The Fine Arts Department, consisting of Music, Performing Arts, Digital Art, and Studio Art, educates each student by focusing on the individual discipline and utilizing values established in the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart education. The primary goals of the Fine Arts program are to expose the student to a variety of media from each of these disciplines, and to empower the work of creative imagination. Students learn how art mirrors a culture and gain appreciation of the artistic contributions of our global community, resulting in a deepened understanding of a variety of cultural perspectives. We teach concepts, skills, and learner traits. Concepts deal with aesthetics, discipline, balance, form, pace, rhythm, perception, and essential ideas. Skills are the mechanics of our disciplines - the manual dexterity of the artist in the studio, the ability to communicate and express ourselves with poise on stage, and the ability to make music with confidence and joy. Fine Arts courses place special emphasis on many positive traits; passion and curiosity which drive and motivate us, self-discipline and assurance which allows us to act with courage and resilience in our global community, imagination to see a variety of solutions to a single problem. These concepts, skills, and traits are essential to a well-rounded arts education and a well-rounded life.
2022-2023 Course Offerings
Fifth Grade Music
In fifth-grade music, students learn basic vocal technique including good breathing, speaking, and singing habits, as well as some basic music theory and personal presentation strategies. Skills are put to practical use as students design and present spoken and sung performance art.
Fifth Grade Visual Art
Fifth-grade studio art consists of an introduction to a variety of materials and techniques along with study of design concepts and global art history. Students work with mediums of drawing, painting, ceramics and more. In addition to hands-on making and attention to craftsmanship, students begin to explore skills of observation and imagination. Fifth graders will learn with and through mistakes, begin to make creative choices, and reflect, in order to evolve their work.
Sixth Grade Visual Art
Sixth-grade visual art focuses on an exploration of art materials, along with an introduction to design concepts and global art history. In addition to daily hands-on artmaking, students critically reflect upon their creations. Sixth graders work to improve their skills of observation and imagination, and they begin to develop confidence in their creative choices.
Sixth Grade Performance Skills
In this performance skills class, students study theatre, spoken word art, and learn effective singing, speaking, and dance techniques. Throughout the semester, the students design, implement and perform their holiday concert. Students explore all aspects of performance from the perspectives of performer, director, producer, and costume designer. The students learn how to be creative individuals within a strong ensemble. The entire class performs together in a semester-end concert.
Seventh/Eighth Grade Visual Art
In Studio Art, students learn the skills and habits of an artist using a variety of media. They will hone foundations skills in drawing and painting through the exploration of the Elements and Principles of Art and Design. In addition to hands-on artmaking, students ground their studio work in the larger context of art history, contemporary culture, and global issues. Students study various sources of artistic inspiration, continue to build confidence in their creative choices, and use feedback to refine and evolve their work.
Computer Programming Basics
Computer programming basics introduces students to basic computational thinking concepts and basic programming skills. Problem-solving and teamwork are emphasized. Students begin the semester working in teams to program our NAO robot (Rosie) to dance or tell a story. Rosie is programmed using Choreograph, a block-programming language. Rosie can also be programmed using Python. During the second half of the semester, students study Python. They learn new skills through in-class activities and apply them during self-selected independent and group projects. Project management, record keeping, and self-reflection are practiced regularly as students make use of the creative design process to turn ideas into products.
This elective course is an introduction to programming. Students explore the tools to problem solve using design and testing though Python. Python is a great starting point for programming; it can be similar to giving directions in English and can be learned with relative ease. Python is also a language used by programming professionals. Students will attempt to break down broad problems into sub-problems and will have the opportunity to write clear and concise projects.
In drama, students develop an appreciation of theatre and the ability to perform through an introduction to the basic concepts and skills of acting. Through viewing and participating in performance activities, students will enhance imagination, poise, and confidence. Over the course of the semester, students will explore the following topics: actor and theatre vocabulary, pantomime and storytelling, vocal expression, and health, as well as create and cultivate characters through improvised and scripted scenes. Students will develop skills such as: non-verbal communication, vocal flexibility, memorization, script scoring, and collaboration on preparing a polished scene study. Students develop their projects using coaching from their peers and their teacher. At the end of the semester, the class demonstrate their skills by performing a short, memorized scene study with a partner.
