The Middle School music curriculum emphasizes the belief that the study of music develops the intellect, the personality, and the emotions. A genuine appreciation for music must be supported by an understanding of the active making of music (singing, playing, composing), by the skill of listening and by a knowledge of a variety of musical forms and historical periods. The department also offers students opportunities to take private instrumental lessons, join the Spence Orchestra (by audition), join choral groups and to perform in musicales, ensembles, and concerts.
The Middle School dance curriculum aims to develop students’ dance skills and kinesthetic awareness in terms of dynamic alignment, balance, articulation, isolation, efficiency, weight transfer, and the initiation of movement in the body. Classes are taught in a supportive environment in which students are encouraged to express themselves creatively, take individual initiative and experiment with dance forms. The art of choreography is emphasized as students progress through the program. Students in Grades 6 through 8 can join performance ensembles that participate in the annual Dance Concert.
The Middle School drama curriculum helps students establish and develop a foundation of techniques in classroom exercises and presentations that carry them toward performance before an audience in the annual Grade 8 play. These concepts are the basis for all acting and drama presentation, and they include working with relaxed, focused energy and concentration; developing group cohesion and trust; cultivation of spontaneity and pantomime capability; aptitude for creating character and structuring good dramatic narrative; and ongoing engagement in imaginative problem-solving.