CURRICULUM

It's not just about the classes here at FSHA. In addition to a full slate of class offerings, including 24 Advanced Placement classes and electives that cover all disciplines, learning extends throughout and beyond the classroom.

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Visual and Performing Arts Program Overview

The goals of the fine arts classes include providing a positive working environment for all students to express themselves freely and creatively while training all students to become well-rounded, thoughtful, and thinking artists in all fields. As a department, we strive to give our students the tools necessary to continue an arts education if they wish, whether it be in dance, music, fine arts, theater, stage craft, chorus or ceramics. Students are graded on effort and diligence in all of the arts classes. We provide an extensive arts education for students who wish to participate in the classes we offer. 

Students may participate in our after-school arts program by audition. This includes rehearsals for the musical in the fall, the theater production in the spring, the junior and senior dance companies, the ComedySportz team and the chorus.

Dance Courses

List of 7 frequently asked questions.

  • Dance

    Prerequisite: None

    This course introduces the fundamentals of dance technique and choreography with an emphasis on contemporary concert dance and ballet. The fundamentals of jazz, hip-hop, yoga and musical theater dance are explored on a rotating basis. Everyone enrolled in Dance I is required to perform in the annual dance concert as part of a class dance as well as fulfilling one dance concert job including box office, costumes and video recording. Dance I students are also required to see one professional contemporary modern dance concert and write a paper about the experience. This course fulfills the Visual and Performing Arts requirement.
  • Dance II

    Prerequisite: Dance I; consent of instructor.

    This course is a continuation of Dance I with a more comprehensive study of Contemporary Concert Dance including Simonson, Release, Horton, Graham, and Cunningham techniques. The ballet component of class moves at a more rapid pace and knowledge of ballet terminology is required. Site-specific choreography is introduced as well as a study of improvisational dance along with trio and quartet composition work. Jazz, Hip-hop, yoga and musical theater dance are taught at a more advanced level on a rotating basis. Performing in the annual dance concert is required as well as seeing one professional dance concert. This course fulfills either Physical Education or Visual and Performing Arts requirement.
  • Dance III

    Prerequisite: Dance II; consent of instructor.

    This course is a continuation of Dance II with an introduction to somatics and martial arts as used in dance. A more advanced approach to technique is taken and more complicated choreography assignments are given. Dance History is introduced as well as cultural forms of dance and technique. Students are expected to complete projects based on either well-known western choreographers or a certain cultural form of dance. Performing in the annual dance concert is required as well as seeing one professional dance concert. This course fulfills either Physical Education or Visual and Performing Arts requirement.
  • Dance IV

    Prerequisite: Dance III; consent of instructor.

    This course is a continuation of Dance III and prepares students interested in going on in dance in college. The most advanced approach to dance technique is given to the Dance IV student and includes modern contemporary concert dance, ballet, jazz, hip hop, somatics, yoga, martial arts, and cultural dance. Solo choreography is required for Dance IV students in order to prepare for auditions. Performing in the annual dance concert is required as well as seeing one professional dance concert. This course fulfills either Physical Education or Visual and Performing Arts requirement.
  • Dance V

    Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
  • Dance Company

    Prerequisite: Audition

    FSHA's Dance Company is an advanced level performance based resident dance company. Students must audition and are encouraged to be enrolled in dance class during there time on the company. Senior Dance Company members should be enrolled in dance at least 3 of the 4 years at FSHA and Jr. Dance Company members should be enrolled in dance class at least two of their four years at FSHA. All students are required to be at every rehearsal and perform numerous dances in the annual Dance Concert. The time commitment for the first company is more demanding as it is a graded class and performances take place on and off campus. The second company receives two half credits and stays on campus. Both levels count towards either a Physical Education or Visual and Performing Arts Requirement.
  • Junior Dance Company

    Prerequisite: Audition

Music Courses

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • Choir

    Prerequisite: Meeting with and prior approval by teacher.

    Choir, also referred to as Vocum Veritas, is a year long elective which centers around instruction in vocal performance, literacy and sight-singing. The focus of this course is to develop each student’s ability to recognize, understand and describe the basic materials and processes of music; and to develop each student’s ability to express themselves with their voice in the context of a singing ensemble. Students sing music from various genres, culture and languages.

    The choir performs many times throughout the school year. Students enrolled in choir are required to participate in performances and mandatory rehearsal dates.
  • Introduction to Music Theory

    Prerequisite: Instructor approval.
     
