Visual & Performing Arts

Course of Study


Art education at the Middle School is based on the Virginia Standards of Learning in grades six, seven, and eight. These SOLs stress the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design. The Elements of Art are: line, shape, form, space, color, and texture. The Principles of Art are: balance, proportion, variety, symmetry, unity, emphasis, and rhythm.

Projects corresponding with the SOLs include exercises that teach techniques and skills in creativity. These projects allow students to express their creativity and discover hidden talents using a variety of materials and media. Students are encouraged to see the beauty in their environment and to capture this beauty in a variety of media. Emphasis is placed on the experience of creating original works of art not just the finished product.

Students work on creating an illusion of three-dimension using four tonal shading of objects with dark and light contrast using shading pencils. Students use acrylic and water colors to explore color theory. Foam board painting and collage are used to give students experiences with graphic arts. Art history is taught using videos and slides as well as class discussions. Clay is used to teach positive/negative space, shape, form, and texture. Careers in art are explored through research.

Art shows and contests add enrichment and give every student and opportunity for success.


Band at NKMS provides students with the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument. Students will be taught how to read music and basic theory. In the process, the student is learning a skill that will last a lifetime. The students, as they are learning music within a small ensemble, are also learning motor skills, social skills, perceptual skills, teamwork, and are increasing their SAT scores yearly.

Students may join the band in the sixth grade and will have two performances. In the seventh grade, we strive to increase students' fundamental musical concepts and to increase their ability to read music. Seventh grade will also have two performances.

Eight grade band students will focus on ever increasing ability to play music of intermediate difficulty while expanding their ability to play as an ensemble. The students will play regularly at various sports events and assemblies, will perform in two competitions and will have several performances throughout the year. Other performance opportunities include area band, district band, and small ensembles.

Choral Music

Seventh and Eighth Grade Choir

The New Kent Middle School choir will concentrate on the Virginia Standards of Learning. During the year, the choir will concentrate on singing three parts correctly; choreography for songs; performance standards; vocal technique, purity of vowels and clarity of consonants; expressive qualities of music, interpretive gestures; reading and writing notation; evaluating musical performances; sing selections representing various historical periods, styles and cultures, including music of the twentieth century; demonstrate accurate intonation in solo and ensemble singing; demonstrate an understanding of vocal technique and demonstrate an understanding between the relationship of music to other arts and disciplines outside the arts.

Sixth Grade Music Basics and Seventh Grade Music Appreciation

For eighteen weeks, students will become more familiar with instrumental and vocal music. They will learn to understand music from a historical time-line, study composers' lives, sing, and explore the elements of music including melody, harmony, rhythm, tone quality (mood), and form.