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Curriculum: Arts

Middle School Theater Production

Middle School

Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8

Arts

Open to Grades 6-8

Credits: Co-Curricular

Prerequisite: By audition

Offered Winter season

During the winter months, cast members rehearse a theatrical production to be presented to the community in early March. Anyone who wants to join the cast is welcome to, as there are no cuts made for the productions and the purpose of auditions is to assign roles. Past productions have included Into the Woods Jr., The Haunting of ChipLake Lodge, The Secret Garden, The Jungle Book, The Lady Pirates of Captain Bree, The Hobbit, Wonderland and Robin Hood. By audition.

General Enrollment Dance

Middle School, Upper School

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

Arts

Open to Grades 6-12

Credits: Athletics

Fall, winter, and spring seasons

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.

Movie/Video Production & Streaming

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 0.5

This is a semester course designed to cover the two separate but related areas of:

1. All facets of movie production, including script writing, working with talent, camera work, sound, directing, locations, costume, props, and post production editing. Genres studied include shorts, feature films, documentaries, music videos. 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.

2. Work designed to create a live-streaming channel dedicated to live and recorded content centered on the Walker’s student experience. It includes aspects of studio work, live interviews, field recording, content production, show hosting, script writing and all in-front of camera and behind camera functions. The goal is to produce shows that air routinely in a published schedule that reflect the interests of the participating students and that mimic an in-house television station broadcast on a streaming platform.

Advanced Studio Art

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 1

Prerequisite: Studio Art or other relevant Visual Arts course and department approval

A one-year college-level course with heavy emphasis on portfolio production and review. Advanced art students will produce a series of sequential visual forms while exploring in greater depth a particular visual concern or inquiry, through practice, experimentation and revision. Emphasis will be placed on the Elements of Art, the Principles of Design, materials, processes and ideas, and skill development. Students will study and discuss historical and contemporary artists to aid in their own creations and development. Students may choose to submit portfolios to the Advanced Placement Program in the Spring in any of AP Drawing, AP 2D Art and Design, or AP 3D Art and Design. The course is taught in the same physical space and time block as the Studio Art course. Prerequisite: Studio Art or other relevant Visual Arts course and department approval.

Ceramics 2

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 0.5

Prerequisite: Ceramics 1

This is a one-semester course for the higher level ceramics student, who has already completed Ceramics 1 and has mastered the basics of throwing pottery on the wheel. In this course, students will explore the act of combining hand-built elements with wheel-thrown pieces. Projects will include teapots, nesting bowls, water pitchers, vegetable steamers, ring holders, and citrus juicers. Students will also be tasked with using the principles of design to create an effective and attractive composition for an independently produced original piece of art, which may be either decorative or utilitarian. Prerequisite: Ceramics 1.

Middle School Orchestra

Middle School

Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8

Arts

Open to Grades 6-8

This ensemble is for Middle School students who are interested in preparing and performing orchestral music. The Middle School Orchestra performs at Middle School concerts. This experience will prepare the musician for the Upper School Orchestra. All musicians at any level are welcome.

Dance Ensemble

Middle School, Upper School

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

Arts

Open to Grades 6-12

Credits: Athletics

Prerequisite: Fall and winter season commitment

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

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 1

Prerequisite: Departmental approval

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

Middle School Art Foundations

Middle School

Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8

Arts

Required for Grades 6-8

This course explores the basic modes of visual expression, which may include drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, animation, textile arts, and ceramics. Coursework is designed to help each student develop their own identity through art, as well as self-confidence and independence. The curriculum connects with the Middle School program of study whenever possible and provides a well-rounded artistic basis for Upper School-level visual art courses.

Middle School 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 theater/theater 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 theater classes will focus on the fundamentals of dramatic performance. The classes will build the necessary skills for character development and stage presence through scene work, theater history, and improvisational exercises. Theater studies help students to hone public speaking skills, teach them to listen and respond effectively, foster their spontaneity and problem solving skills, help them to grow as collaborators, and give them the confidence to take risks on stage and in life.

