior Design, iPad Art, Band and Orchestra.  The outcomes are wonderful and on display for visitors, parents and peers to enjoy at every concert and at the Annual Art Showing at our 8th Science Fair. Each year Valley Christian students are invited to enter the Cerritos Library Art Show and often come away with honors. It's one more way our students can grow and share their God-given talents.
 
Valley Christian Middle School offers a large variety of opportunities for students to explore the arts:
 
3D ART & ARTISTS (9 weeks)
Using a variety, this course introduces an artist, mostly modern, with a project following in their style along with the elements of art. Media used in this 3 -D visual design class includes: wood, plaster, wire, paper, and more. All hands on with a creative flair.
 
CALLIGRAPHY I (9 weeks)
This course is for students who wish to improve their penmanship as well as learn italic alphabet letter forms. The class will undertake various projects employing "the art of beautiful writing." Students must purchase a Shaeffer 3 Nib Pen Set (approximately $10).
 
CALLIGRAPHY II (9 weeks)
This course is a continuation of Calligraphy I. It will further explore the art of beautiful writing using the italic, chancery, and backhand alphabets. Emphasis will be on flourishes, embellishment, and layout through specific projects.
 
CERAMICS I (9 weeks)
The main emphasis in this class will be on making hand-built clay projects. A variety of building and glazing techniques will be discussed and demonstrated. Emphasis will be on self-expression, creativity and craftsmanship. Clay and glaze are provided.
 
CERAMICS II (9 weeks)
This class is a continuation of Ceramics I and allows for a more in-depth study of the craft. Projects will be based on previous experience with clay with emphasis on techniques in larger forms and a variety of glaze.
 
CERAMICS III (9 weeks) - for 8th grade students only
This class is a continuation of Ceramics II and allows for further study of the craft. Projects will be based on previous experience with clay with emphasis on techniques in larger forms and a variety of glaze.
 
CHOIR
Students are strongly encouraged to participate in these excellent programs, not only to satisfy the fine arts requirements, but far more to develop these avenues of praising God as we live out various facets of being made in His image.
 
7th Grade Women’s Ensemble (one semester)
The Women’s Ensemble is open only to 7th grade girls, and offers female students an opportunity to use their vocal talents together to glorify God. The students will be able to improve their vocal skills collectively and individually. The class emphasizes a wide variety of choral styles, music reading skills, and exposure to music history, literature, musical theater, and theory. The choir gives several performances throughout the year in which choir members are required to participate.
 
7th Grade Men’s Ensemble (one semester)
The Men’s Ensemble is open only to 7th grade boys, and offers male students an opportunity to develop their vocal talents together to glorify God. The students will be able to improve their vocal skills collectively and individually. The class emphasizes a wide variety of choral styles, music reading skills, and exposure to music history, literature, musical theater, and theory. The choir gives several performances, and all choir members are required to attend.
 
8th Grade Mixed Chorus (one semester)
This choir is for 8th graders who have already had singing experience in another choir or have passed an audition. The choir offers students an opportunity to develop further their vocal talents together to glorify God. The students will be able to improve their vocal skills collectively and individually. Choir students are exposed to a wide variety of musical styles. They are given the opportunity to learn more in the areas of music history, literature, and theory. The choir gives several performances throughout the year in which choir members are required to participate.
 
FIGURE DRAWING (9 weeks)
This course is for any student who has completed Art 7 and loves drawing figures of any kind. Materials used would include pencil, watercolor, ink, marker, colored pencil, & other miscellaneous media. Types of figures include everything from cartoons and caricatures, to sports figures and self-portraits.
 
GUITAR FOR BEGINNERS (9 Weeks)
Students will obtain the skills necessary to tune a guitar, strum properly with a pick, read chord charts, play a variety of basic and intermediate chords, finger-pick, play a variety of popular songs, and play a few basic scales. Students will also learn the music theory that accompanies the chords and scales they are learning. Students will be able to use the skills and knowledge they have acquired to participate in both solo and group performances in the classroom. Students are required to provide their own guitar, either acoustic or an electric with a small practice amp, and have the ability to bring it back-and-forth from home. 
 
INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC (one year)
Students are strongly encouraged to participate in these excellent programs, not only to satisfy the fine arts requirements but far more to develop these avenues of praising God as we live out various facets of being made in His image. These courses are full-year courses and require a full-year commitment.
 
BANDS
In order to accommodate the large number of students participating in band, VCMS has two middle school bands—Concert Band and Wind Ensemble. The groups are comprised of woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. Since neither group is a “beginning band,” students without prior playing experience need to discuss enrollment with the band instructor. The instructor will assign students into one of the following groups:
 
CONCERT BAND
This class is designed to enable students to express themselves musically in a group setting. Students are encouraged to develop their individual playing abilities through weekly playing assignments and practice requirements. Rehearsals as part of our exploratory class schedule emphasize the importance of cooperating as a band in order to enjoy making music. The band performs approximately four times during the school year.
 
