Fine Arts

  • EHS Fine Arts courses provide students with creative avenues for expression, innovation, and collaboration in drama, music and the visual arts. The Fine Arts offer a multitude of options for students who want to try something new or to add depth to their existing skills. Students are required to take a minimum of one Fine Arts credit to graduate from EHS. 

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    All ensemble courses (Orchestra, Choirs, and Bands) are full year, full block courses. Due to the collaborative nature of ensemble study, split-blocks and independent study are not offered within these courses. 

    Course Number: F015       1 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12    

    Instrumentalists will learn in a varied repertoire of orchestral music. Credit is based on successfully completing the required daily participation and several required public performances. 
    Students may take this course more than once for credit.  

    Course Number: F014       1 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12  

    This course is open to any student regardless of previous choral experience or ability. Students will develop vocal technique and music reading skills while performing a wide variety of choral repertoire, from Classical to Broadway. There is a mandatory concert per marking period. As a member of Concert Choir, students may audition for any of the co-curricular vocal ensembles that meet after school.
    Students may take this course more than once for credit.
    Requirements:   Mandatory concert per marking period.

    Course Number: F083       1 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 10-12   

    Chamber Choir is an advanced ensemble. Auditions will be held in January for the upcoming year. Students learn advanced music representing a variety of choral styles and historical periods.  The course includes many performances inside and outside of school. 

    Students may take this course more than once for credit. 
    Requirements:   Successful audition.
    Prerequisites:   Concert Choir 

    Course Number: F102       1 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12    

    This course builds on the foundation developed through the 4th-8th grade band program.  All 9th grade band students should enroll in this course.  Students collaborate and become part of our musical community through solo & ensemble performances, festivals, concerts and travel experiences. Some performances outside of the school day are a required part of the curriculum. Students without instruments can contact the director for information regarding the use of a school-owned instrument.   

    Students may take this course more than once for credit. 
    Prerequisites:   Previous band experience or through instructor approval. Students who have not been in band before and would like to begin should contact Ms. Finlayson during registration or at as soon as possible to develop a plan for successful participation.

    Course Number: F116       1 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12      

    This course provides an advanced experience that builds on the foundation developed through Symphonic Band. Students collaborate and become part of our musical community through solo & ensemble performances, festivals, concerts and travel experiences. Some performances outside of the school day are a required part of the curriculum. Students without instruments can contact the director for information regarding the use of a school-owned instrument.   

    Students may take this course more than once for credit.
    Prerequisites:   Successful audition

    JAZZ BAND 100: Essex Jazz Junction
    Course Number: F150       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12      

    This ensemble studies and performs the music of the foremost big band composers, past and present.  This course meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-7:55AM.  Performances outside of the school day are a required part of the curriculum.   

    Students may take this course more than once for credit. 
    Prerequisites:   Enrolled in an EHS band or orchestra course except for piano, bass and guitar players.

    Course Number: F420       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12      

    This course is designed to provide the musical novice with the fundamental guitar skills needed to perform at an introductory level. Students will learn basic music skills and guitar techniques from the perspective of the performer. The regular classroom time will be spent learning to read music and guitar tablature while playing traditional songs and other skills-appropriate music. 

    Recommended for any student who wishes to begin guitar study or for students who play by ear and would like to learn to read music. Prior musical background is not necessary. All class materials, including guitars and books, will be provided by the school.

    GUITAR II: The Guitar Experience Project
    Course Number: F152       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12 

    Students of intermediate or advanced playing ability will develop individual goals and generate projects that cater to their specific interests and needs. Transposition, music reading, soloing, transcription, ear training, songwriting, ensemble playing and more are possibilities in this course. Final projects may include producing, designing and recording your own CD and a public performance. All class materials, including guitars and books, will be provided by the school.  

    Students may take this course more than once for credit. 
    Prerequisites:   Successful completion of Guitar I: Beginning Guitar or instructor approval.

    Course Number: F010       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12      

    This course is designed for students who want to learn how to read music while acquiring the ability to play simple piano pieces with both hands. The lab allows group playing as well as silent individual practice. This course is for beginning pianists. 

