Millhopper Montessori School offers Performing Arts starting in pre-school to eighth grade. Each year the students perform a holiday vocal concert in December for their parents. Each pre-school/kindergarten class performs an end of the year parent appreciation show, and the first – eighth graders present an end of the year show every year that involves all the students. Click here to view: Past Performances
Drama is an integral part of the curriculum at Millhopper Montessori School for all first through eighth grade students. The first through fifth grade are given thirty minutes of instruction each week while the middle school students receive an hour of instruction each week. The drama course is divided into three parts: Speech & Public Speaking, Debate and Drama.
Speech & Public Speaking is taught to ease the students into speaking in front of a group. In first – third grades they learn delivery techniques by reading from their journals, presenting a poem or a story. The fourth and fifth graders begin to write their own speeches’ and deliver them. In sixth – eighth grades the students learn to write various speeches and deliver in various styles, by eighth grade the students deliver their speeches extemporaneously using a keyword outline and also deliver a five minute impromptu speech. Lessons of voice projection, varying voice, proper body language as well as not fidgeting and being prepared start in the first grade and continue through eighth grades.
Debate teaches formal discussion of various opinions. The first – third graders learn to make an informed opinion by discussing the difference between gathering information before the opinion is formed and making an opinion without knowing all the facts. Fourth – Fifth grade in opposing teams, research a simple issue, formulate an opinion, write an introduction, points with backup and a conclusion and present a debate. The middle school students spend weeks researching a current event, or environmental issue, or historical issue and present a formal debate to the first – fifth grade students.
Finally, Drama teaches the students the creative process of acting, auditioning, script writing and presenting a show. The students in first – fifth grades learn and recite Shakespeare using “Shakespeare Can Be Fun series” that mimics the stories in rhyme. The middle school creates a theatrical portfolio that includes: a re-written scene, cultural overview, props, characterization and costumes. Their hard work and re-written scene is presented at the Shakespeare Festival at the historic Thomas Center. In 2010 a twenty minute rendition of the Third Annual Shakespeare Festival earned an Excellent rating at the National Performing Arts Festival in Disney World. Two of the students earned Outstanding Performance medals. The judges were so impressed with the re-written scenes they were awarded a “Judges Choice” trophy for their efforts. The culmination of the course is an End of the Year Show presented annually at a community theater, such as PK Yonge Performing Arts Center or the Santa Fe Performing Arts Center in June.
The school offers two after school drama studios and a vocal ensemble studio, The Spotlight Kids with Junior Thespians – a competitive drama troupe for students in sixth – eighth grades and The Spotlight Kids Junior for students in third – fifth grades and The Spotlight Singers for students in first – eighth grades. During the school’s Summer Camp Enrichment, two weeks of drama are offered for students in second – eight grades.
The Shakespeare Festival is annual event presented by the middle school at the historical Thomas Center.
The Spotlight Kids Performing Arts is offered after school, it includes drama club for sixth – eighth grades and vocal ensemble for first – eighth grades.
The drama club members are also members of the Junior International Thespian Society Troupe # 88928 and they compete at theater festivals each year. Last year they earned an excellent rating at the National Performing Arts Festival in Walt Disney World.