Fine Arts

High School

Creative expression is an integral and essential part of human development. Robust opportunities to perform and create - in the visual arts, music and theater - encourage students to become creative problem-solvers, divergent thinkers, and positive risk-takers (course descriptions follow).

Through the experience of giving and receiving feedback, aiming for precision, and patiently committing to a process, students develop skills and behaviors that contribute to resilience and individual wellness. In addition to acquiring technical expertise, they become more perceptive and understanding, which enhances all of their academic and personal pursuits. Lastly, students develop cultural competence by appreciating the role of the arts in our heritage and cultures - individually, in community, and globally.

Whether students' interests are in the performing and/or visual arts, our dedicated and experienced faculty artists will provide expert guidance and encouragement.

Ceramics 1

Ceramics 1 - College Prep [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: none

The first quarter of this course will teach students the fundamentals of handbuilding with clay using pinch pot, coil and slab methods. The slab roller and extruder will also be used to create sculptural and functional pieces.  Students will investigate and be inspired by historical as well as contemporary ceramic traditions across the globe.

The second quarter of the course is an introduction to the potter's wheel as a tool for making forms. Assignments are geared towards the development of skills involved in making functional as well as sculptural objects. A variety of surface treatment techniques will also be explored. An exhibition of student work will take place at the end of the semester.


Ceramics 2

Ceramics 2 - Accelerated [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: Ceramics 1

Students will build upon the wheelworking and handbuilding techniques they learned in Ceramics 1. More challenging assignments will enable students to further increase their skills while developing their personal aesthetic. Assignments will be more complex and involve some collaborative work. Kiln firing and glaze chemistry will be introduced, as well as more complex surface treatment options. An exhibition of student work will take place at the end of the semester.

Advanced Art Independent Portfolio

Advanced Art Independent Portfolio - Honors [1/2 or 1 credit]

Prerequisites: Previous art course and/or departmental approval

This course is a flexible studio structure where the advanced art student will work individually with the instructor to develop and design areas of artistic direction. Painting, mixed-media, photography, printmaking, drawing, and sculpture are some of the areas of focus. This may be taken as a one-half credit semester course or a one credit full year course.

 

Sculpture

Sculpture - College Prep [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: none

This course is an introduction to sculpture focusing on technique and use of a variety of materials including wood, metals, clay, and found objects. Emphasis will be on developing design skills, critical thinking and personal expression.

Advanced Sculpture

Advanced Sculpture - Accelerated [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: Sculpture

This is for the student interested in working with varied and larger sculpture materials. Students will work with the instructor to develop an individual design plan. This may be taken as a one-half credit semester course or a full year course with Sculpture 1.

 

Printmaking

Printmaking - Accelerated, College Prep [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: none

This course is an introduction to the basic techniques of printmaking. Linocut, woodcut, silkscreen, etching, mixed media, and stencil printing will be explored.

 

Advanced Printmaking

Advanced Printmaking - Accelerated [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: Printmaking

This is for the printmaking student interested in exploring larger mediums and unusual techniques involved in printmaking methods. Students will develop a portfolio of work. This may be taken as a one-half credit semester course or a full year course with Printmaking.

 

Drawing

Drawing - College Prep [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: none

This course is designed as an introductory course to develop drawing skills. It includes the opportunity to explore various media such as pencil, ink, charcoal, pastels, etc. Students will be encouraged to "see," with emphasis on personal style and technical fluency. During the second half of the term, there will be an emphasis on a more personal and technically advanced style. Structural drawing, life drawing, drawing from the masters, landscape, portraiture and abstractions will be areas studied during this course.

Advanced Drawing

Advanced Drawing - Accelerated [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: Drawing and/or departmental approval

This course is a continuation of Drawing with emphasis on a more personal and technically advanced style. Structural drawing, life drawing, drawing from the masters, landscape, portraiture and abstraction will be areas studied in this course.

 

Painting

Painting - College Prep [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: none

This course will deal with the development of personal style and preference of materials by experimentation with various media. Techniques of using color, design, and the elements of art will be explored.

Advanced Painting

Advanced Painting - Accelerated [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: Painting and/or departmental approval

A continuation of painting with a concentration on pursuing individual areas of interest and more advanced technical media.

Acting 1

Acting 1 - College Prep [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: none

This course is intended for the beginning acting student and for any student who wishes to strengthen their public speaking skills. The class is a hands-on workshop which will teach the fundamentals of acting technique and speech performance. The basics of speaking, listening, tactical interplay, physicalizing, and building scenes will be covered first. Next, memory and rehearsal techniques will develop performance skill, and finally, vocal work and voice/body integration along with imagination exercises will round out the material.