    Course Number: F079       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12   

    This course is a continuation of Piano Lab I. Piano Lab II students will finish Alfred Adult Beginner book 1 or begin book 2.  They will improve their piano technique through songs, scales and standard piano classics including a variety of genres. Students will compose, improvise, study the historical origins of the instrument and perform great piano works.  Piano Lab I and II students may be mixed within the same class. 
    Prerequisites:   Piano Lab I or at least 2 years of private instruction.

    Course Number: F307       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 10-12   

    This course offers students an introduction to current composition, recording, and production technologies.  Students will focus on hands-on, project based learning in areas including basic composition and arrangement, audio recording, stage audio, and stage lighting.  This course builds on music notation concepts, and is therefore open to any student who has taken a prior instrumental or vocal music course or can demonstrate  knowledge of core music concepts such as basic music notation symbols and the ability to read pitch. Offered 2018-2019. 

    Course Number: F305       1 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 10-12

    This course is a rigorous introduction to the fundamentals of harmony and standard music notation practices, equivalent to an introductory level college music theory course. Students will be encouraged to take the AP Music Theory Exam in May. 

    This course is offered every other year.  Offered 2017-2018. 
    Prerequisites:   Prior music instruction inside or outside of school or instructor permission


    Course Number: F023       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12   

    In this entry level course, beginning students will be introduced to the art form of expressive movement.  Students may explore the fundamentals of modern, jazz, hip hop, a bit of tap, and some contemporary/lyrical pieces.  Students will be encouraged to develop and learn choreographed pieces, concluding with a public performance. This is an active course and students are required to wear appropriate dance clothing for all classes.   
    Students may take this course more than once for credit.

    Course Number: F060       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12 

    Students are required to have a strong foundation in basic dance fundamentals such as rhythm, form, style, and coordination.  The emphasis in this course is student generated choreography and exploring various dance forms. Students are expected to go outside their comfort zone in setting personal goals as dancers.  The course can vary according to student interest, needs, skills and experiences.  It will be up to the students to collaboratively and individually choreograph pieces with public performances outside the school day expected.  This is a physical course and appropriate dance clothing must be worn for all classes.   
    Students may take this course more than once for credit. 
    Prerequisites:   Inclusion Fusion and/or permission from Dance Instructor.


    Course Number: F007       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12    

    This course introduces students to the elements of stage performance, including voice, body movement, creating basic character, and stage terminology. Through acting games and exercises, students develop skills and confidence to take creative risks, work collaboratively and react spontaneously. The course explores monologue and scenic performance, as well as one act plays. 

    Course Number: F061       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 10-12  

    Open to all students who have completed Theater I or with instructor permission. This course continues to strengthen vital acting skills such as voice and movement, while focusing on the development of a personal acting technique. The focus of study for this course will change according to student interests, needs, skills, and experiences. Special Topics may include Acting Method work beginning with Stanislavski, in which actors will explore popular acting techniques throughout the twentieth and twenty-first century with the intent of forming their own creative practice. Other Special Topics explored might be Classical or Shakespearean Studies, Scene and Text Analysis, Social Justice Theater, The Art of Directing, and/or Acting for the Film and the Camera. Public performances of student work are expected.  
    Students may take this course more than once for credit.
    Prerequisites:   Theater 1 and/or permission from Theater Instructor

    Course Number: F082       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12   

    Students will learn a variety of critical and technical methods to move beyond merely watching films to understanding them as active, critically engaged viewers. Through in-depth analysis of each film in class and in written criticisms, students learn to express their ideas and feelings about film and explore artistic choices that affect a film’s impact on the viewers. 
    Requirements:   Parent permission of film titles is required

    Course Number: F108       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12     

    This course explores the principles of comedy improvisation. Students will develop and strengthen creative thinking skills, spontaneity, vocal and physical prowess, and collaboration through the use of theater improvisation exercises. Topics include comedy theory, performance principles, pantomime, storytelling, and characterization.  This course emphasizes thinking creatively and quickly, and helps students gain confidence and ease in speaking and performing publicly.