In drama, students become more confident as communicators and performers. During the semester, students rehearse and perform a published break the steps of monologue performance into small, attainable goals, such as facial expressions, physical gestures, movement, eye contact, and vocal expression. Each student’s preparation process includes coaching from her peers and her teacher, as well as video and audio feedback. During the second half of the semester, each student either creates a monologue journal and develops one of her favorite entries into a refined theatrical piece, or she writes a short play in collaboration with a group. The original pieces are rehearsed and performed as a final project.
In graphic design, students are introduced to the elements and skills making up good design. The semester begins with an overview of design. Students study categories of typefaces and their uses in design, and learn about the basic design principles of proximity, alignment, repetition, and contrast. Students then build upon their design skills to create posters, flyers, and other products combining type and images for on-campus advertising use. Students work with the programs Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign to create vector-based images, while learning other features of the programs.
Introduction to Creative Writing
In this semester-long course, students will unleash their creative writing voices. Expanding on the writing skills they’ve developed in their English and writing classes, students will explore the writing process across a variety of creative modes. Students will help construct this workshop-style course through model selection and genre prioritization. While the course will focus on process, feedback, and iteration, it will also include publication and/or performance elements in order to share and celebrate the work of the students. Publication/ performance modes may include blogs, slam style events, or participation in Write the World competitions.
Maker Lab: High-Tech Wearables
Public speaking class is designed to help each student develop poise and confidence when speaking to groups of people. Each project is designed to develop skills applicable to real-life communication situations. Additionally, students learn about vocal health and vocal anatomy. The projects for this class involve prepared opportunities for practicing public speaking. Planned projects may include, but are not limited to, formal introductions, reading aloud to a large audience, storytelling, dramatic monologues, debate skills, and poetry recitation.
Glee is a year-long non-auditioned choir. Over the course of the year students will learn the basics of good singing, presentation skills and different genres of choral music from traditional to pop. The course is focused on building community through singing and developing good basic singing and presentation skills. One highlight of every year is the Composer Workshop where we prepare music of a composer we enjoy and then spend a weekend with that composer exploring their music and creative process.
Glee meets outside of the regular school day.
The Chamber Choir is a year-long auditioned and select choir that meets once a week after school. Chamber Choir is a musical ambassador for the school which performs outside of school and tours every other year. Choir members will have an advanced sense of pitch and musicality, be able to learn advanced choral repertoire independently, as well as to commit to our rehearsal and performance schedule.
Chamber Choir meets outside of the regular school day.
Students learn basic music reading and ensemble skills in a context of preparing music for performance, covering a variety of musical styles. Class includes one evening concert each semester as well as participation in liturgies and school assemblies. (Maximum class size of 22.)
Beginning Handbells meets outside of the regular school day.
Students increase their music reading and performance skills while expanding into areas such as conducting, arranging, and concert planning. In addition to one on-campus evening concert each semester, this class includes several off-campus performances as well as participation in liturgies and school assemblies. (Maximum class size of 14.)
Advanced Handbells meets outside of the regular school day.
Digital Arts include courses such as Digital Photography and Graphic Design and Digital Music Technology. These courses use computer-based technology to communicate their ideas through visual media and/or music. Students learn techniques and skills such as animation, graphic design, photo editing, and sound manipulation. Students may take multiple digital arts courses to fulfill the UC entrance requirement.
The Digital Arts course for the 2022-23 school year is Motion Arts Studio, offered through the Sacred Heart Global Academy.
Topics in Music History
Grade level: Open to all students
Credit Earned: 0.5 Fine Arts
Theater Arts Production
Upper School Theater and its participants have helped shape our society throughout history. The theater program is designed to challenge, excite, empower, ignite, and celebrate students as they delve into the art of being human. Why theater at Forest Ridge? Participants will explore the following in this program - how empathy changes the world, personal expression, public presentation skills, the power of storytelling, time management, communication skills, trust with self and others, diligence, generosity of spirit, acting technique, vocal technique, dance technique, and much more. All students are invited to participate in this ever-evolving program. There are two main projects a year allowing those with multiple interests to choose a season that works for them.
High School Drama Production is a currently an afterschool activity at Forest Ridge
This course is offered every other school year. It will be offered in the 2022-2023 school year.