Acting 2

Acting 2 - Honors (formerly Speech for the Stage Honors and Intermediate Acting) [1/2 credit]

Prerequisite: Acting 1 or departmental approval

Students will continue to develop the vocal and speech work covered in the Acting 1 course. We cover a variety of topics including playmaking, voice, character development, writing and directing. There will be a unit on playwriting which will involve development of plot, character and literary skills.  Students will have an opportunity to refine their acting, auditioning, and public speaking skills.

Acting 3

Acting 3 - Honors [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: departmental approval

This course examines the finer points of acting technique. Students will explore various styles of theater from ancient Greek theater to 20th Century in a series of classroom workshops. Additionally, emphasis will be placed on speech for the stage and movement using the work of Jerzy Growtowski. This class is recommended for the experienced actor and students who have studied Acting 1 and/or Acting 2.

Acting 4

Acting 4 - Honors [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: departmental approval

This course will investigate elements of performance art, physical acting and non-verbal communication techniques through the work of the Japanese dance form Butoh.  We will also explore speech for the stage through the physical work developed by director Tadashi Suzuki.  

Design for Theatre

Design for Theatre - College Prep [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: None

This workshop course will focus on the role of the designer as a technical artist.  Students will learn the history and analysis of set design through the study of architecture and the craft of making scenic models. Students will also learn the basic principles of stage painting technique. They will examine color choice and mixing, the use of stage paints and additives, brush techniques. Student projects include faux finishes, wood graining, and marble, stone and brick imitations. Students are expected to master each technique and present samples for exhibit.  In addition, this course introduces the basic principles and techniques of stage lighting, instrumentation, the lighting board, safety, color in lighting, direction, special effects, the psychological impact of lighting and practical application in play production. Students will learn how to handle and maintain, hang and aim lights, how to create and use cue sheets, and the use of the control board.

 

 

Stage Makeup and Mask Making

Stage Makeup and Mask Making - College Prep [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: None

This is a hands-on course where students will develop and execute basic techniques stage makeup and mask making.  Students will master techniques such as aging, special effects and prosthetics as well as study masks from other cultures.  Students are expected to master the techniques and create a mask and a makeup look for the final class project.  

Playwriting

Playwriting - Honors [1/2 credit]

Prerequisite: Acting 1

This course focuses on the development of dramatic scripts using playwriting techniques, creative writing techniques, and researching and developing sources. Students will workshop and write original scripts individually and in groups. All scripts will be performed and assessed in informal workshop settings.

Play Production

Play Production - Honors [1/2 or 1 credit]

Prerequisite: Departmental approval

Students will act as a small theatre company and experience the total theatrical event including producing, budget issues, rehearsal schedules, acting, directing, stage management, theatre house management, design and technical crew. This course will offer students the chance to apply in a practical way the work in courses already offered by the department. Because of the class size, the students will have to work in several different theatrical departments. A fully mounted public production of the play will serve as the final assessment.

Advanced Acting Technique

Advanced Acting Technique - Honors [1 credit]

Prerequisites: departmental approval

This course is a full year combination of Acting 3 and Acting 4.

Music Theory and Composition 1

Music Theory and Composition 1 - College Prep [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: none

This course is a basic theory course for instrumentalists and singers. The focus will be on composing for the student's instrument or voice with opportunities to write for others. Topics covered include note reading, rhythms, major scales, key signatures, pentatonic modes, form and more. Students are encouraged to take Music Theory and Composition 2 following this course.

Music Theory and Composition 2

Music Theory and Composition 2 - Accelerated [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: Music Theory and Composition 1 and/or departmental approval

This course explores advanced theory and compositional techniques, including minor scales, four part harmony, seventh chords, polyphony, progressions, counterpoint, 12 tone technique, and others.

SJP Chorus*

SJP Chorus - Honors, Accelerated [1 credit]

Prerequisites: none

The SJP Chorus prepares a wide range of choral repertoire, including classical music, folk songs, jazz, spirituals and world music. There are no auditions and students in all four grades are welcome to join.  Special attention is given to note reading, rhythm, breathing techniques, choral tone, and assistance for the changing voice. Many performances are scheduled throughout the year on campus, and the SJP Chorus is honored to represent our school for selected funerals and other public events. Note: This course meets at 7:20 a.m.every day and will not conflict with the rest of the student's schedule. Students have two options for their first year: to take the course for accelerated credit by attending just morning rehearsals, or to receive Honors credit by adding the Wednesday afternoon session for Ryken Singers, which meets every Wednesday from 2:45 to 3:30. Students who enroll in this class for their second, third and fourth years receive Honors credit.

*In accordance with the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) guidelines, students who wish to audition for junior and senior district honor ensembles must be members in good standing in Orchestra, Concert Band, or Men's Chorus. If a student is not a member of one of these courses, St. John's Prep cannot support his application to audition.

