Fine & Performing Arts Department

The Fine and Performing Arts Department provides an opportunity for each and every student to discover from within a personal voice of self-expression. Whether this expression takes place on the stage, utilizing design software in front of a computer, or with a paintbrush in hand, the experience of awakening one’s own creative spirit is available to all in our challenging and caring environment.

Course Offerings
Dramatic Arts

This course is designed for all levels and exposes students to multiple aspects of creating theater, including acting, staging, designing, and directing. All class members will gain an introduction to theater through games and other activities, but individual student interests and experience will shape much of the course content. Students can choose to focus on acting and explore the use of the voice, body, emotion, and imagination in performing scenes and monologues. Students can also learn the important elements of technical theater including lighting, sound, and stage design. Advanced students can gain experience as drama coaches, dramaturgs, and directors. Attendance at plays throughout the year enhances the course, allowing for a critical review of the various components of theatrical production. This course is appropriate for levels ranging from beginning theater students to those preparing for the IB Theatre course. Students can take the course multiple times for credit, each time tackling more advanced material or working on different aspects of dramatic arts. Freshman-PG elective


In this introductory class, students will learn to accurately discern relationships of shape, form, color and value, and to interpret this information through the various paint mediums. Through a series of class projects on canvas board, prepared paper and other suitable surfaces, students will explore various approaches to the use of water color, acrylic and tempera paint. Attention will be placed on the development of disciplined technical skills, such as paint handling and application, as well as the exploration of painting’s potential as a medium of communication and creative visual expression. There is no pre-requisite for this class though knowledge of how to draw will be helpful. Students taking this class should come with a willingness to explore and work hard. Freshman PG elective


This is an introductory class that will focus on drawing as a means of visual inquiry. Students will learn about gesture, contour line, positive and negative space, visual space, shadow and light, composition and perspective. They will use these methods in rendering the still-life, landscape, live model, and self-portrait. Students will learn how to manipulate pencil, ink, pastel, oil pastel, colored pencil and charcoal to successfully complete the various projects. This class does not require any previous experience only a willingness to learn and work hard. Freshman-PG elective


Students will build on the skills they gained in the previous painting and drawing classes as they further their exploration of the materials and the potential that painting and drawing has for self-expression and communication. Painting students will continue to learn about color and color relationships by looking at and discussing the work of Josef Albers and Hans Hoffman as well as a variety of contemporary artists. The students will have the opportunity to prepare, and then work on, different surfaces such as metal, stretched canvas, paper and wood. The drawing students will have the opportunity to choose a particular medium from those explored previously (pastel, colored pencil, pen and ink, etc.) with which they will investigate further the still life, landscape and or self –portrait . Our focus will be on the continued development of technical skills, creative investigation and personal expression. An introductory painting/ drawing class, or equal experience, is a pre-requisite for this class. Sophomore - PG elective.


This is an introductory studio class consisting of hand, wheel and mold methods of construction. The course will include an examination of special hand building and wheel techniques, glaze and decoration methods, and firing processes. The students will be expected to successfully throw a bowl and cup on the wheel, as well as build a pot using the pinch, coil and slab methods. From time to time, the students will be introduced to contemporary artists and their work as it relates to ceramics. They will have the opportunity to work on both functional and non-functional (decorative) ceramic pieces. Previous experience is not required for this course, only a willingness to experiment with the medium and to work hard. Freshman-PG elective


In printmaking students will be exposed to a variety of printing processes such as mono-print, lithography, transfer, woodcut, linoleum and dry point. With these methods the students will learn how to mix various elements to achieve the correct viscosity of ink; they will learn how to apply just the right amount of ink to whatever surface they are working on, and master the ability of wiping a plate so as to achieve a good print without under or over wiping. The students will be expected to use the basic elements of art and principals of design to create two dimensional works. This will take place in a structured yet spontaneous environment that encourages involvement and commitment to originality and self-expression. Students will be introduced to the work of past and present artists who have used the various printing methods to great effect as a way to inspire the students own creative imagination. Freshman-PG elective


In this course students will explore digital photography in relation to fine art. Students are introduced to digital photography technology and software. Emphasis is placed on the production and analysis of expressive and thoughtful artwork. Students are introduced to Adobe Lightroom software as a tool for storage, organization, and photographic editing. Compositional tools such as framing, “rule of thirds”, light, texture, pattern, lines, symmetry, depth of field, distance, perspective, space, and balance are the center of class projects and discussions. Students are assigned lectures, writings, projects, and in class discussion to better understand the physical, conceptual, and theoretical characteristics of photography. Freshman-PG elective


