Menu

Curriculum: Arts

Dance Ensemble

Middle School, Upper School

Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: Fall and winter season commitment

Dance Ensemble is the high-intermediate level dance company at Walker’s. Students are selected during placement classes at the beginning of the year and must commit to dance for the fall and winter seasons. Dance Ensemble members take daily intermediate level technique classes in ballet, modern, jazz, and character. This group also has the opportunity to work with guest artists and they perform in the annual Winter Dance Concert.

Advanced Music Theory

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: 1

Prerequisite: Departmental approval

The Advanced Music Theory course includes fundamentals of music theory and related aural skills, score analysis, sight-singing, and harmonic and melodic comprehension. The student’s eligibility for the course will be determined by the instructor. Advanced Music Theory moves at the pace of the AP Music Theory Course with the intent to prepare the student to participate in the AP Testing Program if the student chooses.

Ceramics (Middle School)

Middle School

Grade 6, Grade 7

Arts

This course is an introduction to ceramics for students in the 6th and 7th grade. Students will develop and refine their skills in the area of hand-building and wheel-throwing. They will explore a variety of decorative techniques on the clay surface as well as with the finished surface of their pottery. To increase their understanding of ceramics, students will become familiar with a working vocabulary of clay terminology.

Studio Art (Middle School)

Middle School

Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8

Arts

This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of art for the 6th grade and a reinforcement of these skills for our 8th grade, in order to prepare them to advance to the next level in the upper school. Middle School Art students are guided through a variety of media, art processes, and concepts. They learn how to organize their thoughts and ideas into cohesive visual expressions.

Photography- Digital Media

Middle School

Grade 8

Arts

This 8th Grade course is designed to follow on from the 7th Grade Digital Image course and is an introduction to aspects of digital photography, web-page construction, portfolio compilation, digital design, story-board creation, slide-show production and video production.

Photography- Digital Image

Middle School

Grade 7

Arts

This course is designed for 7th graders as an introduction to manipulating digital images in creative projects. The course includes collage making, photomosaics, stop motion animation, macro photography, and photo sculptures.

Music Classes & Choristers

Middle School

Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8

Arts

Required for Grade 6-8

Middle School Music classes meet once per week within grade levels, and once per week as a full Middle School. The grade level class includes singing and choral activities, folk dancing, rhythm training, music theory, musical theatre/theatre exercises, sight singing, and audition preparation. There is continued emphasis on listening and skill development, as well as music appreciation.

The full Middle School music meeting is called Choristers. All Middle School students participate in this choral group, which performs in the Holiday and Spring Concerts, as well as all-School Chapels.

Performance Fundamentals

Middle School

Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8

Arts

Required for Grade 6-8

The Middle School theatre classes focuses on the fundamentals of dramatic performance. The classes build the necessary skills for character development, scene work, and theatre history.

Middle School Dance

Middle School

Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8

Arts

Required for Grade 6-8

The Middle School Dance program concentrates on the development of technical skills, and the appreciation of the art form. An annual dance performance is included in the yearly activities.

Afternoon Art Concentration

Upper School

Arts

Prerequisite: Departmental Approval

The Afternoon Art Concentration is for the students who want to pursue a career in the field of the arts and need extra time to prepare and/or enhance their art portfolio for the competitive college admission process. Students will be mentored by professionals in their field of study on and off campus (depending on their field of study) in order to gain instrumental experience, expand their knowledge, and hone their skills. Each student is required to complete their projects, culminating the term with an exhibition and oral presentation to the school’s community.

3D Design: Paper, Textiles and Fashion

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5

Visual Arts courses are offered at several different levels. Students with a passion for a particular field may register for the same course over multiple semesters.

In this course, students will study paper, textiles, and fashion to design and create 3D projects utilizing art design concepts. Projects in papermaking and paper casting, cardboard relief, the dress in paper and textiles, papier mache, and the deconstructed book, as well as the use of handicraft techniques – weaving, crochet, and knitting, sewing (hand-stitch and sewing-machine) – used to create art, design and fashion statements will be studied. This course will reference historical and contemporary works.

3D Design: Sculpture and Pre-Architecture

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5

Visual Arts courses are offered at several different levels. Students with a passion for a particular field may register for the same course over multiple semesters.

This STEAM art course has been designed to offer students a general design overview using different media to design and build 3D structures. The focus of the course is to apply the fundamentals of art and design to help students solve creative problems in a variety of media and techniques. Projects in additive and subtractive (carving) sculpture, construction, mobile, assemblage, molding and casting, as well as modelmaking, will be studied. This course will illustrate for students the endless possibilities in creating and using a reticulate as a base on which to create their designs.

