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Curriculum: Arts

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 geared for the students who want to pursue a career in the field of the arts and need this 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 (Spring)

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 art course has been designed to offer students a general design overview using different media to construct and build 3D projects utilizing art design concepts. The focus of the course is to concentrate on applying the basic elements and principles of art to help the students solve artistic, creative problems in a variety of approaches and media. Projects in additive and subtractive sculpture, carving, construction, mobile, assemblage, molding and casting, as well as modelmaking will be studied. A sketchbook is required for all students to be used in class and for homework assignments. This course references historical and contemporary works.

3D Design (Fall)

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 has been designed to offer students a general design overview using paper and paper pulp to construct and build 3D projects utilizing art design concepts. The focus of the course is to concentrate on applying the basic elements and principles of art to help students solve artistic, creative problems in a variety of approaches and media. Projects in paper making and paper casting, cardboard relief, paper dress, relief drawing, papier mache, and book art/deconstructed books will be studied. A sketchbook is required for all students to be used in class and for homework assignments. This course references historical and contemporary works.

Studio Art (Upper School)

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5 per semester

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

This class 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 an artist’s proofs and series. A brief overview of historical and contemporary prints, including the use of prints for political or social messaging 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, green screen photography, street photography and drone photography. DSLR cameras are supplied for the duration of the course. The course will generate proficiency in Adobe Creative Cloud Lightroom and Photoshop techniques and will incorporate 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 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. It includes 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.

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.

In this class, students will be able to explore different “wet media” with processes such as transparent and opaque painting including watercolor, gouache, acrylic, and oil. Students discover the expressiveness of color and paint application techniques while learning color theory. They will also be introduced to the ancient medium of encaustic painting. The focus of this course is on color, scale, and composition and how these are fundamental elements in the development of their visual concepts. Students may take this class as a repeated course in order to prepare their art portfolios for college admission, as well as to work on public art projects that enhance the School community.

Movie/Video Production

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5

This is a semester course designed to cover all facets of movie production, including script writing, working with talent, camera work, sound, directing, locations, costume, props, and post-production editing. Nikon DSLR cameras will be supplied for the duration of the course. Genre types will include shorts, feature films, documentaries, music videos, and comedy sketches. The course will involve hands-on, small team experience developing production timelines and filming with DSLR cameras after review of best-practice examples of each motion-picture type. Instruction in post-production editing techniques will be taught to allow finished products to be shown to the local community and/or entered into film showcases and festivals.

Graphic Publication

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Fall Semester (can be extended for extra credit into Spring Semester)

Credits: .5

This 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. 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

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: .5 per semester

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 course may be taken for a full year or single semester.

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 drawing skills, students will be exposed to a variety of “dry media,” learning the necessary technical skills to communicate their ideas, while continuing to strengthen their knowledge of the elements and principles of design. Students may take this class as a repeated course in order to prepare their art portfolios for college admission.

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.

Art History: Ancient Egypt to the Renaissance

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, 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. Students will gain an understanding of the differences between a formal and contextual analysis of a work of art, learn to formulate a thesis, and engage in both forms of analysis. Students will view the art through a lens of historical events, literature, music, and the social context of the time periods studied. This course begins by looking at Ancient Egyptian art and architecture through Europe, the Middle East, and Asia into the Renaissance. By studying great works from within these artistic periods, students will gain a better understanding of the visual art of each era and of how they fit within the context of their time.

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 tones 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 continues to create 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.

Group Keyboard

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

This course provides beginner to intermediate piano students with an opportunity to improve their keyboard skills. The classes allow each student to progress at her own pace. Students are invited to participate in recitals at the end of the year. All musicians are welcome.

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

A two–semester course that can be taken as a lesson or as a credited course. 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. The advanced student may study composition and musical analysis.

Choir

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Credits: 1

A full Arts credit is given for this course. It fulfills the arts graduation requirement but is not figured into the GPA. Walker’s Choir performs regularly at many School functions and presents two major choral concerts. All singers are welcome.

Group Voice

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. Enrollment in choir is not required. Voce Felice, a fine vocal ensemble, is formed from members of this class. Individual singers have the opportunity to perform as soloists at the end of the school year concert. All singers are welcome.

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.

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 in February

Offered: February-May

The Theatre, Music, and Dance Departments collaborate on a full-scale musical that is presented to the community in May. Recent productions include Seussical, The Boyfriend, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Godspell, Illyria, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Sister Act, Beauty and the Beast, and Hairspray.

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 in November

Offered: November-February

During the winter months, cast members rehearse a play which is presented to the community in mid-February. Past productions have included Good Help is so Hard to Murder, Haiku, Animal Farm, All in the Timing, Rope, and an original Shakespearean adaptation, The Food of Love.

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 Ensemble

Middle School, Upper School

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

Arts

Prerequisite: Fall and winter season commitment; By audition

Dance Ensemble is the high-intermediate level dance company at Walker’s. Students are selected by audition 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.

Dance Workshop

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Prerequisite: Fall and winter season commitment; By audition

Dance Workshop is the advanced-level dance company at Walker’s. Students are selected by audition 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.