Music, dance and theatre are a fundamental in a liberal arts education at Hathaway Brown School. The performing arts are taught independently, and empower girls with the skills to be movers and shakers, and create each and every day. Opportunities for exploration and performance reinforce skills, encourage cultural literacy and cultivate interest in the field. After school enrichment classes and the Musical Arts Program, which offers private instrument lessons, provide additional opportunities for students passionate about the performing arts to participate in learning activities that bring greater depth to their Hathaway Brown experience.
General music classes engage students in singing, playing instruments, expressing themselves in movement. They learn to play the recorder and Orff instruments while studying a variety of musical and cultural styles. Instrumental ensembles and Chorus are electives that create, rehearse and perform throughout the year.
- The fifth and sixth grade general music curriculum is an Orff Schulwerk based program. Throughout the year, students continue to develop confidence in their musical skills as they sing, dance, play the soprano and alto recorders, barred and percussion instruments, and improvise, using dramatic texts and creative stories. The process of active music making empowers students to reach their musical potential and encourages them to create their own music and movement that is both skilled and uniquely expressive. All students perform in an annual Orff Tales performance, giving each girl an opportunity to put her musical skills into practice. Music classes meet twice in a 6-day rotation for the entire year.
- Seventh and eighth grade music classes incorporate a body of culturally diverse resources while developing a deeper set of musical skills. Seventh graders focus on world music and perform as an integral part of the World’s Fair. Eighth graders delve into musical composition, creating their own songs while utilizing the technology in GarageBand. Music classes meet twice in a 6-day rotation for one semester.
- The Middle School Orchestra, led by Ms. Linda Simon-Mietus, provides an exciting opportunity for students to discover the musical treasures of orchestral music. Any student who has studied an orchestral instrument for at least one year is eligible to join the Middle School Orchestra, which hones musical skills and expression in the context of a mixed ensemble. The Orchestra performs regularly throughout the year in the HB community and is committed to sharing their music with the greater global community through Concert Tour Days and Music Festivals. Students are encouraged to continue private lessons on their instrument to ensure solid skill development. Private lessons are available after school hours on a variety of instruments through the Musical Arts Program that also provides an opportunity for students to try a new instrument that has captured their interest. For additional information, please visit the HB Orchestra website.
- The Recorder Consort program is a unique two-year ensemble dedicated to the performance and exploration of music played on the full range of recorders. In seventh grade, students are invited to join the Early Music Ensemble based on their interest and recorder skills in sixth grade music. This ensemble strives to re-create the rich musical textures of Medieval and early Renaissance music. The ensemble continues in eighth grade to play in the Recorder Consort, where the repertoire expands to include music from the Celtic, folk, and contemporary traditions. Both ensembles share their music in formal concerts within the HB community and are committed to a wider outreach in the greater Cleveland community and abroad through Tour Days. MasterWorks in December, A Little Night Music in February, and Spring Soiree in May feature our Middle School Orchestra and Early Music Ensemble/Recorder Consorts. Recorder ensembles meet twice in a 6-day rotation for one semester.
- The Guitar Ensembles are an elective for grades five through eight, where students learn the basics of folk guitar. In the following years, students expand their knowledge as they study a variety of styles of guitar music, including flamenco, contemporary rock, and blues. The students have ample opportunities to play in informal school Hootenannies scheduled throughout the year.
Seventh and eighth grade students who enjoy singing are invited to join Chorus, a year-long elective. The goal of the Chorus curriculum is to foster a passion for harmonic singing and expanding vocal skills, while building a rich choral repertoire from diverse time periods and world cultures. There are many opportunities for independent leadership as section leaders, soloists, announcers and student accompanists. The Middle School Chorus has many impromptu and formal concerts scheduled throughout the year, in addition to a Tour Day with a focus of musical community service. All of these performances are a natural outgrowth of the musical process. Bella Voice is a select ensemble of talented singers from the Chorus members who also perform throughout the year.
Theatre is introduced in seventh grade as a skill-building course to enable the students to improvise, role play and develop confidence on stage.
- Fifth grade students participate in theatre class which focusses on the fundamental techniques of acting and self-expression. Students explore the use of imagination and dramatic structure to understand the process of ensemble work. Theatre classes meet twice in a 6-day cycle for one trimester.
- Each seventh grade student participates in theatre class, taught by Ms. Molly Cornwell, which explores numerous theater games and improvisations throughout the quarter. These activities are designed to build confidence and expand imagination of the young actor. The students participate in class improvisations, skits, and character development. The students share their scene work with their peers and invite classes from the Primary school to enjoy their performances.
- The eighth grade musical, a time-honored tradition in the Middle School, is a natural culmination of the Performing Arts curriculum, combining music, dance and drama. Eighth grade students who love Broadway musicals may choose to participate in the production as performers, choreographers, stage crew and student directors. The musical, directed by Ms. Deborah Southard and choreographed by Ms. Jenny Burnett, is announced in November and the students who have chosen to participate will be prepared for their audition in January. Most rehearsals are during the school day with additional rehearsals scheduled closer to performance time. The musical is performed in assemblies for the Middle and Primary Schools and twice for the public.
Sixth grade Dance is designed to explore contemporary dance technique and choreography. Contemporary dance celebrates all types of students and skill sets, offering diverse movement experiences, and encouraging teamwork and social responsibility. Dance class meets once in a 6-day cycle for one semester.
Eighth grade Dance is instructed by Ms. Jenny Burnett, and is designed as an introduction into the world of movement and choreography. Students develop choreographic and improvisation skills through creative movement experiences. The dance curriculum is structured for students to explore several dance idioms, such as musical theater dance, jazz and modern dance techniques. The course content involves a creative component which allows each student to broaden her creative skills and ideas while instilling an appreciation for the art form of dance.
Makeup/Costumes/Props is a theater academy for any aspiring actor. If you have ever wanted to learn how to do character makeup for the stage, design costumes, or select and make props, this is the Academy for you! We'll work with makeup to create flesh wounds, to contour the face with highlights and shadows, and to age a person. Costume Design will show you how a designer and director work together to select the right costume, color, and fabric for each character in a play. Then you will design something on your own. Props are always fun to gather or make. You'll get to do both!
Pop Rocks! is a music academy where students collaborate in arranging various pop tunes using classroom instruments. Try a new instrument you have never played before or play your orchestral instrument in a new way! We will be experimenting with xylophones, drums, recorders, singing, and many other classroom instruments. Come rock the day away in POP ROCKS!
Ukulele Ladies is a music where students learn to strum along with the great Ukulele players – Jake Shimabukuro, Jason Mraz, Sara Bareilles, even Barack Obama has played the ukulele!! If you have never played before, this is your chance to learn. If you already play and you just want to get better and learn new songs, this is your chance, too. Come join the fun.