7/8 Unified Arts

Unified Arts is a project-based course with a two year rotating curriculum.  Seventh and eighth grade students are each assigned to one of two mixed-grade classes.  Each class studies art for one semester and music for one semester. A single theme, the European Renaissance, unites the two disciplines. Students share final projects with each other so that all students gain an understanding of the era from a visual as well as musical perspective.

Visual Art

In the Visual Arts class,  students will explore sculpture, architecture, and iconography of the European Renaissance.  Students will look closely at the work of artists essential to the period including, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, and Albrecht Duerer.  These works will be presented side by side with a selection from other cultures and time periods with related themes.  Students will paint on canvas, create mosaics, experiment with printmaking, and sculpt with clay.  Each student will also be required to do independent research on a specific Renaissance artwork and create a Final Project in a media of his or her choice.


In music class, we will study composers essential to the European Renaissance Era, including Josquin Desprez, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Thomas Weelkes and William Byrd.  Sacred music forms like the Motet and the Mass will be explored, as well as secular forms, including madrigals, chansons (French songs with sung lyrics) and instrumental dance music.  Additionally, we will focus largely on the music theory and form that developed during the time period.  The rules that govern western classical music as we know it were developed during this era.  This course will culminate in a composition project that will require each student to demonstrate his/her knowledge of these composition guidelines. The third and final aspect of this course is the study of the recorder.  This instrument was widely used during the European Renaissance, particularly in dance music.  All students will  write a composition using their recorder.