Advanced Digital Photography is designed for students who are seriously interested in the practical experience of art photography. Students are introduced to new photographers, digital artists, and more sophisticated techniques in order to create work that reveals that student’s spirit and vision. By exploring photographic and digital media, students are able to develop a body of work that reflects a range of ideation and develop versatility with techniques to demonstrate 24 their abilities. Independent research, art journals, class critiques, individual critiques, and artistic dialogues will inspire students as they create a final photographic portfolio. There are project requirements, but projects are open-ended enough for students to develop their own styles and modes of expression. Work is expected to be of high quality in thought, process, and product. Freshman-PG elective


This course covers the basic elements of visual language and design and introduces students to the possibilities of the emerging medium-digital art. This course emphasizes the elements and principles of art through a variety of modes and media. Students conceive of and create digital works of art, develop critical thinking skills, and conduct research on topics related to technology in the arts. Students engage in art criticism, art making, and self-expression. Through lecture, research, reading materials, and assigned projects students discover the multifaceted nature of digital art making. Students achieve proficient technical and aesthetic skills using the Adobe Creative Suites software and generate a broad range of two dimensional images. Student work will demonstrate an understanding of both the technical and artistic implications of the medium utilized. Freshman-PG elective


Advanced Digital Imaging is designed for students who are seriously interested in the practical and experimental use of Digital Art. Students are introduced to Artist, Digital Practices, and more sophisticated techniques in order to create work that is relevant, cutting-edge, and reveal’s the students spirit and vision. Students build off of their skills from digital imaging using Adobe Creative Suites software and Blender to generate a broad range of two-dimensional and three-dimensional images and videos. This course emphasizes the elements and principles of graphic design, photo manipulation, animation and digital imaging through a variety of modes and media. Students conceive of and create digital works of art, develop critical thinking skills, and conduct research on topics related to technology in the arts. Students engage in art criticism, art making, and self-expression. Through lecture, research, reading materials, and assigned projects students discover the multifaceted nature of digital art making. Student work will demonstrate an understanding of both the technical and artistic implications of the medium utilized. Freshman-PG elective


This class is geared for students who are interested in applying to art and design programs for college, although any student with a strong interest and background in the arts would certainly feel at home. In this year-long course, students work to develop their portfolios by first completing a series of intensive drawing assignments. As the year progresses, the students begin working on a body of work for the end of year Art Major Show. This work should represent each student’s passion in the arts and the best of his or her abilities. Any area of art and medium is allowable, ranging from oil paint to film to architectural models, making for a lively time. Students are assessed on the quality of their work, and for the scope and enthusiasm of their efforts. This is an Honors Level class and students are expected to produce their best. Senior elective

Creative Writing I & II

The students who undertake this Creative Writing elective prepare to immerse themselves in the written and spoken word, to develop their skills as writers, and produce a cohesive body of written work. The stories that students produce are highly original—they are grounded in imagination or based upon personal experience. Self-examination, reflection, and observation are essential to the craft of writing. rough journaling (even seemingly mundane events) students will remain in touch with their own thoughts and feelings. While the self is essential for writing, it is the sharing of the self that allows stories to impact others. Workshopping stories facilitate feedback on work as students improve and enjoy the words of others. Finally, we seek to move beyond ourselves, our workshop—even our classroom—and engage with the community. We hold open readings and open classes, visit coffee shops, and enjoy working in public spaces that are rich with observable interactions. Creative Writing students publish a literary magazine and invite members of the community to contribute. They travel to hear authors read their work, hear publishers speak about their trade, and engage in a constant ow of listening and sharing. Junior/Senior elective


This course will be taught as a two-year course with a prescribed 150 contact hours with the instructor. Each student will be required to study musical perception. SL students are then required to choose one of three options to pursue: creating music, solo performing, or group performing for an internal assessment. Students will be assessed externally by submitting a Listening Paper (musical perception questions), and a Musical Links Investigation (a written media script investigating the significant musical links between two or more pieces from distinct musical cultures). A student with little to no knowledge of music theory or experience may sign up for this course. Junior/Senior two-year course


