Fine Arts

The Fine Arts department fosters an environment that encourages students to think, learn, and create while challenging them to work toward excellence and self-understanding. We promote: the development, expression, and evaluation of ideas and processes; the ability to produce, read, and interpret dramatic, musical and visual symbols; and the assimilation of information needed to recognize and understand the artistic achievements of various societies.

Courses in this department:

Dance

Dance

Second semester

This class gives students a language in movement and increases their knowledge of the basic elements of dance. Styles may include modern dance, basic ballet, break dancing, hip-hop and improvisation. Class assignments involve concepts for creative expression, movement ideas, choreography, and development of a personal aesthetic. Watching videos and attending professional performances helps students develop observational skills and exposes students to the broad spectrum of dance as a cultural medium. Dance can be taken for either Fine Arts or PE credit. Students must notify the registrar of what type of credit they choose before class begins; credit selection cannot be changed after the add/ drop period ends.

Drama

The Craft of Acting

Second semester

In this course students explore the unique skills professional actors develop in training. Through improvisation, theatre games, and current plays, students investigate the rudiments of character, scene, and play analysis and learn the steps actors take to create a play. The course concentrates on the six basic elements of acting: concentration, memory of emotion, inner monologue, rhythm, movement, and characterization as well as Fleming's Law of Acting, "Actors don't act, they react." Students are highly encouraged to see professional theatre and are required to attend any University Prep Fine Arts department production presented that semester.

Film Studies

First semester

This course is a study of the motion picture industry from its beginnings to the present time. Studies begin with series photography as developed by Eadweard Muybridge, and continue through technical developments such as Eastman’s flexible film, Edison’s development of early sound films, and the technical and social contributions of D.W. Griffith and other film pioneers. The course emphasizes the impact and influence of gender, race, and social reform on the film industry.

Play Production - Dramatic Play

Second semester

This class offers students the experience of the rehearsal and performance process. From basic acting technique through performance and critique, students experience the full range of the actor’s process. The class will include one nonperforming student who serves as the stage manager for the production, assisting the director throughout the semester. This student should have prior experience with Stagecraft. Rehearsal and performance requirements: four or five weeks before performance, after-school or evening rehearsals are required. Students who enroll in this class may not participate in after-school sports.

Play Production - Musical

First semester

This class offers students the experience of the rehearsal and performance process. From basic acting technique through performance and critique, students experience the full range of the actor’s process. The class will include one nonperforming student who serves as the stage manager for the production, assisting the director throughout the semester. This student should have prior experience with Stagecraft. Rehearsal and performance requirements: four or five weeks before performance, after-school or evening rehearsals are required. Students who enroll in this class may not participate in after-school sports.

Stagecraft - Dramatic Play

Second semester

Working in conjunction with the Play Production class, Stagecraft students study the technical aspects of theater, including the design and production of scenery, lighting, sound, properties, costumes and publicity. During the semester, students research, design and construct all elements of the set. Students serve as the stage crew during tech rehearsals and performances, providing production support, technical direction and stage management. Rehearsal and performance requirements: students are required to attend all technical and dress rehearsals scheduled during the afternoons and evenings of the week prior to opening, as well as all performances. Students who enroll in this class may not participate in after-school sports.

Stagecraft - Musical

First semester

Working in conjunction with the Play Production class, Stagecraft students study the technical aspects of theater, including the design and production of scenery, lighting, sound, properties, costumes and publicity. During the semester, students research, design and construct all elements of the set. Students serve as the stage crew during tech rehearsals and performances, providing production support, technical direction and stage management. Rehearsals and performance requirements: Stagecraft students are required to attend all technical and dress rehearsals scheduled during the afternoons and evenings of the week prior to the show’s opening, as well as all performances.

Instrumental Music

Orchestra & Band II

Seventh – twelfth grades; semester or year-long class

This class is intended for intermediate-level instrumentalists seeking to advance their technique and musicianship. We will build fundamentals, working on ensemble playing, practice techniques, basic theory and listening skills in order to prepare and present a performance. The course is designed to prepare students for participation in the jazz and/or orchestral performance groups.

