The Arts

ARTISTS. 100%. All of our Middle School students are artists. One or more arts courses are required throughout the school year and we are dedicated to making sure arts education is available during school hours as part of our college preparatory curriculum. Courses are dependent upon the different grade levels. Students also have the opportunity to participate in concerts, the school musical, spring art show, Scholastic Art and Writing awards, ISSMA competitions, and speech and chess tournaments.

Below is a description of some of the offerings at Canterbury Middle School.


Fifth-grade students (not enrolled in strings) take the nine-week exploratory band course. Students then may elect to become members of the fifth grade band for the second semester of school.

Students in grades 6-8 who have played an instrument at school or through private lessons may enroll in the Middle School Concert Band.


Students in grades 6-8 who are committed to striving for an ensemble of the highest quality join the the Middle School Choir.


Seventh graders have the opportunity to explore and appreciate the diversity of dance during a six week class. Students develop this art through observation, participation and individual interpretation. Dance encourages each student to explore their own skills through a variety of movements. Students perform during Chapel.


Through the use of pantomime, improvisation, and theater games and skits, fifth-grade students work on developing story lines and characters during drama class. Clarity of voice, stage presence, movement and development of plot are stressed.

Students in grades 6-8 use theater exercises, improvisations, and developed scripts to refine the skills of communication needed for everyday life as well as the stage.

Dramatic Oratory and Speech

These non-competitive courses focus on developing self-confident and analytical speakers through a variety of oral communication experiences. Fifth grade students are introduced to Dramatic Oratory while students in grades 6-8 may take Speech.

Strings and Orchestra

Students who have already studied strings in Lower School or through private instruction may become members of the fifth-grade strings ensemble.

Students in grades 6-8 who play violin, viola or cello may enroll in the Middle School Orchestra. Students who wish to spend more time pursuing their music may audition for the Chamber Orchestra, an extracurricular performance ensemble.

Visual Art

Fifth grade students are introduced to a course in Exploratory Art and may continue on to Art 5. They study elements of visual arts and develop an understanding of drawing and painting.

Students in grades 6-8 may take Independent Projects in Art which introduces students to the sculpture process. Students in grades 7-8 may enroll in Visual Art, a course that emphasizes strong drawing and painting techniques and art history.


Chess is offered for grades 6-8. The class addresses basic skills and sophisticated strategies as well as critical thinking skills.

Extracurricular Activities

Middle School Musical

Each year 60-100 students audition for this musical. Every student who auditions participates.

Speech Team

The speech team coach is available to meet with students during lunch/recess hour as well as after school. Students compete in local and area meets in divisions including drama, humor, poetry, prose, broadcast, extemporaneous, impromptu and declamation.

Chess Club

Students meet once a week after school to play chess and learn strategies. Students also have the opportunity to compete locally, statewide and in national tournaments.

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