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A College-Prep, Independent Day
School for Grades 8-12

Arts - Visual & performing

Our visual and performing arts program offers students new ways to view the world and express their creativity. They build better problem solving skills and strengthen their confidence, as well as develop passions and hobbies that resurface throughout their lives. 


Studio Art - Foundation

This course introduces the principles of art through drawing and two-dimensional design. Visual exercises assigned are aimed at observing subjects objectively. As drawing skills develop, so does self confidence and the ability to concentrate and focus on art projects at length. A variety of drawing materials and techniques are explored including graphite, charcoal, ink, tempera, pastels, printmaking, painting, collage, and clay.

Studio Art - 3D

Students learn to create and manipulate 3-D forms through additive and subtractive methods of sculpture through materials such as clay, wood, wire, plaster, paper mache, and sheet metal. Various techniques and materials for finishing work will be introduced and explored, including acrylic paints, oil paints, modeling paste, and ceramic glazes. Power tools and hand-held tools for constructing materials will be safely introduced and made available. Field trips and visiting artists will be included in the itinerary.

Studio Art - Digital Imaging

To introduce and establish an understanding of the elements and principles of design through various design projects. Students are learn Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and have the use of a digital camera in this endeavor. Students use photographs, type, shapes, textures, and original artwork as starting points in projects that require problem solving, ideation, and creative thought to resolve. Through these exercises the students will better understand the building blocks of sound design such as space, balance, shape, emphasis, value, color, and positive and negative space. Students are asked to participate in class critiques and discussions about art history and trends in contemporary art, illustration, and graphic design.

Studio Art - Painting

Students develop their ability to observe the visual world, translating it into artistic images and furthering their understanding of color and composition. They learn to create and organize forms, color, and texture while practicing various methods of application. Creating a personalized style and expression, as well as an understanding of painting in a historical and cultural context, are important aspects of the course. Projects focus on painting media, technique, and concept. The figure, still life, and landscape are used to introduce the student to the creative use of color, form and texture. Research on contemporary and traditional artists and art issues is required along with a presentation to the class.

Studio Art -2D

This class develops a greater understanding of drawing skills and concepts while continuing to explore personal style and expression. Advanced techniques and complex projects are presented along with historical and cultural applications. The focus is on developing and refining drawing and printmaking skills, concepts, and techniques, and developing personal style and sensitivity. It encourages creative problem solving, decision-making and risk-taking. The class stresses relevancy and context of the visual arts historically and culturally. Projects are designed to focus on light and dark and its relationship to design and composition. Drawing assignments are based on direct observation of still life, interior and exterior landscape, and the figure. Both wet and dry media are used along with printmaking techniques, collage, and mixed media.

AP Studio Art - Drawing

The AP class is usually taken in the senior year. The student develops a body of work for the AP Portfolio that explores an idea in drawing and shows a strong personal interest, mastery of drawing skills, and concepts.

The AP Art class gives interested students a chance to do extensive studies in a subject matter or technique. The student will investigate all three Portfolio components - Quality, Concentration, and Breath. Students will develop and gain mastery in concept, technique, and execution of ideas. Students learn to present their work formally. This is done by matting, framing, and documenting the work through slides and other photographic means.

AP Studio Art - 2D Design

Students spend a year developing a portfolio of college level work which is evaluated by the AP College Board. Students finish 12 art pieces in the Breadth Category and 12 art pieces in the Concentration Category for a total of 24 finished pieces of art. Most of the work is done outside of class with a strong emphasis on problem solving, ideation, originality, and independence.

Students receive an evaluation based on the quality of their work from the College Board grade in competition with thousands of students who complete the AP 2-D Design course each year. They also receive an evaluation from the instructor, which is based on effort, timely completion of the work, craftsmanship, independence, responsibility, personal growth, and development as well as the quality of the work.

Principles of Acting

The course introduces students to the fundamentals of acting as well as to theatre history and practices in various cultures throughout the world. In-class exercises help participants’ creativity, verbal and physical communication, specificity in acting choices, focus and concentration, memorization skills, voice and articulation, etc.  Acting styles emphasize Stanislavski, Brecht, and Grotowski, with reference to various other practitioners.  Scene work and monologues allow students to pull together the concepts learned in class. Emphasis is placed on improving collaborative skills through ensemble work.

This one semester drama course is part of a year-long sequence (pairs with Theatre in Production) that explores acting, directing, and design as well as the study of various practitioners and theatrical traditions in other cultures. The classes are open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors and fulfill the University of California VPA-Visual and Performing Arts requirement.

Theatre in Production

Theatre in Production provides an opportunity for students to explore the performing art of theatre in depth. Students participate in a production in two different roles, one onstage and one in a technical capacity (such as stage manager, set design and construction, costumes, lighting, make-up designer, dramaturge, etc.) The course has a nearly semester-long rehearsal period with a public performance as its culmination. Scholarly analysis of the plays enhances the students’ understanding of the text, as well as its historical and cultural context.  Assignments include research into theatrical traditions. Each semester, the play chosen for production will reflect a significant theatrical period or culture.

This one semester drama course is part of a year-long sequence (pairs with Principles of Acting) that explores acting, directing, and design as well as the study of various practitioners and theatrical traditions in other cultures. The classes are open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors and fulfill the University of California VPA-Visual and Performing Arts requirement.

AP Music Theory

AP Music Theory is an upper division elective designed to prepare students to take the AP Music Theory exam and to successfully complete theory placement tests at college music schools. Without exception students who have completed this course and gone on to take music school theory placement tests have advanced from one to three semesters in their schools’ theory programs. Students will be familiar with

  • the diatonic scale system in both major and minor keys
  • standard notation system and melodic structure in western music, including the devices of motive, sequence, phrases, and periods
  • 18th century harmonic practice
  • instruments and their families in current usage and of instrumental transposition
  • commonly used homophonic forms including binary form, ternary form and complete sonata form
  • commonly used contrapuntal forms including canon and fugue
  • the main historical practice periods in Western Music and the ability to place music within the correct period
  • Twentieth Century melodic and harmonic practices

They will also have

  • basic working knowledge of piano keyboard
  • rhythmic fluency in simple, compound, and asymmetrical meters
  • the ability to hear compositional devices and form in recorded or live-performed music
  • an awareness of non-Western musical traditions and practices
  • sight singing ability at a medium level
York School
Find Us 9501 York Road Monterey, California 93940
Tel831.372.7338
Fax831.372.8055

York School is committed to equal opportunity in educational programs, employment and campus life. The School does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, marital status, national origin, parental status, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status in any access to and treatment in School programs and activities.

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