WIND ENSEMBLE
The curriculum for Wind Ensemble covers the same aspects as Concert Band but at a more advanced level. Students are encouraged to develop their individual skills and their ability to contribute to the group’s sound. The Wind Ensemble performs approximately five times during the year, including at least one band festival. The class also includes weekly playing 3 assignments and practice requirements.
 
ORCHESTRA
Orchestra provides string players an opportunity to further develop their God-given talents. The students work as a team to achieve excellence on string instruments. The orchestra gives several concerts throughout the year, performing the beautiful classics of hundreds of years ago as well as contemporary music. (100 minutes of practice time is required each week) Instrument rental Students in grades 5-8 may rent band and orchestra instruments from the school for $70 a year. These may be taken home. Parents are responsible for damage that occurs as a result of misuse. They are also responsible for the replacement of the instruments if they are lost or stolen. Priority in rental is given to the fifth grade students. Subsequent grades may participate, as instruments are available.
 
JAZZ BAND
This class is an extra curricular class dedicated to studying the musical style of jazz. This group is open to students who play traditional jazz band instruments (i.e. saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, drum set). Auditions are used to determine the enrollment of the jazz band if student interest exceeds the number of spots available in the group. Jazz Band meets at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. 
 
HANDBELLS
This is an extra-curricular music opportunity open to any students at VCMS. The handbell group will meet one morning a week at the elementary school campus. The group will offer beginning handbell technique and a variety of music to put those skills into practice. The ensemble will participate in a variety of performances throughout the school year.
 
INTERIOR DESIGN (9 weeks)
Interior design will explore design elements used in room decoration. We will learn different styles and moods of decorating as well as color coordination. Each student will finish the class by designing a room on the iPad and choosing samples to complete the design on a display board.
 
I-PAD ANIMATION (9 weeks)
Students will learn and use an iPad animation app that will enable them to create animated short movies such as advertisements, web banners, races and more.
 
I-PAD ART (9 weeks)
Students will learn to use a variety of drawing apps for their iPads and will explore art concepts and principles by creating fun, digital artwork. Apps used in the class include Photoshop Express, Procreate, Typedrawing and Pages. To make the Procreate App have expanded use, students will need to purchase two brush sets for the App at a cost of $0.99 each. Students will be using a drawing stylus for the class. They may bring their own stylus or one will be provided for their use during the class.
 
MUSIC APPRECIATION (9 weeks)
In this class we will be exploring God’s gift of music. We will be taking a look at music history and studying a broad variety of musical styles, talented musicians, and discernment of music as Christians. This course builds a foundation for both non-musicians and musicians alike. 
 
MUSIC COMPOSITION - DIGITAL (9 weeks)
Students with a strong interest in computers and music won't want to miss this class! This 9-week course will offer students the opportunity to learn the basics of composing digital music on the Mac program Garageband, with hands-on experience in manipulating and mixing loops and creating original songs. Students will also have the opportunity to record themselves (or their friends) playing an instrument or singing, create a music video, or create a music podcast. Prerequisites: Significant computer competency (we use Macs) and some vocal, instrument, or percussion experience.
 
PAINTING YOUR WORLD (9 weeks)
Students will use a variety of paint and media to create beautiful landscape, portrait, freeform and freedom of choice works. This class explores the way paint can be used with a modern twist of pinterest-y forms. 
 
PHOTOGRAPHY--DIGITAL (9 weeks)
Students will learn how to properly use and care for their cameras. They will learn the basics of photo composition and presentation. Students should bring their own cameras. 
 
PODCAST PRODUCTION (9 weeks)
Students will be taught how to use the medium of podcasts as an effective tool of sharing what is meaningful to them and their lives. Students will be creating podcasts on a weekly basis, incorporating various skill sets, from basic audio production to image inclusion, and lastly using video in their podcasts. This course will primarily use the application Garage Band. This course is a great way for students to learn how to share about their own stories and lives in a fun and new medium.
 
PRINTMAKING (9 weeks)
The Printmaking Class will focus on different styles of printing such as relief prints, blue printing, glass etching, block printing, and silk screening on T-shirts.
 
VIDEO PRODUCTION (9 weeks)
Using the substantial resources available at the middle school, students will be taught the elements of video production and will have opportunity to create their own storyline and script. Then they will shoot and produce their own short film. This is a great class for students that love working with computers and are seeking new avenues for their creativity.
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