Songwriting Workshop

Songwriting Workshop - College Prep and Accelerated [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: none

Students will study Coffeehouse style music making which includes original contemporary music, and Celtic traditions. Emphasis will be placed on student-created compositions and arrangements in a variety of formats. Students will also explore poetic forms and devices for lyric writing. Only acoustic instruments and singing will be used. Students will have performance opportunities at the BlackBox Coffeehouse and others.

Jazz Ensemble

Jazz Ensemble - Accelerated [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: Audition required through Music Office

Students will explore and perform a wide variety of big band jazz forms including blues, Dixieland, swing, bebop, and others. A full calendar of performances will be scheduled. This course is open to all intermediate and advanced instrumentalists and singers by audition only.

 

Concert Band*

Concert Band - Accelerated [1 credit]

Prerequisites: This course is available to all players of brass, woodwind and percussion instruments with a minimum two years of experience. The course meets every morning from 7:20am-8:00am and does not conflict with the rest of the student's schedule. The focus is on rehearsing and performing traditional Concert Band repertoire.

The focus is on rehearsing and performing.

*In accordance with the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) guidelines, students who wish to audition for junior and senior district honor ensembles must be members in good standing in Orchestra, Concert Band, or Men's Chorus. If a student is not a member of one of these courses, St. John's Prep cannot support his application to audition.

Beginning Piano/Keyboard

Beginning Piano/Keyboard - College Prep and Accelerated [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: none

This is an introductory course for those interested in learning to play keyboard instruments. The course includes note reading, chord playing, 12 bar blues, easy classical music and more. The course is for beginning students.

Piano: Masterclass

Piano: Masterclass - Honors [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: Open to intermediate and advanced pianists.

Open to students by audition only, this course explores the specific techniques and repertoire for piano in a Masterclass format; i.e. through individual practice and frequent performance for the class and instructor, the young musician develops a stronger technique and a better sense of the musical composition. Frequent discussions of musical material and research techniques are an important part of class. Please see Mr. Hamill in the Music office to schedule an audition.

Collaborative Music*

Collaborative Music - Accelerated [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: none

This course is open to all intermediate and advanced piano, string and woodwind players who are interested in music collaboration. Guitar players interested in this course should select Songwriting. Students will explore a variety of music styles and periods through small ensembles, with an emphasis on world music. 

*The following applies for students playing strings only: In accordance with the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) guidelines, students who wish to audition for junior and senior district honor ensembles must be members in good standing in Orchestra, Concert Band, or Men's Chorus. If a student is not a member of one of these courses, St. John's Prep cannot support his application to audition.

Jazz Combo

Jazz Combo - Honors [1 credit]

Prerequisites: Open to advanced wind, brass and rhythm section players. Entrance into the course will be by audition only. Four years plus on main instrument strongly recommended.

This group will perform at various locations in Massachusetts, and on select years, takes a tour within the United States or abroad.

Percussion Ensemble

Percussion Ensemble - Honors, Accelerated, College Prep [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: none

This course will explore beginning percussion techniques and instruments. Each student will have a hands on learning experience with a variety of percussive instruments and will perform together in concert. There will be an emphasis placed on music written for percussion ensemble. Mallets and Sticks will be available for purchase only, through the music department. Previous musical experience is not necessary, but is welcomed.

Music Technology

Music Technology - College Prep [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: Departmental Approval 

This course is an overview of the different uses of technology in music today. Students will learn how to record and edit live sound using programs like Garage Band and Audacity.  They will also learn how to add music to a already existing video. There will be an introduction to more powerful DAW programs. The course will consist of small project work and one large group project that will have the students record, edit and do post production of a live music group.

Survey of World Music

Survey of World Music - College Prep [1/2 credit]

Prerequisites: Departmental Approval 

This course will survey great music from around the world with an emphasis on exploring the common humanity found in indigenous music.  It will examine things found in common cultures around the world, and look for and celebrate the differences that make various types of music unique and exciting.  During the semester, students will study the music from erhu of China, mariachi music of Mexico, Russian folksongs, the penny whistle in Ireland, Roma gypsy music, and sub-Saharan drumming. It will also explore music found in each individual student's culture.  It is open to students in grades 9-12.

String Ensemble

String Ensemble - Honors, Accelerated [1/2 or 1 credit]

Prerequisites: Departmental Approval 

This course is open to all violin, viola, cello and string bass players who are at the intermediate or advanced level (beginners should choose the Beginning Strings course). No audition needed. Skills learned will include continuation of note and rhythm reading; left hand technique including shifting, vibrato and pitch discernment; right hand technique to include all the major bowing variants. Repertoire will include world music, classical music and jazz, with an emphasis on the repertoire considered essential for students of string instruments.

*In accordance with the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) guidelines, students who wish to audition for junior and senior district honor ensembles must be members in good standing in Orchestra, Concert Band, or Men's Chorus. If a student is not a member of one of these courses, St. John's Prep cannot support his application to audition.
email page print page small type large type
powered by finalsite