    Introduction to Music Theory is a year long online elective that is offered to all students and is designed to meet the needs of every level of musician. Students learn the basic mechanics of music, sight-reading and music dictation. There is a singing component to the course, which is completed through recordings and/or virtual communication such as Skype. Students practice in the privacy of their own homes and are able to work at their own pace.
     
    • This course is not offered during the school day, rather, students enrolled in the course are taking an eight class.
    • 5 credit class.
  • AP Music Theory (Online School for Girls)

    Prerequisite: Intro or Advanced Music Theory or instructor approval, ability to read at least one clef of music and proficiency in an instrument or voice

    AP Music Theory introduces advanced concepts of music theory to students. The aim of this course is to improve students’ performance, aural, analytical and composition skills. AP Music Theory is an intensive, fast-paced course that touches on aspects of melody, harmony, texture, form, musical analysis and composition. This course also includes an aural section of sight-singing, melodic and harmonic dictation, and listening examples. Each student composes and perform original compositions, both as an individual and in a group setting. All students enrolled in this course take the Advanced Placement exam in the spring. Yet AP Music Theory is not just about the exam; students experience growth in their performance skills and all around musicianship. This is a crucial course for anyone looking to pursue music professionally or for anyone who wants to pursue their passion in music. This course is College Board approved.
  • Advanced Music Theory

    Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

    Advanced Music Theory is a continuation of Intro to Music Theory.
    Students will understand the basic mechanics of music theory and composition spanning the Renaissance to the Romantic Period. Students will gain a greater knowledge of compositional techniques and how they have evolved over time. Students will gain a deeper knowledge of influential composers and their contributions to music. Students will develop their aural and visual abilities to recognize musical style, construction, texture and timbre associated with various genres of music.
  • Music Ensemble

    Prerequisite: Audition (includes sight reading); Students must be proficient in their chosen instrument.

    Music Ensemble, also called Sonos Harmonia (Harmonic Sound). Students enrolled in Music Ensemble are required to complete one hour a week of private instrumental instruction with their own instructor.  
     
    Music Ensemble performs many times throughout the school year. Students are required to participate in performances and mandatory rehearsal dates.

    This class meets in the evening on Wednesdays (3:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.)
    All instrumentalists are welcome

Theatre Courses

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • Stagecraft I

    Prerequisite: None

    Stagecraft is designed to give students an introductory understanding of design, construction and/or application of theatrical scenery, properties, lighting equipment, sound equipment, theatrical rigging systems and the proper and SAFE use of hand and power tools associated with these areas. Equal attention will be paid to collaborating with others and expressing creativity through the medium of technical theater.  Stagecraft students will learn to provide the necessary technical support for theatrical productions, music and dance concerts and all other events that happen in performing venues. This class will be a combination of classroom projects, some reading and homework assignments, and hands-on experience supporting live performances.  In addition to regular class hours, Stagecraft students will be required to spend time supporting live FSHA performances outside of school hours, attend other Visual and Performing Arts Department performances/exhibits, and see and critique at least one outside performance.
  • Stagecraft II

    Prerequisite: Completion of Stagecraft I and approval of the instructor.

    Stagecraft II is a continuation of the work covered in Stagecraft I. In addition to reviewing the concepts of design, construction and/or use of theatrical scenery, properties, lighting equipment, sound equipment, theatrical rigging systems and the proper and SAFE use of hand and power tools associated with these areas, advanced students will be expected to choose an area of technical theater in which to specialize and will work on projects in that area of expertise. Advanced Stagecraft students will be required to be on Stage Crew for at least one main stage show.
  • Stagecraft III

    Prerequisite: Stagecraft II and consent of instructor.

    This one-year elective is an extension of Stagecraft II with more detailed research and design work and independent projects. Students will continue to explore theatre literature and participate in theatre festival competitions. Students will assist in designing for school productions and oversee backstage crews, and be encouraged to participate in internships with professional companies. Students will also prepare portfolios for college and university admission.
  • Stagecraft IV

    Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
  • Theatre I

    Prerequisite: None

    Theatre 1 is designed to introduce students to the various elements of the theatre and to encourage students in further participation. Students will learn the basic approach to working comfortably on the stage, through warm-ups, mime, cold readings, monologues, spoken word, theatre styles and scene work. Basic techniques of movement, voice projection, character development, audition technique and performance will be taught. Students will be required to attend both theatre productions at FSHA.  
  • Theatre II

    Prerequisite: Completion of Theatre I and Recommendation of the Instructor.