This course presents a unique opportunity for in intensive practice and development of oral presentation and academic writing skills. Students will work to create meaning and knowledge through writing and speaking as they negotiate issues of language, culture, and power. This workshop-type course explores and develops presentation skills for students through projects that include, but are not limited to, debate, impromptu speaking, oration and civil discourse, mock interviews, and tools for cross cultural dialog. While the teacher will provide exercises and projects, students will work towards meeting their own goals, and evaluation will be based on growth. Students may earn credit for either a Fine Arts class or an English elective.
This course is offered every other school year. It will be offered again in the 2022-2023 school year.
Students in this course will experience multiple forms of dance through their history, movement vocabulary, and works of choreography. Forms may include Modern/Contemporary, Ballet, Hip Hop, West African, and others. While exploring these forms, students will develop confidence, body awareness, and performance skills, and will have opportunities to choreograph their own works. The material in Dance: Technique is suitable for students with any level of previous dance experience or none, from first-time beginners to advanced dancers! This course satisfies the prior dance experience prerequisite to choreograph for DanceFest.
Dance: The Creative Process
This class is offered in alternate years. It will be offered next in the 2023-24 school year.
Students in this course will experience multiple forms of dance through an exploration of the creative process. Over the semester, students will build foundational skills in choreography using movement vocabulary from Modern/Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Jazz, and other forms of dance. Students will develop confidence in movement improvisation and create short solo works, big group dances, and everything in between! No prior dance experience necessary; the material can be tailored to any level of dance background. This course satisfies the prior dance experience prerequisite to choreograph for DanceFest.
Drawing and Painting I
This course is open to all students who want to explore various drawing and painting mediums, like pencil, pen, charcoal, scratchboard, paint, pastels, and watercolor, and understand when and where those mediums and techniques were used in art history. By the end of this course, students will know how to successfully implement shadows by blending values, utilize the grid-transfer, mix colors, add texture, and more. Students will create numerous paintings and drawings as they find their artistic voice while deeply understanding the Elements and Principles of Art and Design.
Drawing and Painting II
Students will extend and cultivate their understanding and development of various drawing and painting mediums and techniques in this Semester course. This course builds on fundamental skills learned in Drawing and Painting I, and encourages students to continue to find their artistic voice while deeply understanding the Elements and Principles of Art and Design. Students will view, research and take inspiration from modern and historical artists. Students will practice incorporating personal meaning to their work. (Limited to 18 students.)
Studio Art I
This course is open to juniors and seniors who have previously taken a studio art course and who have passed a portfolio review. This course is designed for art students who can work independently, are critical and creative thinkers, and may consider a further pursuit of art at a higher academic level. Students will explore a wide variety of art mediums and techniques to strengthen their artistic voice. Studio Artists will deep dive into research of global historical and contemporary artists to inform and inspire their own work. Students will begin to develop a portfolio of work that investigates thematic personal expression.
Studio Art II
This year-long course is open to seniors who have successfully completed Studio Art I. This course will be a continuation for students to build their portfolio by strengthening their skills with art mediums and processes. Many projects include a research component, and students will work independently to create a body of work with an over-arching theme/concentration that will culminate in an art show at the conclusion of the year. Students will work with instructor to establish goals and assessment tools and will track their progress as they build their portfolio.
Creative Arts I
Creative Arts II
In this course, students will use creative thinking skills and quality craftsmanship to solve fun artistic challenges. Working in a variety of mediums including stitchery, drawing, painting, weaving, and papercutting, students will build both 2-D and 3-D visual responses to art prompts. We will study the work of mixed media and Outsider Artists and use their inspiration to build our own expressive solutions. Students will work both collaboratively and independently as they practice remaking, revising, and envisioning their own new works.
This course is offered every other school year. It will be offered again in the 2022-2023 school year.
Many of the greatest masterpieces known to humankind were created out of a desire to understand, celebrate, and share an understanding or connection to the divine. Students will both study the various eras of Christian art (Early Christian, Celtic, Baroque, etc.), and produce their own piece of art for each unit, focusing on themes such as art as sacramentals, sacred space and architecture, as well as sacred symbolism seen throughout history. Students may earn credit for either a Fine Arts or Religious Studies class.
*Course offerings are based on student interest and minimum enrollment requirements; therefore, some classes listed may not be offered every school year.