Although we are not a conservatory, Community High’s courses in the arts are considered “core” classes, and are required and weighted in the same way as those in other disciplines. We consider the arts to be vital to an engaged citizenry, and essential to the development of full mastery of other subjects, to self-exposition and critical thinking.
Creative Writing In this course students will explore the craft of writing, while experiencing the reciprocal relationships between writing, reading, publication and discourse. They will engage with a variety of literary forms, genres, and methodological approaches to develop their technical versatility and their understanding of the practice of writing on a fundamental level. Simultaneously, they will explore the social and ethical dimensions of literary practice. Students will be expected to write several hours’ worth of text per week, and to be reading at least one book of fiction, poetry, or other ‘non-factual’ text throughout the semester. They will be expected read each other’s work most weeks, and discuss it with sensitivity and detail. Other sessions will be devoted to in-class writing activities, writing games and experiments, and discussions on literary issues or technique, in which substantial participation is also expected. Following each assignment, they will collaborate to edit and produce a chapbook of their work for distribution within the school community, culminating in a perfect-bound anthology at the end of the year. During 2nd Semester, regional and visiting writers will be invited to discuss their practice and participate in workshopping.
Dance This class will focus on hip-hop dance and expressive movement set to the current moment. Each student will be charged with allowing their inner life to be made visible through movement and sound. Emphasis will be placed on each participants mind/body as well as flexibility, which will enable a greater understanding and appreciation for the physiology of a dance workout comprised of aerobics, muscle strengthening, and interval training. Students will be provided with beginner working knowledge of Hip Hop/contemporary dance. At the completion of this course, the student should be able to demonstrate basic skills of Hip Hop Dance and follow instructions given by instructor as skill sequences are developed.
Film Genre The student will develop analytical skills as well as familiarity with the genre leading to a broader filmic knowledge. They will hone their notion of critique and use it to discuss, write and present on films. We will be examining documentaries. We will look at the history of documentaries as well as advances in filmmaking, how documentaries influence other genres, theory and the ethics of filmmaking.
Film Production Film Production concentrates on student vision and desire to create filmic material. We use student created pieces to spark lectures and discussions on knowledge needed to obtain said product. The student will gain an immense amount of hands on learning as well as theory to better shape their understanding of how cinema is made. At the end of the year students should be able to display a competency with equipment and an understanding of positions, genres, motifs, and the running of a shoot.
iPhone Photography This course will introduce photographic methodology and study images that have remained world icons in the evolution of the photographic medium. This course includes critiques, art statements and a group exhibition. For the second part of the semester, we will study the work of a few photographers who introduce the world to Photo Collage and we will try this technique in order to produce the second portfolio of the semester. We will use the camera contained in students’ personal phones
Music Theory I This course provides an overview of Western music theory. Through close tutorial, students will master the basics of harmony and composition. The majority of students will be musicians, but musicianship is not required; this class is meant to augment performative instruction.
Music Theory II This course provides an overview of Western music theory. Through close tutorial, students will master the basics of harmony and composition. The majority of students will be musicians, but musicianship is not required; this class is meant to augment performative instruction.
Observational Drawing and Landscape Painting in Oils This class continues from “Alla Prima Introduction to Oils” which was offered in the Fall. From January until March 1 this class will focus on observational drawing skills such as: thumb-nail compositions, two and three-point perspective, value studies and expressive mark-making. After March 1 the class will shift to observational painting in oils, and when the weather permits we will move outdoors to paint “Al Fresco” in the fresh air. The class is limited to 6 students and some studio experience is preferred.
Performance Band Students will study ensemble performance by choosing material, charting material, rehearsing and performing in a musical ensemble, using core rock/jazz instrumentation: drums, electric bass, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboard and a vocals. Lyric sheets, notation, tablature, audio recordings, video recordings, and relevant historical data relating to the writing, the era, or the recording of a particular song are used to research how to best arrange, rehearse and perform. We will also encounter popular music history organically, and benefit from periodic master classes by musicians touring the area. The year culminates with a professional recording session.
Physical Education The physical education block includes weight training, cardio, injury prevention and proper form. The course and fitness center is designed and equipped to train students on properly gaining strength and endurance. The weight training will incorporate fitness activities focused on building muscle strength and endurance. Strengthening activities will work all the major muscle groups: legs, hips, back, chest, abdominals, shoulders, and arms. These strengthening activities include lifting weights, push-ups, sit-ups, and working with resistance bands. Endurance activities will be limited to some aerobic exercise such as jogging running or walking and sports related activities such as swimming, basketball and soccer. Repetition and equipment usage will vary based upon desired outcome and benefits. At the completion of this course, the student should be able to: Develop or improve individual muscle strength and endurance, understand and or explain the benefits of weight training and general health, and perform and create an individual strength/endurance workout for themselves.
Printmaking: Relief, Intaglio, Lithography This course offers students instruction and lab experience in lino-cut relief printing, intaglio printing, and kitchen lithography. Students will complete at least one edition in each medium and a final project in a print medium of their choice. Critiques will help first time and veteran printers to hone their abstract thinking, visual investigation, and critical discussion skills. Lectures, gallery visits, and dialogue will enrich students technical, historical, and conceptual awareness of not only printmaking, but visual culture at large. Students will endeavor to improve the craftsmanship, visual expressivity, and conceptual reach of their work. As empathy and teamwork are essential tools of the printing process, students will work creatively and constructively with their peers.
Theater Production A yearlong course, tackling production activities in the manner of a professional theater company. As we will be mounting two productions, students will be expected to tackle assigned roles, learn lines in a timely manner, work as a member of the artistic ensemble and assist with production values when needed. Additionally, students will have an opportunity to participate in the ESU (English Speaking Union) Shakespeare Competition. Theater Production is an immersion of theater styles, production and an exploration of each student’s potential as an actor or as a production specialist (props, lighting, costumes, set construction, marketing and more). Students will have an opportunity to explore how professional artists express their ideas and practice their craft by attending workshops as well as exploring theater offerings at area colleges and professional theater throughout the year.