    Theatre II is a continuation of the work covered in Theatre I in an intermediate context. Students will engage in more intensive preparation of their craft. The creative, physical, emotional, and mental aspects of performance are studied through historical styles, scene work, monologues and design. Audition techniques will be examined as well. This course also includes an introduction to devised theatre. Students will be required to attend both theatre productions at FSHA.  This class can be repeated as Theatre III or IV.
  • Theatre III

    Prerequisite: Completion of Theatre II and/or Permission of the Instructor.

    Theatre III, IV is a continuation of the work covered in Theatre II in an advanced context. This course includes intensive ensemble work, course work, and workshops. Course work includes acting, voice & articulation, movement, devised theatre, spoken word, directing, and performance. Students will create a theatre ‘company’ and curriculum will be tailored toward the needs and interests of the participants. This class is taught at the college level and is designed for the serious theatre student.
  • Theatre IV

    Prerequisite: Completion of Theatre II and/or Permission of the Instructor.

    Theatre III, IV is a continuation of the work covered in Theatre II in an advanced context. This course includes intensive ensemble work, course work, and workshops. Course work includes acting, voice & articulation, movement, devised theatre, spoken word, directing, and performance. Students will create a theatre ‘company’ and curriculum will be tailored toward the needs and interests of the participants. This class is taught at the college level and is designed for the serious theatre student.

Visual Arts Courses

List of 13 frequently asked questions.

  • 3-D Design: Ceramics I

    Prerequisite: None

    The focus of this course is to develop skills in working with clay and promote awareness of ceramics in relation to the visual arts and as functional objects. Students will learn and expand upon basic ceramic techniques and concepts to create both functional ware and sculptural work within a ceramic context. This course will cover the hand building techniques of pinch, slab, and coil building; introduce students to the potters’ wheel, glazing and various other surface techniques. There is an emphasis on creativity, problem solving, and risk taking. 
  • 3-D Design: Ceramics II

    Prerequisite: 3-D Design I; or consent of instructor.

    The focus of Ceramics 2  is to refine and expand upon those skills and techniques covered in ceramics 1. Students will be introduced to new techniques, approaches to surface design, and more technically challenging ceramic methods as is appropriate for their skill level. In the second semester, students will be able to tailor their ceramic experience by selecting from a variety of offered projects (instead of all students being assigned the same project). Ceramics 2 students learn to conceptualize, develop, produce and refine work, based on their interests or for a purpose, that demonstrates technical and expressive skills, and a connection to foundational understandings.
  • 3-D Design: Ceramics III

    Prerequisite: 3-D Design I, II; consent of instructor.

    The Ceramics 3 course is predominantly student driven, with students taking the lead in developing and implementing their projects, techniques, and learning; with teacher guidance in goals, time management, and refining of concepts. At the start of the year, they will establish a focus that will act as a guide for their projects throughout the year. These students will conceptualize, develop, produce and refine original work that demonstrates the development of new understandings, and technical and expressive skills, based on the demands of their projects.
  • AP Art History (Online School for Girls)

    PrerequisiteA or higher in at least one year history or instructor approval
     
    Students enrolled in the AP Art History course examine and critically analyze major forms of artistic expression from a variety of cultures spanning 32,000 years of art. Beginning with global prehistory and ending with global contemporary art, students consider influential forces like patronage, politics, class, belief, gender, and ethnicity in their analysis of art forms. Students become active participants in the global art world, engaging with its forms and content, as they experience, research, discuss, read, and write about art, artists, art making, and responses to and interpretations of art. By investigating a specific image set of 250 works of art characterized by diverse artistic traditions from prehistory to the present, the course fosters an in-depth, holistic understanding of the history of art from a global perspective. Students may select the AP or non-AP track in this course. AP students are expected to delve deeper into the topics, take AP-style assessments, and prepare for the AP exam in the spring. This class meets the UC “A” requirement for World History.  It is College Board approved.
  • AP Studio Art Drawing

    Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor

    AP Studio Art is a two-semester course designed to assist and guide the student in preparing for the A.P. Portfolio Examination. The drawing portfolio is designed to address a very broad interpretation of drawing issues and media. Many works of painting, printmaking, and mixed media as well as abstract, observational, and inventive works may qualify. This class is only open to students who have demonstrated exceptional ability in drawing and painting.
  • AP Studio Art: 2D Design

    Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor.