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

Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Open to Grades 10-12

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

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 0.5

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 be exposed to paper, textiles, and fashion to design and create 3D projects utilizing art design concepts. Projects in paper making and paper casting, cardboard relief, the dress in paper and textiles, papier-mâché, and the deconstructed book, as well as the use of handicraft techniques — weaving, crochet, and knitting, sewing (hand-stitch and sewing machine) — to create art, design and fashion statements with 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

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 0.5

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 show students the endless possibilities in creating and using a reticulate as a base on which to create their designs.

Studio Art

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 0.5

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 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 demonstrates 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

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 0.5

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, stenciling, and silkscreen. Students 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, as well as in POP ART will be addressed.

Photography 2

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 0.5

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 study of contemporary artists. 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. Prerequisite: Photography 1.

Photography 1

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 0.5

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.

Mixed Media and Collage

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 0.5

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.

Graphic Publication: Yearbook

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 0.5

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 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, 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

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 0.5

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 be exposed to 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 1

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 0.5

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

Open to Grades 11-12

Credits: 0.5

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.

Not offered 2022-23

Art History: Art of Ancient Civilizations

Upper School

Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Open to Grades 11-12

Credits: 0.5

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 of the objects themselves and how they fit within the context of their time and place.

Not offered 2022-23

Dance Workshop

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: Athletics

Prerequisite: Fall and winter season commitment

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

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: Non-credit

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

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: Non-credit

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

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: Non-credit

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

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: Non-credit

Each year, our campus Rock Band, Sundial Sound, morphs and 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, learning 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

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: Non-credit

Prerequisite: By audition

This vocal ensemble is an a cappella singing group. Only members of the Choir may audition. This ensemble performs music from a wide range of 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. By audition.

Chamber Ensembles

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: Non-credit

Prerequisite: 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. By audition.

Music Major Program

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Open to Grades 9-12

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

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 1

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

Open to Grades 9-12

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. This ensemble enjoys meeting a varied repertoire and honing musical skills such as sight-reading and vocal production. Students interested in Grapes must be part of this ensemble.

Voce Felice

Middle School, Upper School

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

Arts

Open to Grades 6-12

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

Open to Grades 7-12

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

Open to Grades 6-12

Prerequisite: Additional fee

Private lessons are offered for many instruments. Numerous recitals and assemblies involve the Music Program, and public performance opportunities continue to expand the musical experience here on campus.

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

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: Co-Curricular

Prerequisite: By audition

Offered Spring season

The Theatre, Music, and Dance Departments collaborate on a full-scale musical that is presented to the community in May. Anyone who wants to join the cast is 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 musical cast on an annual trip to a Broadway show. Students have taken master classes with Broadway performers, have had Q&As 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. By audition.

Winter Play

Middle School, Upper School

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

Arts

Open to Grades 6-12

Credits: Co-Curricular

Prerequisite: By audition

Offered Winter season

Beginning in mid-November, cast members rehearse a play which is presented to the community in mid-February. Anyone who wants to join the cast is welcome, 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. By audition.

Musical Theater

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 0.5

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 character work, song analysis, and choreography through musical theater vocal solos, duets, monologues, and scene work.

Acting

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 0.5

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 rooted in Stanislavski and Meisner, incorporating 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.

Dance

Middle School, Upper School

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

Arts

Open to Grades 6-12

Credits: Athletics

Fall, winter, and spring seasons for beginner to advanced levels

Dance classes at all levels are offered throughout the year with ballet, modern, jazz, and composition offered each season. Other dance forms including tap, contemporary, and hip-hop, are also offered each season.

Dance Fundamentals

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 0.5

This course is designed to give students an overview of Dance Technique, Improvisation, and Composition, and history. We will focus on 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.

Offered Semester 1

Dance Composition

Upper School

Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

Arts

Open to Grades 9-12

Credits: 0.5

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.

Offered Semester 2