Arts Teachers Expand Offerings This Year

By Elizabeth Witek, Staff Writer, and Nicole LoRusso, Editor-In-Chief

The Arts Team expanded its curriculum for the 2016-2017 school year, adding more of both visual and performing arts classes to the course offerings. The more robust program aims to improve on the techniques and skills of students interested in the arts while broadening their horizons.

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Junior Joanna F. works on a pencil drawing in Advanced Studio Art. Photo by Nicole LoRusso

In addition to Foundation Drawing I for freshman and Basic Graphic Design and Photography for sophomores, visual arts teacher Erin Straine now teaches Advanced Studio Art I and II and Advanced Photography for juniors and seniors. Students taking these new courses learn advanced techniques in various medias of visual arts.

My job is to encourage and empower the students to find their niche in the visual arts,” Straine said. “I begin this journey with them in the freshman year with Foundation Drawing, and I help them to enrichen their new found skills in the advanced studio and photography courses.”

Performing arts teacher Ellen Phillips continues her popular theater and improv classes for all students. 

“Theater classes always provide a creative outlet during the school day for me,” senior Abby Marcin said. “Improv, especially, just lets you let go of all of your worries and just have fun with your friends.”

This year juniors and seniors also have the opportunity to take Directing and Playwriting courses under Phillips’ direction. The new courses will enhance their understanding of what happens behind-the-scenes while improving upon their improvisational skills. Within the advanced scene study electives, students gain knowledge of literature and acting theory as they perform various skits and learn professional acting techniques.

“I am definitely looking forward to teaching playwriting because the class is something I know students will take to,” Phillips said. “The class will be putting what they learn from [improvisation] into written word.”

Senior Grace M. and junior Olivia D. rehearse a scene in Theater III. Photo by Nicole LoRusso

Senior Grace M. and junior Olivia D. rehearse a scene in Theater III. Photo by Nicole LoRusso

Music teacher Andrew Bogdan also added a new course, Sound, Music, and Physics, to his previous offerings of Music I, Music II and Music Theory. The new class will explore the relationship between physics and musical sound, and will investigate how thinking about math and science can affect one’s understanding of music.

“I am excited for Sound, Music, and Physics,” Bogdan said. “We will focus on the question of what makes music sound good and how physical principles and laws can inform our understanding of music.”

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