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Upper School Arts Program

The visual and performing arts at The Out-of-Door Academy fosters artistic excellence, interdisciplinary learning, socially engaged performance, and the spirit of collaboration. We aim to stimulate and provoke students, encouraging the development of independent and challenging thought as expressed and inscribed in the visual and performing arts. Our faculty, all accomplished artists, is diverse in its pursuits and is seriously engaged in dialogue locally and nationally. Our students benefit from this dialogue, and are also encouraged to pursue areas of overlap with the many other disciplines represented at The Out-of-Door Academy such as history, literature, science, and philosophy, to name a few.

In addition to involving the students intellectually, personally, and emotionally, the visual and performing arts department at The Out-of-Door Academy strives to provide all students with numerous opportunities for meaningful self-expression, creative exploration and collaboration. Whether a student’s goal is to become an art scholar, a practicing artist, or to use one of the mediums as a meaningful focus or intellectual inquiry for his or her future goals and expectations, courses in visual and performing arts provide a solid foundation in critical thinking and creative skills for life. Students may choose from a number of course offerings in a variety of areas including studio art, sculpture, 3-D, film studies, graphic design, photography, vocal and instrumental music, and theater arts. Courses using computer technology, particularly those in graphic design, video editing and computer music, demonstrate the department’s commitment to new directions in the arts. It is firmly believed that the knowledge of the content learned assists students in developing skills that will transfer to other disciplines and life situations.

The Out-of-Door visual and performing arts department sets these goals for the art student:

  • Develop a deep appreciation through exposure to and experience of  the visual and performing arts.
  • Procure the ability to speak the lexicon of any given craft or subject area with confidence.
  • Understand the influence that visual and performing arts have and that they still have an impact on the world currently, historically and culturally.

Visual Arts Courses

Drawing 1

One semester course, Prerequisites: None
This course teaches basic skills and techniques in drawing from direct observation. Direct observation for this course is defined as drawing from still life, landscape and architecture. Students will explore measurement and perspective, the representation of form and space, value, volume, light and shadow. Verbal skills are developed through critique and class discussion.

Painting 1

One semester course, Prerequisites: None
The goal of this course is to provide beginning students with a solid understanding of painting techniques that can be used to create artworks. This class introduces fundamental painting principles, methods and the use of materials. Students will develop perceptual abilities, sensitivity to color, and compositional ideas within the context of still life and landscape subject matter. Composition, color, and brushstroke will be consistently explored and analyzed. Discussion will focus upon a number of complex issues, such as the relationship between technical skill and personal sensibility; rational decision making vs. intuitive response; and conscious vs. unconscious art making.

Advanced Drawing and Painting

One semester course, Prerequisites: Drawing, Painting, and/or instructor approval
This course is designed for those students wanting to further improve their painting and drawing skills. The student will continue to explore various techniques through different mediums and subject matter. Students will study foreshortening, perspective, light sources and shadows, along with various ways to mix and use color. Students may choose their own focus of drawing or painting, or can pursue both subjects.

Self-Exploration Through Drawing and Painting

One semester course, Prerequisites: Advanced Drawing and Painting, and instructor approval
This course is a self-directed, self-paced class (instructors approval) in which the student pursues drawing, painting, or both skills into their own personal vision. A student may focus on a specific artist or time period, a specific technique or style, or may want to create a concentrated series of works. This class is for students focused and self-motivated.

Art Foundation

One semester course, Prerequisites: None
This course offers a foundation for all students interested in a general creative experience. In this course, you learn to recognize and use the elements of art; line, form, space, texture, color, and light, while experimenting with a variety of materials and techniques.

Art Expanded

One semester course, Prerequisites: None
Art Expanded is a continuation of the exploration of visual art through the Elements and Principals of art. This course will provide opportunities to further develop the skills and techniques learned in Art Foundation. The class will experiment in many different mediums such as but not limited to collage, video, painting, and 3-D installations. Students will also continue to develop skills needed to analyze and interpret the social and cultural influences in art as well as the expressive, technical and formal properties of art.

Performing Arts- Music

Advanced Chorus 

Full Year Course
Students entering Advanced Chorus have already been successful at singing in three-part harmony.  They will be familiar with basic note values and the movable do-re-mi solfeggio system in C, G, D, and F major.  They will be able to read choral music and follow the music director.  In Advanced Chorus, standard literature in four-part harmony from classical western repertoire will be studied.  Students will continue to develop their sight-singing skills, using the movable do solfeggio system as well as identifying note names.  Intervallic identification will be taught.  Students will perform in concerts by memory.  Intonation, dynamics, articulation, rhythmic accuracy, and balance are emphasized.

Advanced String Ensemble 

Full Year Course
Students entering Advanced String Ensemble will have a solid command of their instrument, be able to play several major scales, and have been introduced to minor scales.  They will be able to read level three music without difficulty.  Students in Advanced String Ensemble will study standard literature from the classical Western repertoire.  Students will refine their knowledge of major scales and arpeggios, and continue to develop knowledge of minor scales.  Concert performances will feature pieces rehearsed through the school year.  Intonation, dynamics, articulation, and rhythmic accuracy will be emphasized.  At this level, an independent practice habit has already been established.

Upper School Band                 

Full Year Course
This course offers students the opportunity to participate in both the Jazz Ensemble and the Wind Ensemble during the same scheduled block.  The Jazz Ensemble will introduce the students to the American music style known as jazz.  The performers will learn styles including, but not limited to, blues, swing, Latin, fusion, funk, be-bop.  The students will also study the theory, history and musicians that have made this style of music popular.  The Wind Ensemble will be designed around a classically based repertoire of music.  The instruments involved are all brass, woodwind and percussion.  This ensemble will study the theory, history, composers and performers over the past 400 years.  Students enrolled in this class may also participate as members of the Pep Band, Drum Line, Pit Orchestra and Jazz Combo.  Musicians should have at least 2 years of Middle School Band experience.

© 2016 The Out-of-Door Academy
The Out-of-Door Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, gender, or national origin. The Out-of-Door Academy is an equal opportunity employer.
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