Studio Art (Upper School)

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5

Visual Arts courses are offered at several different levels. Students with a passion for a particular field may register for the same course over multiple semesters.

Open to Grades 9-12; full year or single semester

The Studio Art course is designed to accommodate students with a desire to learn about art or to continue evolving in their artistic pursuits. Students will work on a variety of media, tools, and techniques through open-ended assignments that challenge them and encourage creativity and originality. Through studio practice, application of the fundamentals of art and informed decision making, students will create a body of work that demonstrate a high level of quality and growth over time in content, technique, and process.

Printmaking

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5

Visual Arts courses are offered at several different levels. Students with a passion for a particular field may register for the same course over multiple semesters.

This course introduces the student to the production of multiple images from a single design. Students will learn about the basic tools and materials used in a variety of printmaking techniques, understanding that printing will produce a reversed image. For this, an emphasis on creative problem-solving is essential, through research, sketching, and idea development before committing to a plate. Students will explore various printmaking techniques including but not limited to linoleum – block printing, drypoint, image transfer, and stamping, as well as monoprint/monotype, and stenciling. They will learn about the effective use of positive and negative space, and the creation of artist’s proofs and series. A brief overview of historical and contemporary prints, including the use of prints for political or social messaging as well as in POP ART, will be addressed.

Photography 2

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5

Prerequisite: Photography 1

This course is designed to follow on from the prerequisite Photography 1 and includes elements of studio photography, fashion photography, staged photography, modern photography, street photography, drone photography, photojournalism, and the study of contemporary artists. Nikon DSLR cameras are supplied for the duration of the course. The course incorporates field trips for photography assignments. It will also include an emphasis on independent studies as students focus on their own interests, all the while creating an online portfolio of their best work.

Photography 1

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5

This semester-long course is designed to cover a broad range of digital photography techniques, principles, equipment, and the selection of image subjects. A Nikon DSLR camera is supplied for the duration of the course. The course also covers areas of post production and image manipulation. Students will study the principles of exposure, portrait photography, landscape photography, macro photography, sports photography, food photography, black and white photography, low light photography, light painting, wildlife photography, in-class challenges, and more than 20 other topics. Over the course of the semester, independent shooting, collaborative peer critiques, and historical research will contribute to each student’s final portfolio that exhibits her individual photographic style.

Mixed Media and Collage

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5

Visual Arts courses are offered at several different levels. Students with a passion for a particular field may register for the same course over multiple semesters.

In this class, students will be encouraged to open the doors to their creativity. By experimenting with different papers, media and techniques, students will discover their own personal artistic voice while focusing on composition, textures, and layers. This exploration of mixed media and collaging is supported using the grid, background treatments and various ways to transfer images, including the use of photographs and found objects to add meaning to their works. An overview of historical and contemporary collage will also be explored.

Global Awareness Through Art

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5

Visual Arts courses are offered at several different levels. Students with a passion for a particular field may register for the same course over multiple semesters.

The arts have served historically to raise awareness about social justice issues, not just in modern times, but all throughout history. Images can be very powerful to the point of feeding into a certain status quo. Students will look at art in the context of social criticism and the call to social justice, and will examine art and social justice movements around the globe, shifting the gaze to generate change. Students will create artworks that express activism about issues they are concerned about and would like to draw attention to in the 21st century.

Graphic Publication

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5

Visual Arts courses are offered at several different levels. Students with a passion for a particular field may register for the same course over multiple semesters.

The Graphic Publication course allows students to develop the design, writing, and photography skills needed to create a thorough, interesting, and dynamic documentation of the life of the School: the official school yearbook, the Pepperpot. The development of this publication includes elements of art, film, image manipulation, design, layout, article writing, research, editing, marketing, publishing, and sales. Students will have additional responsibilities and take greater leadership roles each time the course is taken.

Drawing & Painting

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5

Visual Arts courses are offered at several different levels. Students with a passion for a particular field may register for the same course over multiple semesters.