Chamber Orchestra

Seventh – twelfth grades; year-long class

Chamber Orchestra is U Prep’s classical instrumental performing group and is open to all orchestral instruments. Each year, students play at the Solo and Ensemble competition and perform at either the Western Washington University Orchestra Festival or the Northwest Orchestra Festival. These festivals are in March and are preceded by an annual Orchestra Retreat at the beginning of second semester. Because of the performance exposure, the commitment level and expectations for student preparedness are high. The Puma String Quartet is drawn from this class each year. Entry into the class is by audition and/or teacher signature. Rehearsal and performance requirements: After-school rehearsals once a week for 2.5 hours during the last two weeks of February and the first two weeks of March. Two to three evening concerts and open houses, as well as weekend performance trips.

Sinfonia

Seventh – twelfth grades; semester or year-long class

This woodwind, brass and percussion class is designed for more advanced players who are familiar with note reading and rhythms and who demonstrate competence on their instrument. Students build their group-playing skills and work on music that is both fun and challenging. Students play for the local Solo and Ensemble competition and perform at either the Western Washington University Orchestra Festival or the Northwest Orchestra Festival in March. Full-year participation is strongly encouraged. Entry into the class is by audition and/or teacher signature. Rehearsal and performance requirements: two to three concerts and open houses, four after-school rehearsals in preparation for the March festivals, as well as weekend performance trips.

Intermediate Jazz Ensemble

Seventh - twelfth grades; year-long class

This class is designed for intermediate-level instrumentalists who are familiar with note reading and rhythms. The focus of this class is on building skills playing in a group setting, basic improvisation, jazz articulations and preparation for the advanced jazz ensemble. We will participate in two jazz festivals each year and perform twice a year at a Seattle area jazz club. This class is open to students who play saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, drums and guitar. Entry into the class is by audition and/or teacher signature. Performance requirements: two to three evening concerts and open houses, as well as weekend performance trips.

Advanced Jazz Ensemble

Seventh - twelfth grades; year-long class

U Prep’s advanced jazz instrumental performing group participates in three or four regional jazz festivals and performs twice a year at a Seattle area jazz club. Because of our performance exposure, the commitment level and expectations for student preparedness is high. This class is open to students who play saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, drums and guitar. Entry into the class is by audition and/or teacher signature. Performance requirements: two to three evening concerts and open houses, as well as weekend performance trips.

Vocal Music

Vocal Music

First semester

This class is for students who are interested in gaining experience in a group vocal setting. Over the course of the semester, we focus on vocal technique, sight-reading, group singing skills, and performance. We explore a wide variety of styles and genres, reflect on the role that music has played in our own lives, and deepen our understanding of what singing is all about. This class is for students of all experience levels and backgrounds. Performance requirements: Music Day and Winter Concert.

Singer and/or Songwriter

Second semester

This course includes songwriting and performance, with opportunities for both experienced singers and budding songwriters to specialize in their areas of interest. Singers develop their musical skills by planning, rehearsing and performing a concert of solo and group performances. Students are challenged to listen deeply and analyze lyrics as they select the songs they will perform. The rehearsal process enables students to develop the skills needed to arrange music, collaborate with other musicians, sing alone and with others, and perform in front of an audience. Songwriters work individually or as creative teams to create songs modeled after the greats. Students sharpen their ability to speak and write the language of music and use the school’s notation software to create a musical score. Performances at Music Day and one evening concert are encouraged.

Visual Arts

Architecture

Tenth – twelfth grades
First semester

Architecture students explore the relationship between two- and three-dimensional space through a range of spatial design exercises and projects related to drawing and drafting, as well as architectural model making. The course is organized around the design of an original, single-family house, with smaller projects leading to a final presentation. The course also specifically examines the work of several well-known architects, as well as topics including environmental/sustainable design, contextualism, and contemporary architecture. Students regularly discuss their work with peers, maintain a weekly image collection, and may write a short research paper. Enrollment limited to fourteen students.

Art and Social Change

This class combines political, social and art history with hands-on studio art to explore the ways in which the arts are a tool for social change. Students explore, discuss and research past social movements and produce original artwork about a range of historical and contemporary issues. Topics may include: labor and class; civil rights and racial equality; feminism and gender; the environment; youth movements and culture; war and violence. This course is co-taught by Fine Arts and History faculty; students select the type of course credit they will receive. Students must notify the registrar regarding the type of credit they choose prior to the start of class; credit selection cannot be changed after the add/drop period ends.

Filmmaking I

First semester

This course integrates the creative and practical forms of visual communication through experimental, dramatic, and documentary videomaking. Technical skills with an emphasis on scripting, storyboarding, and digital editing enable students to conceptualize ideas and explore image, motion, sound, and time.

