Visual & Performing Arts Curriculum

Courses

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.
  • 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 (OSG)

    PrerequisiteA or higher in at least one year history or instructor approval
     
    Students in AP® Art History examine and critically analyze major forms of artistic expression from diverse cultures spanning 27,000 years. By investigating an image set of 250 works, students develop a contextual understanding of art history from a global perspective. Influences such as patronage, politics, class, belief systems, gender, ethnicity, and cross-cultural interactions inform students’ analysis of the style and content of art. Emphasis is placed on analytical and critical thinking skills, the language of art history, and the methods used by art historians to interpret art objects. Students experience, research, discuss, and write about art, artists, and art making. Upon completion of this course, students will have the tools to recognize important works of art and historical styles as well as understand historical and cultural context. Students in the AP® class are expected to delve deeper into the topics, take AP®-style assessments, and prepare for the AP® Art History Exam in the spring.  This course is College Board and NCAA approved.
  • AP Music Theory (OSG)

    Prerequisite: Proficient in reading and writing musical notation and have performance skills with voice or an instrument.

    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.
  • 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

    Pre-requisite: permission from 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.
  • Art of Programming

    Prerequisite:  Interest in programming, no experience necessary

    In this full year class, students will be introduced to some of the fundamental topics in the visual arts - shape, color/value, movement, balance, pattern - typically taught in a first year arts course. The media used to learn these visual art concepts will be Processing, a Java programming language. Using Processing, students will learn fundamental coding syntax, structures and algorithms. In the first semester, students will create visually interesting, dynamic and interactive digital art. In the second semester, students will apply their programming knowledge to a physical computing environment using Arduino microcontroller boards, where they will be able to develop interactive 3D sculptures and autonomous robots. As an integrated technical and arts course, it will simultaneously a) provide a strong coding foundation and b) apply the coding skills to design problems in the visual arts.  

    The course is highly recommended for students with limited or no previous programming experience. This course fulfills the Flintridge Sacred Heart Visual and Performing Arts requirement.
  • Choral

    Prerequisite: None

    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.
  • Contemporary Dance

    Prerequisite: Audition

    Saltatrix 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 Saltatrix members should be enrolled in dance at least 3 of the 4 years at FSHA and Jr. Saltatrix members should be enrolled in dance class at least 2 of the 4 years at FSHA. Senior Saltatrix meets after school on Fridays from 1 - 4 PM and Jr. Saltatrix meets after school on Tuesdays from 3 - 5 PM. 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 2 1/2 credits and stays on campus. Both levels count towards either a Physical Education or Visual and Performing Arts Requirement.
  • Dance I

    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.
  • Digital Design & Photojournalism: Yearbook

    Become a fearless visual and verbal storyteller
    Imagine a class where you’re in the driver’s seat. A class where you will have the space, freedom and resources to take the risks needed to become a curious and confident storyteller. That’s Digital Design & Photojournalism: Yearbook. In this entirely student-driven course, you will explore and interpret the year’s unique student experience at Flintridge Sacred Heart with your fellow photojournalists. 
    Taking cues from professional advertising and magazine publishing, you will learn how to develop a visual and verbal brand for the yearbook that encapsulates this student experience. Next, you will learn to think critically about how to create images, layouts and writing that work together to tell a dynamic story. You will also learn the art of project management-- how to confidently manage deadlines and multiple projects at once. This is an excellent foundation for any student interested in design, branding, social media, journalism, publications, photography, or advertising careers.
    By the end of the year, you will have published the school’s annual yearbook and designed a personal portfolio representing your best creative work.
  • Digital Design & Photojournalism: Yearbook II

    Become a fearless visual and verbal storyteller
    Imagine a class where you’re in the driver’s seat. A class where you will have the space, freedom and resources to take the risks needed to become a curious and confident storyteller. That’s Digital Design & Photojournalism: Yearbook. In this entirely student-driven course, you will explore and interpret the year’s unique student experience at Flintridge Sacred Heart with your fellow photojournalists. 
    Taking cues from professional advertising and magazine publishing, you will learn how to develop a visual and verbal brand for the yearbook that encapsulates this student experience. Next, you will learn to think critically about how to create images, layouts and writing that work together to tell a dynamic story. You will also learn the art of project management-- how to confidently manage deadlines and multiple projects at once. This is an excellent foundation for any student interested in design, branding, social media, journalism, publications, photography, or advertising careers.
    By the end of the year, you will have published the school’s annual yearbook and designed a personal portfolio representing your best creative work.
  • Graphic Design and Photography

    Prerequisite: Art 1 (or practical exam to demonstrate foundations)

    Learn the basics of graphics design and photography using programs such as adobe illustrator, photoshop, inDesign, and lightroom. The graphics design portion of the course focuses on visual communication using the elements of design. The photography portion of the course introduces the basics of photography (composition, lighting, etc.). Students should expect to use their phone as their camera for this class but we will cover key photography principles related to DSLR cameras *Students with their own DSLR cameras are welcome to use them in this class, but it is not a requirement. 
  • Honors Art Portfolio

    Prerequisite: Art III or Art IV and consent of Department Chair and Instructor.