    AP Studio Art is a two semester course designed to assist and guide the student in preparing for the AP Portfolio Examination. The 2-D design portfolio is intended to address a very broad interpretation of 2-D design issues. This course includes extensive work in the elements and principles of design. Students are asked to demonstrate proficiency in 2-D design using a variety of art forms, including graphic design, digital imaging and photography. This class is only open to students who have demonstrated exceptional ability in design.
  • Art I

    Prerequisite: None

    Art I focuses on acquiring foundational skills that will enable the students to communicate visually and prepare them for Art II. Students are taught a variety of skills including; drawing, painting and collage techniques. The students are encouraged to investigate different styles and to take risks in their work and are exposed to several mediums. Students will do some foundational research of artists from art history and how these artists influenced art and how their discoveries applies to the students' own individual style and techniques.
  • Art II

    Prerequisite: Art I or permission from the instructor

    This course is a continuation of what was learned in Art I.  Art II will begin the first semester learning how to draw the human body and anatomy.  Projects will focus on specific parts of the body, as well as some that will focus on the entire figure.  Students will also begin to learn about 2-D design elements and principles.  Second semester consists of learning how to oil paint and the deeper exploration of design with several projects done with photoshop and digital images.  Art II will see a shorted timetable allowed to complete projects, pushing students to be creative and unique under slight pressure.  Art II is also a proving ground for those who wish to continue into AP Art.
  • Art III

    Prerequisite: Art II or permission from instructor

    This third year art course is considered a pre-AP Art course and will see more independent study work. It will focus on self-expression and study within guided assignments. Yet it will also be a continuation of skills learned in the previous art courses. Students will be expected to know how to use all basic tools for art, including drawing, tone, perspective, color theory, composition, design theory, anatomy, portraiture, foundational photoshop and understanding basic art history research. The class will be designed with consideration to the AP Art courses offered the following year. Students will be expected to do about 70% of the work load that the AP students do, and many of the assignments will be designed to hone their skills, their critical thinking when it comes to composition, and exploring their own creative voice and motivations in their imagery. At the end of the Year, students will be expected to put together a full professional portfolio of their assignments and build a professional website of the work.
  • Art IV

    Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor.

    This independent study is essentially an AP Art art course without the AP designation. Students in the class have shown interest in the AP, but might now be sure if they can keep up with the work demand from the college board. Students will do the same work as the AP students, but the course will allow for students to not hold to the strict schedule of the AP should they find themselves unable to keep up. This course can be bumped up to AP Art if students show that they can keep up with the AP curriculum.
  • Sculpture

    Prerequisite: None

    This is an introductory level sculpture course that focuses on structural, material, and compositional concerns involved in dealing with three-dimensional form. Students will learn and expand upon basic techniques and concepts, design and construct a variety of sculptures, and become confident in their working knowledge of traditional tools, techniques, and materials both traditional and alternative. Initial projects focus on skill building as well as using the elements and principles of design within sculpture. Students then continue their sculptural exploration by applying and developing their knowledge to more complex assignments and concepts. The goals of the program are to strengthen the student’s development of critical thinking skills as they apply them to the three dimensional art forms and to help gain an appreciation and understanding of the visual world.
  • Sculpture II

    The focus of Sculpture II is to refine and expand upon those skills, techniques, and concepts covered in Sculpture 1 as well as introducing new skills, techniques, and concepts. Students learn to conceptualize, develop, produce and refine work, based on their interests or for a purpose, that demonstrates technical and expressive skills, and a connection to foundational understandings..
  • Sculpture III

    Sculpture III course is predominantly student driven, with students taking the lead in developing and implementing their projects, techniques and learning; with teacher guidance in goals, time management, and refining of concepts. At the start of the year, they will establish a focus that will act as a guide for their projects throughout the year. These students will conceptualize, develop, produce and refine original work that demonstrates the development of new understandings, and technical and expressive skills, based on the demands of the project.
"Art is an expression of the soul. It is also how the mind, heart and spirit express ideas and thoughts/emotions in a manner that others can see and comprehend when simple words won't work. Art makes one become more introspective and creative, which will translate into the rest of their lives." —Allison Hasbrouck, visual arts teacher

Visual and Performing Arts Faculty

List of 4 members.

  • Heather Kent 

    Ceramics and Sculpture Teacher
    626-685-8334
    California State University Long Beach - BFA
    California State University Long Beach - BA
  • Jane McEneaney 

    Theatre Teacher
    626-685-8300
  • Christine Orihuela 

    VAPA / Art long-term substitute
    626-685-8300
  • Eric Wood 

    VAPA / Theater Tech Director
    626-685-8314
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy is an all girls' Catholic, Dominican, independent, college-preparatory day and boarding high school in the hills of La Cañada Flintridge. Overlooking Pasadena, FSHA educates girls from Los Angeles, Southern California and around the world for a life of faith, integrity and truth. 

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy

440 St. Katherine Drive
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
High School Office: 626-685-8300
Admissions: 626-685-8521

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