Drawing is the foundation from which we develop our visual vocabulary as we hone our observational skills. Drawing from observation or from life is a critical skill to develop for anyone wanting to quickly and visually express ideas, as it trains the eye, hand and brain to translate the 3D form into a 2D illusion. In this multilevel class, whether taken for the first time or as continuation to further develop one’s visual skills, students will work in a variety of “dry media” (graphite, oil and soft pastels, charcoal, etc) and “wet media” (transparent and opaque painting including watercolor, gouache, acrylic, and oil) learning the necessary technical skills to communicate their ideas while continuing to strengthen their knowledge of the elements and principles of design. Students will also discover the expressiveness of color and media application techniques while learning color theory. They may take this class as a repeated course in order to prepare their art portfolios for college admission and to fully develop their visual and unique language. There will be opportunities for students to work on public art projects that enhance our School community.

Ceramics (Upper School)

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5

Visual Arts courses are offered at several different levels. Students with a passion for a particular field may register for the same course over multiple semesters.

The Ceramics class will provide an opportunity for students to develop a body of work that is both conceptually valid and reflective of their artistic style. Sculpture techniques, the science of glazing, and wheel skills are taught to all levels of students, and they will be encouraged to experiment at all times. In addition to developing technique, students will design their own multi-part construction based on exploration of pottery around the world. Each student will be expected to produce work that portrays her creative powers and technical abilities.

Art History: Movements in Art History

Upper School

Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5

This course is cross-listed with both the Visual Arts and History Departments.

This course will provide a multidisciplinary approach to the study of art and architectural history. In this class, students view art through the lens of historical events, literature, music, and social context of the time periods covered in the course. Students tackle issues such as who decides what is considered art and the ethics around restoration vs. preservation. Students begin this course by looking at the art and architecture of the Medieval world, and work their way through Post Impressionism and the Modern world. By studying great works from within these artistic periods, students gain a better understanding of the visual art of each era and how it can help us to better understand the greater context of the time.

Art History: Art of Ancient Civilizations

Upper School

Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5

This course is cross-listed with both the Visual Arts and History Departments.

In this class, students gain an understanding of the cultures of ancient civilizations through the study of the objects they produced. Students grapple extensively with issues such as who decides what is art, the ethics surrounding display and repatriation, and the difference between art, artifact, and cultural object. By studying the objects produced by these great civilizations, students gain a better understanding, not simply of the objects themselves, but of how they fit within the context of their time and place.

Dance Workshop

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: Fall and winter season commitment

Dance Workshop is the advanced-level dance company at Walker’s. Students are selected during placement classes at the beginning of the year and must commit to dance for the fall and winter seasons. Dance Workshop members take daily advanced-level technique classes in ballet, modern, jazz, character, and stretch and strengthen. These classes are supplemented with weekly rehearsals for student, faculty, and guest artist choreography. Senior members of Dance Workshop take choreography classes and run their own rehearsals. Dance Workshop performs in the annual Winter Dance Concert.

African Drumming

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

African Drumming is an essential part of Walker’s Music Program. The group utilizes a variety of drums, some of which were constructed from trees on the School property in Simsbury. Students study a wide array of styles and develop an appreciation for the intricate musical sounds, and variety of moods the different drumming disciplines convey and express. The tone of the instruments as well as the use of a particular rhythm open the mind to the rich world of music and enhance the capacity of each drummer. Students are encouraged to both read and hear patterns so that they engage the better part of themselves when they play together. The group often performs on campus and creates a moving presence at Walker’s.

Orchestra

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Orchestra is open to instrumentalists who are capable of individual preparation and working toward a standard of musical excellence in a group setting. This is a wonderful environment in which to develop technique and broaden the musical experience.

Harmonious Bells

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

The bell choir performs for many events on campus and can be taken as a music discipline for music majors. This course teaches a basic understanding of rhythm and note reading and allows students of all levels to perform in an ensemble. All musicians are welcome.

Rock Band, Sundial Sound

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Each year, our campus rock band, Sundial Sound, evolves as new students join the group. Students who sing and play drum set, keyboard, guitar, bass, percussion, and other instruments collaborate as an ensemble to play classic rock and more contemporary covers. They learn how to exchange musical ideas and work together as a group towards a rock concert performance at the end of the school year.

Grapes

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

By audition

This vocal ensemble is an a cappella singing group. Only members of the Choir may audition. This ensemble performs music from the folk, pop, jazz, and Broadway genres. Auditions take place at the beginning of the school year and include a simple sight-singing exercise, presentation of a piece that best shows the singer’s voice, and a group piece that determines vocal blend and intonation.

Chamber Ensembles

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

By audition

The chamber ensembles afford the serious musician the opportunity to perform fine works. Students must be proficient on their instrument and enjoy working in a focused, musical environment. These ensembles are called upon to perform at many functions throughout the school year.