    Course Number: F058       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12      

    In this one semester foundational course, students will explore and experiment with several different artistic media and techniques. Imagination and a sense of adventure are needed as art elements and principles, design and composition are studied through drawing, painting, collage, sculpture and other media. This course is required for those students desiring to pursue any of the advanced courses offered in the fine arts including Digital and Graphic Design, Drawing and Painting, Art II, Art III, and AP Art.

    Course Number: F073       1 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12 

    This foundational level course is geared for students who are highly motivated and interested in the visual arts and applying to the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts. This course provides a broader foundation with various two dimensional and three dimensional media, techniques and processes and includes inspirations and references from art history and world cultures.  

    This course or Art I:  Half Year is required for those students desiring to pursue any of the advanced courses offered in the fine arts including Digital and Graphic Design, Drawing and Painting, Art II, Art III, and AP Art.

    ART II
    Course Number: F026       1 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 10-12  

    This course is specifically designed to begin a student`s portfolio for college admission. Students will concentrate on advanced techniques and design problems in the following areas: drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. The course will focus on developing observational skills while fostering creative imagination. Students will examine the styles of both historical and contemporary artists while developing their own personal style of expression. Students who are planning to take Art III and Advanced Placement in Art should take this prerequisite course in 10th grade.
    Prerequisites:   Art I

    Course Number: F049       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12     

    This course is offered for students who cannot take a full year of Art II. The course will focus on the same advanced techniques and design problems using a wide range of media including pencil, charcoal, pastel, pen and ink, watercolor and acrylics. The course combines observational drawing with the use of the imagination as a means of transforming visual ideas onto a two-dimensional surface. Students are recommended to combine this course with any specialty course (clay, photography, and sculpture) to meet the prerequisites for Art III.
    Prerequisites:   Art I

    Course Number: F093       1 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 11-12      

    This course is intended for highly motivated students who wish to take AP Art and/or pursue art in college. This course will focus on developing the “breadth” portion of your AP or college portfolio with a variety of visual media and subject matter. Observational drawing will be stressed as students continue to develop personal visual imagery through intensive work in drawing, painting, mixed media, printmaking and sculpture. This course will focus on introducing students to historical and contemporary artists. Toward the end of the course, students will select a particular visual topic based on an individual interest and begin a concentration of a related body of work that focuses on a process of investigation, growth, and discovery. 
    Prerequisites:   Art II or Drawing and Painting

    AP ART
    Course Number: F028       1 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 12   

    This course is designed for students who wish to take the AP Art exam and/or pursue art in college as a career. This very intensive course is structured to prepare students to submit a comprehensive portfolio for the Advanced Placement Examination in May or for college admission. The first semester of the course focuses on the "breadth" portion of the portfolio where students continue to work in a variety of media including drawing, painting, mixed media, sculpture and printmaking. The second "concentration" portion of the semester is spent focusing on a specific area of interest and developing a personal style of expression.
    Prerequisites:   Art III or permission of the teacher.

    CLAY I
    Course Number: F040       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12      

    In this course students express themselves in clay to make both functional pottery and sculptures. Students will explore line, shape, form, color, and texture as tools of expression and learn basic building techniques including pinch, coil, slab, and sculpting. 

    Course Number: F041       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12  

    In this course students expand and develop their basic knowledge of clay construction, allowing for more self-expression. Students will make more advanced projects via hand building or the pottery wheel. New techniques in building and glaze decorating will be explored. Students continue to develop a personal style. 
    Prerequisites:   Clay I

    Course Number: F094       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 10-12  

    In the first quarter students refine already established hand-building, wheel throwing, and glazing skills while creating far more challenging projects (i.e. sets, teapots, lidded containers, altered wheel forms, etc.).  In the second quarter students choose an area of personal concentration and expression, creating a cohesive body of clay work. 
    Prerequisites:   Clay II

    Course Number: F350       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12   

    In this course students will create expressive and artistically composed photographs. Students will learn how to use digital SLR cameras, and edit on the computer using Photoshop. Students will be able to critique photos in terms of composition and how it makes the viewer respond.

