Exploring the Arts at St. Paul
Opportunities in Music (5.5 elective credits available)
Instrumental Studies, 0.5 credit/1 credit electives, all grades, can be taken all four years
The instrumental program will afford students the opportunity to participate in the Instrumental Ensembles. This course will instill responsibility, self-discipline, respect, leadership, and cooperation, as well as provide musical development and self-expression. Individual instrumental music instruction is also offered to students on the following instruments: flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, trombone, baritone and percussion. This course will implement several of the National Music Standards, providing a well-balanced curriculum.
Choral Musicianship, 0.5 credit/1 credit electives, all grades, can be taken all four years
This performance-based course will give students the opportunity to explore, develop, and showcase their talent. The course will include a wide range of literature from a variety of historical periods, countries, cultures, languages, and styles. Students will study classical masterworks, folk songs, spiritual, sacred and secular works, arrangements of familiar songs, and also selections from the pop, rock, and jazz repertoire. This course will implement several of the National Music Standards, providing a well-balanced curriculum.
Music Theory I, 1 credit elective, grades 10, 11, 12
For students desiring a more in-depth study of music, this course is designed to expose students to the basics of music composition and analysis. The integration of aural skill development and the concentration on harmonic structure provide the necessary groundwork for advanced study in music theory.
AP Music Theory, 1 credit elective, grades 11 and 12
This course is designed for the college-bound music major planning a career in the music field or desiring in-depth knowledge of music theory and composition. Advanced concepts in harmony and analysis are emphasized as well as the continued development of aural skills.
Piano/Electric Guitar, 0.5 credit elective, all grades, may be repeated once
This course is for students who want to learn how to play piano, guitar, or bass or who may have been playing for a while but want to improve their skills. In our state-of-the-art music lab, using the latest computer software and multimedia programs, students will be able to study piano or electric guitar and bass at the basic, intermediate, or advanced level according to their current musical skills. Beginners are welcome, while intermediate and advanced students will have an opportunity to refine and improve their playing skills. The students can choose among a classical, jazz, or modern curriculum, or even a combination of the three.
Music Technology I, 0.5 credit elective, all grades
This course allows students to gain all the knowledge necessary to produce great-sounding recordings of music. Even students who begin this course with little or no understanding of desktop production finish with quality master recordings. In this course, students will learn how to set up their own home audio, the basics of sampling and audio mixing, and more. With hands-on lessons and projects, students master concepts like digitization, signal flow, multi-tracking, equalization, signal processing, MIDI, and everything they need to turn their PC into a virtual multi-track studio.
Music Technology II, 0.5 credit elective, all grades
With a rack of virtual instruments, effects, mixers, a comprehensive sequencer, extensive groove control for fine-tuning the “feel” of a piece of music, and a patching system that emulates real-world hardware setups, Reason provides nearly complete production environment for producers and engineers. Producing music with Reason provides students a broad overview of this versatile software’s capabilities, and the techniques they need to learn to operate it effectively. The course covers sampling, sound design, and sequencing basics, and guides students from the fundamentals of mixing and mastering to more advanced problem-solving techniques that will improve overall productions. Students learn to create their own unique sounds, and because the program’s parts closely parallel much of the setups used by today’s top producers, students also learn portable skills that they can transfer to a number of different software and hardware setups.
Opportunities on the Stage (3 elective credits available)
Drama I, 0.5 credit elective, all grades
While primarily a course in the art of acting, this course seeks to provide an overview of the theater world to our students. Several units will introduce key moments in Western theater history, focusing on classical monologues and scenes. The class focuses on the application of stage and performance principles to the performance of monologues, duets and ensemble scripts as well as the study of various elements of theater and film.
Drama II, 0.5 credit elective, grades 10, 11, 12
This course is a continuation of self-discovery and script analysis from Drama I, using the basic elements of the Stanislavski and Stella Adler systems, focused more directly toward developing the skills necessary to create characterization in monologues and scenes from contemporary plays. It also involves advanced scene work and creating characters in monologues and scenes from classical and modern plays. Drama II includes an introduction to the business of acting, developing audition material, practicing cold readings, and understanding headshot/resume requirements and how to pursue a career in the theatre.
Musical Theatre Dance I, 0.5 credit elective, all grades, satisfies P.E. requirement
This course will explore the history and evolution of the musical theater dance genre from the 1900s through present day, working with the different steps and styles introduced in each era. Students will study and work with different choreographic styles. Dance classes will incorporate technical training in ballet, musical theater, jazz, and stage movement. The class will work in conjunction with the Performing Arts Department as a complement to their shows and as a performance opportunity.
Musical Theatre Dance II, 0.5 credit elective, all grades, satisfies P.E. requirement
Expanding on the dance vocabulary learned in Dance I, students will study and work with different choreographers’ styles that have had a major influence on Broadway dance, such as Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins, Michael Bennett and others.
Stagecraft, 0.5 credit elective, grades 10, 11, 12
Stagecraft is the study of the technical side of theatre. This course will introduce students, both novice and experienced, to a practical approach in both technical and production aspects of theatre. Students will learn the skills needed to construct scenery, properties, hang and focus lighting instruments, and a variety of other techniques. Students will also learn and explore areas of scenic, lighting and sound design. This course is production oriented. Students in the course will be assisting in creating the world of each St. Paul Performing Arts production.