Music Major Program

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: 1

Credit is given to students who wish to take two private lessons a week or two music disciplines, not including Choir. A half credit is given, along with grades and comments, for each semester. Music majors are expected to perform during the school year.

Music Theory

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: 1

Music Theory is a two-semester course that involves the study of the laws, forms, and language of music with a focus on assimilating these skills and demonstrating them in compositional forms. The course is taught at the level of the student and progresses according to her capacity. It presents the basics of music theory, dictation and notation, and ear training before composition is introduced. The advanced student may study composition and harmony, and musical analysis.

Choir

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: 1

Walker’s Choir performs regularly at many School functions and presents two major choral concerts. This ensemble enjoys performing a varied repertoire while honing musical skills such as sight-reading and vocal production. Students interested in the Grapes a capella group must be enrolled in Choir. A full Arts credit is given for this course. It fulfills the arts graduation requirement but is not figured into the GPA.

Voce Felice

Middle School, Upper School

Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

This course provides students with an opportunity to learn and improve vocal technique and to experience a repertoire of various styles. Voce Felice ensemble is formed from members of this class. Individual singers have the opportunity to perform as soloists at the end-of-the-year concert. All singers are welcome. Enrollment in choir is not required.

Gospel Choir

Middle School, Upper School

Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

The Gospel Choir is a lively vocal ensemble that incorporates musical styles from the spiritual, blues, and gospel genres. This ensemble demands a willingness to participate in the appropriate style that this music commands. All singers are welcome.

Private Music Lessons

Middle School, Upper School

Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Additional fee

Private lessons are offered for many instruments. Numerous recitals and assemblies involve the Music Program, and public performance at these events is encouraged.

Financial Commitment: Private lessons are billed through the Business Office. The Music Instruction Agreement must be signed by a parent/guardian and returned before lessons can begin. Please contact the Business Office for additional details.

Spring Musical

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: Spring season co-curricular

Prerequisite: Audition

Offered: February-May

The Theatre, Music, and Dance Departments collaborate on a full-scale musical that is presented to the community in May. Students who want to join the cast are welcome to as there are no cuts made for the productions and the purpose of auditions is to assign roles. The goal of the theater department is to take the cast on an annual trip to a Broadway show. Students have taken master classes with Broadway performers, have had Q&A’s with cast members, and Broadway professionals have attended Walker’s spring musical dress rehearsals. Recent productions include Chicago: High School Edition, Hairspray, Sister Act, and Little Shop of Horrors.

Winter Play

Middle School, Upper School

Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: Winter season co-curricular

Prerequisite: Audition

Offered winter season

Beginning in mid-November, cast members rehearse a play which is presented to the community in mid-February. Students who want to join the cast are welcome to as there are no cuts made for the productions and the purpose of auditions is to assign roles. Past productions have included Twelve Angry Women, Our Town, She Kills Monsters: Young Adventurers’ Edition, Animal Farm, All in the Timing, and Rope.

Musical Theater

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5

In this class, students will collaborate on scenes, songs, and dances from classic works of musical theater. Students will have the opportunity to watch and learn from historic theatrical performances, as well as delve deeply into scene work, song analysis, and choreography. This class includes visits from industry guest speakers; the class will take theatrical field trips.

Acting

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5

The goal of this course is to develop self-awareness, master acting guideposts, and build on previous knowledge of stage acting through the use of scenes, improvisation, and monologues. This one-semester class introduces students to basic acting techniques, including effective use of the voice, principles of stage movement, building a character, playwriting, story creation, and improvisation. The course is designed for students interested in exploring theater as a means of personal development and expression, as well as for those who wish to begin to study the craft of acting and/or playwriting. Students are expected to memorize lines, write journals, and be evaluated on their performances. This course may be taken more than once, so the course will be tailored to the students’ interests and needs.

General Enrollment Dance

Middle School, Upper School

Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Fall, winter, and spring season

These classes are open to students at any level of dance from beginner to advanced. Students take classes in ballet, modern, jazz, and composition. Winter dance also counts towards the team sport requirement as it includes a performance.

Dance Fundamentals

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5

This course is designed to give students an overview of dance technique, improvisation, composition, and history. Students will study several techniques and history to build strength and knowledge in the art form. The study of dance composition through improvisation and design concepts will also be a focal point of the course. Recommended for students with little to no experience in dance.

Dance Composition

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5

This course focuses on the process of choreographing original dance pieces. Students will learn composition through experimenting with the elements of movement – time, space, weight, and flow. This course is recommended for students with some dance experience through the advanced level.