Arts

Involvement in the arts is one of the central Putney experiences. The academic arts program, encompassing a diverse range of disciplines in the visual and performing arts, forms the core of the arts program. Students in visual art courses increase their awareness of the visual world, develop skills to creatively translate their ideas into visible form, and gain an understanding of the context and language of each discipline. Music courses introduce students to the art of music, from both an academic and an aesthetic viewpoint. Many students continue their work in the arts during Project Week to delve into their media in greater depth and concentration.

Acting

.5 credit
How do you know characters deeply enough to inhabit them and portray their point of view? How do you get inside their words and make them your own? This course will help you build skills in acting and its theatrical styles on both the stage and in film. In order to act well, one needs to read well, study cultural context, understand multiple points of view — all skills that inform your own way of speaking, listening and acting in the world. Acting is about making choices in collaboration with a text, its context and the other people in the room. This course will help you meet standards in arts and humanities

Ceramics 1

.5 credit
Students learn to work with a variety of hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques with an emphasis on functional ceramics. Design elements of form, proportion and surface will be explored. Examples of historical and contemporary ceramics are investigated. Along with different construction methods, students experiment with a variety of surface decoration possibilities, such as texturing, carving, and working with slips. There is a focus on good craftsmanship and attention to detail. Innovation and experimentation are highly encouraged. Basic glaze chemistry and how a gas kiln is fired will be covered. In the spring trimester there is a section on collecting local clay, learning about the geology of it, making pots and pit-firing them. A modest lab fee covers basic materials.

Ceramics 2

.5 credit
Students in advanced level ceramics build on the foundations provided in Ceramics I. Students challenge themselves with increasingly complex projects and explore more in-depth in areas of their interest. Prerequisite for Ceramics II, III: Ceramics I, II, or permission of the instructor.

Ceramics 3

.5 credit
Students in advanced level ceramics build on the foundations provided in Ceramics I. Students challenge themselves with increasingly complex projects and explore more in-depth in areas of their interest. Prerequisite for Ceramics II, III: Ceramics I, II, or permission of the instructor.

Dance Intensive

.5 credit
In this class, students explore dance as an evolving art form. We start with the development of ballet within its historical context, then continue with a similar exploration of modern dance. Students learn basics of both ballet and modern dance through movement and practice, preparing them for more advanced afternoon classes. This is supported by journaling, reading, and viewing recorded and live performances. In addition, students study anatomy from an experiential perspective, learn basic elements of injury prevention and how to “listen” to their innate physical intelligence. This class may be repeated (Elements of Dance II, III, etc.) as an independent path of study that relates to the focus of the class, developed collaboratively with the teacher.

Digital Filmmaking

.5 credit
Students explore the use of digital filmmaking as a means of self-expression and as an art form through both narrative and documentary styles. Students examine the elements of storytelling, composition, cinematography, lighting, sound recording, and editing as they create short films throughout the course. Through viewing a wide variety of filmmakers and film types students build foundational and historical knowledge of the medium.

Drawing 1

.5 credit
In this course, students develop their ability to perceive the world around them and skillfully translate their perceptions to paper. Students will become fluent in expression of the basic elements of visual experience: light, gesture, edge, mass, texture, and space. Subjects will include the human head, the figure, still life, landscape and interior in a variety of wet and dry media. Participants will be encouraged to explore personally significant themes by maintaining a sketchbook of images from daily life. Images of notable artists will be studied in class and in a visit to a major museum. Students will regularly critique and discuss each other’s work in order to share experiences, identify successful elements in their drawings, and support each other's’ efforts.

Drawing 2

.5 credit
In this course, students learn to express the perceived world with greater skill and clarity as they develop the expressive elements of a personal style. Students are encouraged to explore new media and approaches and to develop their fundamental skills more fully. Students will also develop a portfolio on a single theme consisting of many extended studies and variations in approach. Prerequisite: Drawing I or permission of the instructor.

Fiber Arts 1

.5 credit
Through individual projects, students learn about a wide range of techniques as they create textiles and explore structure, function, color and design. The primary focus is weaving. Spinning, knitting, dyeing, sewing, and quilting will also be covered. A component of the class is collaborative dialogue among students about design choices and approaches. Students maintain a journal that includes a record of projects, skills learned, inspiration and reflections. A modest lab fee covers basic materials.

Fiber Arts 2

.5 credit
Students expand their knowledge of fiber arts through designing projects in their areas of interest. These can include weaving on four and eight-harness floor looms, exploring color through dyeing cellulose and animal fibers, papermaking, knitting by hand and machine, and clothing design and construction. Students maintain a journal that includes a record of projects, skills learned, inspiration and reflections. They will also research an area of interest and give a presentation to the class. A modest lab fee covers basic materials. Prerequisite for Fiber Arts II: Fiber Arts I and permission of the instructor.