    Course Number: F351       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12 

    Students will learn advanced digital and film camera techniques as well as editing using Photoshop. The art of photography masters will be highlighted. Students will develop a personal style and critiquing skills.  
    Students may take this course more than once for credit.
    Prerequisites:   Photography I

    Course Number: I038       .5 Fine Arts OR .5 Practical Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12      

    This course is for you if you are interested in Digital Media. It covers Photoshop, audio recording and editing as well as digital video production. This course will give you a broad understanding of digital media through hands on project based learning. 

    Course Number: F356       1 Fine Arts OR 1 Practical Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12 

    Students will learn about many of the skills required to conceive and produce a short movie. Story elements and composition, screenplay, lighting, basic to advanced camera work, audio recording for film, critique of award winning films, career exploration, and small-group filmmaking will help students gain real life film-making skills. 

    Course Number: F357       1 Practical Arts Credit      Grades: 10-12      

    Students will focus on the creation of the EHS sports show EHSPN. This course is for students interested in video production, acting for the camera and/or sports reporting. This course allows students with a wide range of skill sets (music, acting, comedy, motion graphics, photography) to showcase their work for the school audience.   

    Students may take this course more than once for credit.
    Prerequisites:   Movie Production I, Media Communications, Improv, or instructor permission.

    Course Number: F358       1 Fine Arts OR 1 Practical Arts Credit      Grades: 10-12   

    This course will focus on the creation of high quality short films. Projects will incorporate larger group film- making as well as outside works for festivals and clients. Emphasis will be on advanced video DSLR use, lighting, scripting and storytelling. This course will allow you to build on your skills from Movie Production1 and fully explore video production in a more professional manner. 
    Requirements:   AVPA Film students are required to take this course after completing Movie Production I.
    Prerequisites:   Movie Production I or EHSPN

    Course Number: I106       .5 Fine Arts OR .5 Practical Arts Credit      Grades: 10-12      

    Computer Animation 1 focuses on learning the basics of creating digital animation. Topics include how to create 2d and 3d models effectively and how to render still images and video. We will use industry standard animation software to create exciting 3d objects and short animations. If you possess a bit of computer savvy and have a passion for animation, this course is for you. In Computer Animation II see your hard work come alive! Employ the basic techniques learned in Computer Animation I to develop your own stories. You will finely tune modeling and animation skills while creating character animations. 

    Course Number: I043       .5 Fine Arts OR .5 Practical Arts Credit      Grades: 10-12  

    This course teaches the fundamentals of web page design and website development. The following topics will be covered: the structure of the World Wide Web, HTML, CSS, designing for accessibility, PHP programming, and database interaction. This course will feature hands on project based learning with students working on dynamic websites that grow in functionality as the semester goes on.

    Course Number: F090       .5 Fine Arts OR .5 Practical Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12    

    Using the computer as an artistic medium, you will explore the creative process and create digital artworks. You will be introduced to current computer programs, Photoshop and Illustrator and will experiment with different ways the programs can be used to create digital art. In Photoshop you will learn about pixels, layers, layer masks and other tools. In Illustrator you will learn about vectors, creating custom illustrations, typography, logo development and marketing, and much more.
    Prerequisites:   One of the following courses: Art 1 (half or full year), Clay 1, Photography 1, Movie Production 1, Media Communications, Computer Animation I, or Web Design. 

    Course Number: F302       .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 9-12      

    Guerrilla art has been described as a fun and insidious way of sharing your vision with the world. It is a method of art making which entails leaving anonymous art pieces in public places. It can be done for a variety of reasons, to make a statement, to share ideas, to send out good karma, or just for fun. In this seminar, students will concentrate on creating pieces for public enjoyment. 
    This course is offered every other year.  Offered 2017-2018. 


    Course Number: Q225       .5 Physical Science, .5 Fine Arts Credit      Grades: 11-12   

    The dawning reality of the 21st century is that global society values form as much as function. Science and engineering no longer guarantee success. Artistic worth is no longer a luxury, it is a requirement. In this class, students participate in all aspects of the design process. Integrating art and science, students will explore the qualities of successful design and the role of individuals in the design process. This course will feature practical applications of artistic and technical skills, and will culminate with a unique design work for each student. 
    This course is offered every other year.  Offered 2018-2019