Graphic Design

Second semester

Graphic Design teaches students visual communication skills through illustration, photography, layout and typography, focusing on projects such as posters, logo design, book and magazine covers, and signage. Students take each project from abstract idea to concrete expression, guided by principles of composition, hierarchy, contrast and consistency, color, texture and shape. The course will include instruction on how to work with software commonly used in professional graphic design (the Adobe Creative Suite), but digital tools are simply one means to the end of creative expression, and are not the sole focus of the class; students will also complete projects using traditional hand techniques.

Literary Magazine

Second semester

Students create the school's literary magazine, still life, collecting submissions and evaluating text and artwork for publication. Students discuss and research various types of writing and visual media. Skills learned include digital photography, image scanning, and computer layout.

Photography I

First semester

This course is an introduction to photography in which students explore the basics of digital photography and gain knowledge of traditional black and white photography. Students learn basic camera functions for film and digital cameras, exposure, lighting, composition, darkroom usage and film development. Through weekly assignments, themes, and portfolios, students develop observational skills, improve critical and creative thinking, and learn a variety of photographic applications. This course covers different material than Middle School Photo. Enrollment limited to ten students.

Photography II

Second semester

Photography II is for students who want to further develop their darkroom (black and white) photography skills and also learn color photography. Students work with film cameras and digital imaging software such as Photoshop, while also exploring advanced printing and technical skills. Each student completes a self-directed semester project that examines subject matter of personal interest. Critical and technical information is introduced to correspond with the students’ needs as they advance through the course. Prerequisite: Photography I. Enrollment is limited to ten students.

Sculpture

This course examines sculpture, kinetic art, assemblage, carving and other forms of three-dimensional art. Through projects that stress problem solving and experimentation, students explore form, space, line, shape, composition, mass, scale and proportion. Projects may include sculptures that move, traditional carved objects, paper constructions and self-portraits.

Visual Art I

Visual Art I is a foundational course that integrates painting, drawing, and basic sculpture as a means of developing skills, introducing techniques, and teaching art elements and design principles. This course provides students with the opportunity to see how these disciplines can genuinely be integrated in basic art practice. Some basic art history and criticism are also part of the course.

Visual Art II

Visual Art II provides students with the visual language of artistic representation and abstraction. In this course, emphasis would be placed on observational drawing and painting, methods and entry points for abstraction, and approaches to mixing media effectively. Students will explore improvisation, collage, appropriation, and other methods of image creation. The second quarter of the class is primarily devoted to individual work around a central theme during which students write artist statements, manifestos on the central theme, and comments on works in progress via blogs and Schoology. Prerequisite: Visual Art I, Drawing 1, Painting 1, Mixed Media or Sculpture.

Visual Art III

Visual Art III pushes students much closer to ideation, research and experimentation as processes integrated with artistic expression and creation. In this class, students are challenged to take greater risks—and work through inevitable failures—as a process for creativity. Problem solving is fundamental to the course, as artistic challenges are both presented by the instructor and self-generated. Contemporary art is used extensively as a vehicle and model for moving beyond traditional representation. The course culminates in a body of finished work, created around a central theme. Prerequisite: Visual Art II, Drawing and Painting 2, or Photo 2. Students may also enter the course after having taken at least two of the following courses: Drawing 1, Painting 1, Mixed Media or Sculpture.

Yearbook

This class introduces layout, design and photography. Students acquire advanced skills in appropriate computer applications to create and publish the school’s yearbook.

Multidisciplinary

Student-Produced Works Seminar

Tenth – twelfth grades
Second semester

This seminar is an opportunity for advanced students to work on a self-directed project within any of the fine arts disciplines. Early in the semester students discuss and share sources of inspiration and collaborate on a small project. At the same time students write and submit a proposal for their independent project. Daily work on projects alternates with regular check-ins to show progress and receive feedback from classmates and the instructor. This class is performance centered; public performances or exhibits of the student-produced projects are required and are supported by an artist statement that describes both the inspiration for and the process of creating the piece. The seminar concludes with an in-depth evaluation by both the teacher and the student artist. Students may take this course with permission of the instructor.

Fine Arts Electives Not Offered 2017-2018

Filmmaking II

The Humanities of the Theater

Mime and Stage Combat