Learning About Teamwork, Perseverance, and Confidence through the Grade 6 Musical

We recently held a student panel for our newly admitted families. When one prospective parent asked our students about their most memorable WES experience, the response was enthusiastic: the Grade 6 musical.

Every year, both the reserved and the gregarious of our Grade 6 students have a chance to take to the stage and perform in a full-fledged musical, and our Middle School team was not about to let COVID stop our students from the benefits of this landmark experience. Through collaboration and creativity, our performing arts team has put together a “jukebox musical,” which is a presentation featuring the songs of popular acts. The production will celebrate themes such as hope, hard work, and resilience through a medley of popular songs from Hamilton, The Greatest Showman on Earth,  Moana, Wicked, and Glee, among others. The songs are woven together through an original script.

In order to ensure our students’ safety, the students will be filmed in small groups and their performances will be edited into a complete show that will premiere on YouTube in May. This unusual format allows our at-home learners the opportunity to perform as well!

While there is much to be said for the sheer pure joy of this experience, our students learn a number of valuable life lessons through this annual production.

  • Teamwork. Probably the number one skill they acquire is the ability to work with many different types of people to produce something great. Accountability is inherent because nobody wants to let their fellow cast members down.
  • Perseverance. So much work goes on behind the scenes to produce these high-level productions. Students have to learn lines and songs, practice their blocking, remember their cues, and perfect the choreography. They persist, especially when it’s hard, and it all pays off in the end.
  • Confidence. All of our students get the opportunity to build their public-speaking and presentation skills through this performance. Yet some of the biggest growth occurs in those who might not normally volunteer to star in a musical. Some of our quieter students are often cast in leading roles, and all of our students are determined to bring their best selves. Our students’ confidence grows exponentially when they find success in a new experience.

This year’s production will be different, but it will also be exceptional like every other Grade 6 musical our students have done. I invite you all to join me online in May!

Danny Vogelman

Head of School