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Performing Arts Courses

The fundamentals of songwriting and studio recording will be covered. This is for beginners. For songwriting, we will learn about writing chord changes, lyrics, form, beats, melodies and bass lines. In the studio, we will cover various Digital Audio Workstations (Logic, Pro Tools), loops, mid keyboards, recording techniques, and mixing songs. This class is open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders. 9th graders may be approved by the instructor.

This course is designed to help students develop a practical knowledge of theater through production analysis, technical design and construction. Through hands on instruction, Technical Theater Production 1 students will learn to manage and care for the theater space and equipment, implement basic sound, lighting and scenic designs for theater events, collaborate and communicate effectively, and combine purpose with artistry.

This course is designed to familiarize students with the theater – its intent, structure, effectiveness, and value – through performance. Through the study of a wide variety of scenes, monologues and short plays, students in Theater Performance 1 will be able to: communicate effectively and work cooperatively with an ensemble; take creative risks; develop physical, vocal, and mental skills through active participation in warm up and acting exercises; analyze text to determine author’s intent and historical/cultural context; and constructively evaluate and critique their own work as well as being able to deliver tactful and thoughtful criticism to others.

This course is designed to foster an understanding of choral music and a love of singing. By participating in the ensemble, students will be expected to: prepare choral repertoire for public performance; develop musicianship skills, such as pitch and rhythmic accuracy, and sight-singing; develop vocal and breathing technique, tone production, and diction; expand their individual potential within a group context; and identify the historical context for the choral selections and explain their cultural relevance. No previous experience is required, and this course is open to all students.

This course will explore the art of choreography in different styles like modern, classical, lyrical, hip hop, and cultural dance, as well as special techniques associated with the creation of dance, including research, design and execution. Students will watch films of great dance pieces, create original combinations, and build them towards a performance which can happen throughout the year.

Visual Arts Courses

All ninth-grade students take Foundation Arts. Through direct experience and practicing different forms of art, Foundation Arts students are introduced to some functions of Visual and Performing Arts including but not limited to expression, connection, and aesthetic appeal. Through exploration of a variety of materials and concepts, project-based work, collaboration, and group learning, students develop the ability to recognize strengths and areas for improvement in their own work, and how to capitalize on feedback. Students work with many members of the Visual and Performing Arts Departments to engage in learning in a variety of mediums and art forms.

Through four major Visual Arts programs, students elect to explore drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, functional ceramics, digital and analog photography, and using code and digital tools to create art. From easels to pottery wheels, tripods and projectors, students develop technical knowledge and conceptual thinking through inquiry based projects.

Advanced Art is designed for students who have progressed beyond the intermediate level in their studies in the arts. The purpose of this course is to provide Cate’s most accomplished and engaged visual artists the opportunity to pursue individual, directed studies in an environment that allows them to see and learn from each other’s work. Students who specialize in various disciplines will have the opportunity to develop their artwork alongside one another. Students will execute challenging projects while coming together regularly to investigate advanced principles of the arts, to develop critical and analytical skills, and to learn from the challenges and processes being undertaken by their peers. Students who wish to prepare and submit a portfolio will be prepared and supported in doing so. This course carries the advanced designation and weighting. Prerequisite: Level 2 Arts course and permission of the department.

Advanced Topics in Art History is a course that explores the history of art making, architecture, contemporary art theory, and visual culture. Through thoughtful writing, observation, hands-on experiences and art historical analysis, students will engage in creative thinking and visual analysis of artistic expression throughout history. Students will be introduced to a range of interdisciplinary frameworks that will challenge them as they analyze the conceptualization of art and connect historical concepts and theory to their own work. This course is not monolithic and will challenge the art historical canon as students construct themes between historical works and contemporary practices. Open to 12th graders; 11th graders if space is available.