    The Honors Art Portfolio course is a student driven course that focuses on each individual developing their artistic voice and practice. As such, each student operates like an artist, taking the lead in developing and implementing their projects, techniques, learning, and timelines.

    At the start of the course, each student artist will establish their own artistic framework that will act as a guide for their projects throughout the year. They will conceptualize, develop, produce, and refine original work that builds on the goals/aesthetics of their framework and demonstrates the development of new understanding, and technical and expressive skills, based on the demands of the project. In addition to making artwork, students will be exploring the technical and conceptual aspects of their media along with contemporary practices.
  • Music Ensemble

    Prerequisite: Audition (includes sight reading); Students must be proficient in their chosen instrument.  
     
    Our instrumental ensemble program is composed of two separate groups that meet for one hour each.
    • The instrumental ensembles meet on Wednesdays after school.
    • Students in either ensemble receive 2.5 credits (a half credit or semester class is 5, a full year class is 10).
    • Students who are interested in earning 5 or even 10 credits can do so by completing additional hours outside of the course meeting time. The exact method will depend on each instrumentalist's goals and logistical needs. Our instructor will work with them to determine the best path forward in this.
    The groups are:

    Chamber players: This has a limit of two piano players which are be selected by audition each year. This includes the following instruments: 
    • Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone,  French Horn, Tuba, Percussion
    Piano, acoustic guitar & ukulele ensemble: This has a limit of four piano players which are selected by audition each year. There no limit to guitar and ukulele players. Students should have their own guitar.
  • Stagecraft I

    Prerequisite: None

    Stagecraft covers the backstage world of the performing arts, the support systems that are critical elements of a live production. In the course, we’ll explore all of the technical elements of theatre such as set, props, lighting, costumes/makeup, sound, scenic painting, from both design and applied practice perspective. 

    Students enrolled in Stagecraft 2 and beyond are able to dive deeper into their application and understanding of technical theatre within the same units of study as the rest of the class.
  • Stagecraft II

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

    Stagecraft covers the backstage world of the performing arts, the support systems that are critical elements of a live production. In the course, we’ll explore all of the technical elements of theatre such as set, props, lighting, costumes/makeup, sound, scenic painting, from both design and applied practice perspective. 

    Students enrolled in Stagecraft 2 and beyond are able to dive deeper into their application and understanding of technical theatre within the same units of study as the rest of the class.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Urban Dance Crew

    Prerequisite: Audition

Instagram

Theatre on the Hill

Ms. Orihuela's Visual Arts class | @fsha_visual_arts

 

Mrs. Kent's ceramics class | @fshaclayetc

 

Visual & Performing Arts Faculty

  • Photo of Heather Kent
    Heather Kent
    Ceramics Teacher, VAPA Department Chair
    626-685-8334
  • Photo of John Burton
    John Burton
    Theatre Technical Director / Stage Craft Teacher
    626-685-8300
  • Photo of Jeannie Finley
    Jeannie Finley
    Computer Science/Yearbook Teacher, Computer Science & Engineering Department Chair
    626-685-8529
  • Photo of Jane McEneaney
    Jane McEneaney
    Theatre Teacher
    626-685-8300
  • Photo of Christine Orihuela
    Christine Orihuela
    VAPA / Art Teacher
    626-685-8300
  • Photo of Jessie Ryan
    Jessie Ryan
    VAPA/Dance Teacher
    626-685-8300
  • Photo of Heather Sonner
    Heather Sonner
    Temporary Yearbook Teacher
  • Photo of Julia Wood
    Julia Wood
    VAPA/ Music/Instrumental Teacher (Part-Time)
    626-685-8300

FLINTRIDGE SACRED HEART

440 St. Katherine Drive
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
626-685-8300

Privacy Policy  ·  Terms of Use


Flintridge Sacred Heart, a Catholic, Dominican, independent, college-preparatory, day and boarding high school, educates young women for a life of faith, integrity, and truth.

Flintridge Sacred Heart admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid, and athletic and other school-administered programs.