Art: 2D & 3D (SEM)

This class focuses on the process of art making, 2D and 3D art media including drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, and sculpture.  Students will create artwork based on their own ideas through brainstorming, planning, and research. No prior art experience is necessary.

Ceramics (SEM/YR) 

This course is offered to students wishing to work exclusively in clay. Students may take this course up to four times at Desert Shadows Middle School (DSMS). Students will gain skills and experience creating pottery and sculpture from clay. Students will learn the basics and progress towards complex forms.

Advanced Ceramics (SEM/YR) 

Students will continue to develop their skills working with clay to create pottery and sculpture.  Students will learn more complex forms of working, such as throwing on the potter’s wheel.  Students must have completed Ceramics in semester 1.


Drama (SEM) 

This course is designed to inspire the student who wishes to develop a love and appreciation of the theater.  The class is structured to provide the students with a basis in theatre skills, to offer a creative outlet, and to produce well-rounded performers.  There will be at least one performance opportunity during the year outside of school for students to demonstrate what they have learned and to experience the exhilaration of the interaction between actors and audience.

Advanced Drama (SEM) 

Students will expand on the foundation built in drama.  Students will explore developing characters, play analysis, audition techniques, inner monologue, and more.  Students will enjoy a unit on musical theatre and historical aspects of theatre.  Students must have completed Drama as a prerequisite.


Band (YR)  

This beginning band course is offered to students who have little or no experience playing a band instrument (woodwind, brass, or percussion).  Students will perform a minimum of 2 evening concerts.

Concert Band (YR)  

Students must have a minimum of 1 year study on percussion, woodwind, or brass instruments and teacher approval.  Class emphasis will be on developing music reading proficiency and technical skill.  Students will perform a minimum of 2 evening concerts.

Symphonic Band (YR)  

This course is an intermediate to advanced level ensemble for students who have a least 2 years of playing experience in a school music program or private music instruction.  Teacher approval is required.  Students will perform a minimum of 2 evening concerts during the year.  Please email Band Director Julianne Clark for additional information.  

Guitar (SEM)  

Students learn to play guitar and make music together in an ensemble setting.  Using a class guitar method book and additional song materials, students will learn to read and interpret traditional music notation, guitar tablature notation, and chord diagrams.  DSMS provides acoustic guitars for all students to use at school.  Having a guitar at home for practice would be ideal, but is not required.

Orchestra (YR)

This class is offered to students with a minimum of 1 year of violin, viola, cello, or double base.  Teacher approval is required.  Students will focus on developing music reading proficiency and technical skill. Students will perform a minimum of 2 evening concerts during the year.

Percussion Ensemble (YR)

Students will learn to play snare drum, mallet percussion, auxiliary percussion instruments and more.  Students will focus on learning music notation, drum rudiments and making music together as a percussion ensemble. Students will perform a minimum of 2 evening concerts during the year.  Students need their own drum practice pads, practice pad stands, drumsticks, and mallets.


Mixed Choir (SEM)  

This class is for 7th grade boys and girls interested in singing.  The class includes training in choral singing, music theory, sight singing, ear training, and show choir staging.  There will be 1 performance required outside of class.  For all questions, please email our Chorus Director, Ms. Kahn.