This course will be taught over two years and will require at least 240 contact hours with the instructor. Each student will be required to study musical perception, and will be internally assessed on creating music and a solo performance. External assessment will consist of a Listening Paper (musical perception questions) and a Musical Links Investigation (a written media script investigating the significant musical links between two or more pieces from distinct musical cultures) to be reviewed by the IB organization. It is recommended that a student enrolled in this course have some experience with music theory and performance, including reading music. Junior/Senior two-year course

IB Theater SL1/SL2, HL1/HL2

This IB Theater couse is a two-year, multi-faceted theater-making course of study offered at both the HL and SL levels. The course gives students the opportunity to make theater as creators, designers, directors, and performers. It emphasizes the importance of working both individually and collaboratively as part of an ensemble, and offers the opportunity to engage actively in the creative process, transforming ideas and research into action and dramatic arts. The IB Theater syllabus at SL and HL levels consists of three equal, interrelated areas: theater in context, theater in process, and theater presentation. All students will complete three assessments: i) director’s notebook: a log chronicling ideas on the staging of a specific play, ii) research presentation: an individual presentation outlining and physically demonstrating the research into a convention of a theater tradition, and iii) collaborative theater project: an original piece of theater collaboratively created and presented by a class ensemble. Students at the HL level will complete one further assessment, the solo theater piece, in which students research a drama theorist, identify an aspect of their theory and create/present a short solo theater performance. Junior/Senior two-year course


Musicians of all levels are encouraged to take this class in order to build their skills in songwriting. The course will focus on popular music and students will be expected to explore new genres of music. Students will learn to apply musical concepts such as harmonization, chord progressions, and structure. Also studied, will be the literary aspects of writing lyrics, such as the effects of rhyme scheme and imagery. Most importantly, students will implement the important artistic process of editing and revising. Students do not need to know how to read music to succeed in this class, but it would be helpful to know some fundamentals, such as how to play an A major chord and an A minor chord. Students who complete this class are encouraged to use their new skills in the second semester’s Music Technology class. Freshman-PG elective


Music technology students will gain experience using computers to record, process and mix audio. The course focuses on the fundamental skills that help musicians in any genre of music. Among those skills to be developed will be recording and editing audio, understanding and using MIDI, 25 and using loops and digital signal processing for effects. Some familiarity with playing an instrument is recommended but not required. Students who are already comfortable with music technology will work on more advanced assignments. As a culmination to the course, each student will be expected to create recordings to be included in an end-of-year semester album. It is strongly suggested that students take the Songwriting class in the fall as an appropriate leadin to Music Technology. Freshman-PG elective


In this comprehensive music course, students of every musical level and ability will have the opportunity to learn basic instrumentation, improve personal techniques, write songs, form ensembles, and, most importantly, play music. A student new to the study of music may start with keyboard learning; while more advanced musicians will be welcome to bring their instrument of choice to the class. Everything, from classical music to jazz to pop and rock standards, will be covered, with appreciation gained for each genre through applied experience. Each student will also learn to practice and rehearse for the purpose of public performance and may choose to participate in one of the many concert opportunities available on campus throughout the school year. From semester to semester, a student may choose to stay with the class and receive credit, further advancing their own skills and appreciation for music. Freshman-PG elective


Students learn to analyze, realize, and harmonize figured bass in four part vocal style as well as score reduction. Students also compose melodies above a given bass line practicing contrapuntal structure. Rules of harmony and composition from the Common Practice Period (1600 1900) are emphasized although other stylistic periods are studied. In addition to compositional skills, students gain advanced aural musicianship skills including; melodic, rhythmic, and, harmonic dictation, sight singing, transposition, and aural analysis. Homework is assigned every class period. Chapter quizzes on written compositional elements are given every week as are aural assessments. Students completing this course work in preparation to take the College Board AP Music Theory Exam in May. Junior/Senior/ PG elective

Fine & Performing Arts Department Faculty

Francois Poisson

Francois Poisson

Fine & Performing Arts Department Chair

Eunyoung DiGiacomo

Eunyoung DiGiacomo

Fine & Performing Arts Teacher

Jennifer Guarino

Jennifer Guarino

Director of the Theater Program; English Teacher; Fine & Performing Arts Teacher

Karleen Kubat

Karleen Kubat

Fine & Performing Arts Teacher

Jesse Ofgang

Jesse Ofgang

Music Teacher

Nathan Trier

Nathan Trier

Music Teacher

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Address: 890 Lorem Ipsum Street #12 San Francisco, California 65432 Phone: 123.4567.890 Business Hours: 8a-6:30p M-F, 9a-2p S-S