Filmmaking, 0.5 credit elective, grades 10, 11, 12
This course is designed for the beginning film maker and provides a practical guide to the process of making a film using digital equipment from development through production, post-production, and distribution. While the technical tools a student needs are fully explained, the course concentrates on filmmaking principles throughout, illustrating how these tools can be used to achieve stylistic approaches for innovative filmmaking.
Opportunities in the Studio (5.5 elective credits available)
Art Fundamentals, 0.5 credit elective, all grades
Students will complete two-dimensional and three-dimensional artworks as they learn the ideas, language, and techniques of the visual arts. Further, students will study art history and examples of work by known and unknown artists and will develop skills related to and an understanding of the visual arts through a series of assignments on the elements and principles of design, drawing techniques, printmaking methods, painting techniques, color theory, sculpture techniques, art history, and criticism. Students will also gain an understanding of the tools and vocabulary used in the visual arts and become conversant with critiques of and discussions on the visual arts.
Crafts, 0.5 credit elective, all grades
This course enables students to explore the purpose and meaning of crafts from a global perspective. Students explore degrees of form and function through the use of traditional crafts media: fiber, metals, glass, papier-mâché, etc. Emphasis is on drawing, artistic thinking skills and techniques, as well as appreciation and understanding of contemporary, historic, and cultural influences.
Drawing, 0.5 credit elective, all grades
Drawing is a hands-on studio class working closely with the instructor and the other students in class. All skill levels are welcome to explore their creativity through drawing media. We will be incorporating the four ideas that make up visual art: art criticism, art history, aesthetics, and studio art. Students utilize and expand on the elements and principles of design and incorporate them in our art works, vocabulary, and visual sense through an array of assignments. This course will consist of short studies of real-life objects, line and drawing media experimentation, and the development of an understanding of quality drawing technique. A portfolio and sketchbook will be compiled throughout the course. Knowledge of proper drawing techniques and uses of drawing media will be expected upon course completion.
Painting, 0.5 credit elective, all grades
Painting is a hands-on studio class working closely with the instructor and the other students in class. We will be incorporating the four ideas that make up visual art: art criticism, art history, aesthetics, and studio art. Students utilize and expand on the elements and principles of design and incorporate them in their art works, vocabulary, and visual sense through a vast array of assignments. This course will consist of reviewing the fundamentals of color mixing, developing knowledge of the artistic process, experimenting with mixed media, and broadening the painting style through exposure to a variety of artistic techniques. A portfolio will be compiled throughout the course. Knowledge of diverse painting techniques and uses of media will be expected upon course completion.
3D Design, 0.5 credit elective, all grades
3-D Design is a hands-on, studio class working closely with the instructor and the other students in class. All skill levels are welcome to explore their creativity through a variety of exciting media. We will be incorporating the four ideas that make up visual art: art criticism, art history, aesthetics, and studio art. We will be utilizing and expanding on the elements and principles of design and incorporating them in art work, vocabulary, and visual sense through a vast array of assignments. This course will consist of experimenting with various media, developing knowledge of the artistic process, broadening artistic thinking and skills, and manipulating materials to achieve a successful 3-D piece. Knowledge of diverse 3-D media and ways to incorporate design elements into 3-D work will be expected upon course completion.
Photoshop, 0.5 credit elective, all grades
This course prepares students for beginning computer graphics and multimedia, entry-level career opportunities in computer-aided design, as well as taking images from concept to completion in print and on the web. The students will be introduced to the basics of Digital Photography, using tools such as digital cameras, scanners, and drawing tablets to import and edit art and graphics on their computers. The students’ artistic abilities will be enhanced as they master Adobe’s powerful Photoshop software to complete the design and production process.
Honors Studio Art, 0.5 credit/1 credit electives, grades 10, 11, 12
This course is designed as a prerequisite to the AP art courses offered to students their senior year. Because this is a prerequisite to the AP art courses, the course will entail many of the same goals. This course will be considered a portfolio prep class where students will complete much of the preliminary work needed in their portfolio for the review during their senior year. This course will be highly intensive and will require in and out of school studio work.
AP 2D Art and Design, 1 credit elective, grades 11 and 12
AP 2-D Art and Design guides students in the preparation and submission of an extensive studio art portfolio: concentration, breadth, and quality. Students complete several assigned projects, as well as numerous self-initiated projects. This course is very rigorous, and it is intended for art students who have demonstrated superior self-motivation and sustained interest in art.
AP Drawing, 1 credit elective, grades 11 and 12
The AP Drawing course is offered to students who are seriously interested in a commitment to the practical experience of art and wish to develop mastery in the concept, composition and execution of their ideas. This course is not based on a written examination; instead, students submit portfolios for evaluation at the end of the school year to the AP College Board for review. Assignments are challenging and require thought, individual interpretation and strong visual and technical skills. Significant outside work is required to meet the standards of quality (and quantity) required for portfolio submission. This course addresses advanced concepts and techniques in Drawing, as well as a wide range of aesthetic concepts, critical thinking, and vocabulary. Exploration of mediums within this area will include graphite, charcoal, chalk pastels, collage, watercolor, scratchboard, acrylic painting, and colored pencils. Student are encouraged to explore other mediums independently. The focus is on the use of the Elements of Art and Principles of Design to create engaging works of art that are personally meaningful. At the completing of the course, students will have produced a minimum of 24 works that satisfy the requirements of the Quality, Concentration, and Breadth sections of the AP Studio Art Drawing Portfolio.