Middle School Arts

In the Middle Years, students become competent performers, capable directors, skilled visual artists, and effective commentators on art. The Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School arts curriculum is diverse, including creation, composition, practice, presentation and performance. Students also continue to grow as critical thinkers; they are asked to reflect and comment upon art and make connections between themselves and the bigger world. 

Students In Middle School choose a specific area of study from two streams: Instrumental Music (band) and Visual and Performing Arts. In choosing a focus, students begin to deepen their understanding and skills within their preferred art. 

If your child elects to play in the band, they no longer have regular classes in drama or visual art. They can, however, join co-curricular activities to maintain an interest in those subjects. Conversely, if your child chooses to pursue visual and performing arts, they won't play in the band program. Regular music instruction becomes optional in Grades 7 onward. 

More About Band 

Band students practice during the regular school timetable and perform at school events, concerts and festivals. Any students are welcome, and no prior experience is necessary. Students learn from music professionals who are experts on every instrument throughout the year; learning fundamentals is a great start. 

The Middle Years band program is designed to teach all aspects of music, from listening and improvising to composing and performing. 

STS band students often identify the overnight band camp at Camp Caroline as a highlight each year. For several days, they're immersed in band—and having fun. 


Along with the regular and optional arts classes, design studies begin in the Middle Years. Students explore the design cycle of investigation, plan/design, create and evaluate. They use creative thinking from art and engineering and employ sophisticated technology, such as 3D printers, to become skilled problem solvers. The course encourages, among other skills: 

  • Appreciation of the design cycle power and the impact of design innovation in our lives; 
  • Respect for others' viewpoints and alternative solutions; 
  • Application of technology in the use of information, problem solving and creation. 

Fine Arts and Co-Curricular Programs 

Co-curricular activities offer further self-discovery through the arts. They’re optional and led by teachers who establish strong connections between regular classwork and co-curriculars. Your child can pursue further experiences in a familiar setting but are also urged by their faculty mentors to seek out new forms of musical expression right on campus.
The following programs take place in the morning before school, during lunch hour, or after school.

Junior Choir 

The STS Junior Choir is open to all interested Middle School singers who want to sing in a group. When we sing together, the body releases oxytocin, the "friendship chemical." Choirs are an enjoyable bonding experience. 

  • Internal and external performances, including two annual school concerts; 
  • Extensive performance with the Calgary Kiwanis Music Festival, Choralfest South and the Alberta Provincial Music festival. 
Intermediate Jazz Band

A small group of jazz enthusiasts from the regular band program join this co-curricular to: 

  • Focus on jazz principles, including improvisation; 
  • Regular performances at school concerts and assemblies. 
Middle School Production 

Each spring, students in Grades 7, 8, and 9 delight audiences with a play at the C.A. Smith Arts Centre. More than 50 students take part as actors, stage crew, and designers. Auditions are in January. 

Art Club: Art and Entrepreneurship 

Students create artworks that support Round Square fundraising initiatives. They experience the excitement of learning new art techniques, the positive self-esteem of skillful production, and the pride in using their abilities in the service of others. 

This workshop is for Grades 8 to 12, offered per term.