Fiber Arts 3

.5 credit
Students expand their knowledge of fiber arts through designing projects in their areas of interest. These can include weaving on four and eight-harness floor looms, exploring color through dyeing cellulose and animal fibers, papermaking, knitting by hand and machine, and clothing design and construction. Students maintain a journal that includes a record of projects, skills learned, inspiration and reflections. They will also research an area of interest and give a presentation to the class. A modest lab fee covers basic materials. Prerequisite for Fiber Arts II: Fiber Arts I and permission of the instructor.

Guitar Basics

.5 credit
This class provides students with a comprehensive introduction: playing technique, basic chords and their structure, and voicing. The course gives students the opportunity to build practical playing skills and familiarity with music theory. This single trimester course is intended for students with little to no formal guitar training or experience.

History and Language of Art

.5 credit
The goal of this class is to give students bearings that will help them be able to look carefully at art. Through study of Western art from the late medieval period to the 20th century, students learn to see art clearly and relate what they see to its cultural context, with the aim of fostering a lifelong pleasure in looking at art. The class will study works in reproduction and in visits to major museums. Students will also study techniques and materials through hands-on experience of silverpoint drawing, fresco, and oil painting, including the manufacture of selected media from raw materials. Students will write critiques of paintings and will execute schematic copies of works of art to reveal their compositional elements. The course culminates in presentation of individual research projects. Meets senior humanities credit; does not fulfill the arts requirement.

Music Composition

.5 credit
This course explores the creation and notation of musical ideas for acoustic and electronic media. The course is designed to be a natural progression from the Music Theory II course and continues the process of learning to create and notate musical gestures and ideas. The course begins with melody writing in modes and scales and progresses into counterpoint, harmony and modern techniques. Students will notate their music both in manuscript and in the Sibelius notation program. The structure of the course will be flexible to suit the strengths and desires of the individual student, but will always include at least one composition for acoustic instruments and one for electronic media. Prerequisite: Music Theory I and II or equivalent with permission of the instructor.

Music History

.5 credit
Students in this course analyze the language and varying styles of music from antiquity until the late 20th Century, with a focus on the major eras of Western music composition: Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Post-Romantic/Modern. Students consider the features of representative composers and their artistic works through intensive study of cultural/societal, historical, and aesthetic contexts. Students explore the constant dialogue between composer and audience, the crucial role of the interpreter, and the historic role music possesses to both reflect and embrace its time as well as the potential music has to challenge its environs. Students reflect and deepen this understanding through extensive listening, individual research, and writing. Prerequisite: Music Theory II or demonstrate equivalent theoretical knowledge. This course is both writing- and research-intensive. Admission to this course is with the permission of the instructor.

Music Intensive

.5 credit
This course is designed for musicians who would benefit from a focused and individualized setting in which to develop their skills. The curriculum for the course will be developed by the student in collaboration with the course instructor, but is subject to approval by the private lesson instructor where appropriate. Students must establish and adhere to a weekly schedule of at least three hours per week of practice time (in addition to class time and private lessons). Three short performances (such as performance of a song in school assembly) and a longer final lecture/demonstration are required. Admission to the class is by permission of the instructor. Students enrolled in private music lessons receive priority.

Music Theory 1

.5 credit
Music Theory I is intended to take musicians with some basic knowledge of the mechanics of music (note reading, beginning familiarity with the keyboard or other pitched instrument) to a deeper understanding of the way music works. The course focuses on the written and aural comprehension of pitch and rhythm as well as phrase structure, melody, basic harmony, and four-part writing. The course includes technology-based work using Musition and Auralia software. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

Music Theory 2

.5 credit
In Music Theory II we delve into deeper topics of music writing and analysis: harmonic progressions, non-chord tones, melody writing, advanced harmonies, modulation, and musical form. Basic orchestration and modern compositional techniques are also introduced. Advanced aural and harmonic skills are reinforced through technology-based work using Musition and Auralia software. The course culminates in the complete harmonic and structural analysis of a major work for piano in sonata form. The course is open to students who have completed Music Theory I or the equivalent.

Painting 1

.5 credit
This course will focus on developing the expressive and structural elements of painting. Students come to understand and control color through the expressive application of acrylic, oil, and watercolor paint. Subjects include the figure, head, still life, landscape, and interior, as well as invented sources and images of personal significance to each student. The works of acknowledged masters and other relevant precedents are studied, both in reproduction and in a visit to a major museum collection. In frequent class discussions, students share experiences, identify successful elements of design, composition, materials and color, and provide mutual encouragement. Participants create a cohesive body of work related to a specific theme. Prerequisite: Drawing I.

Painting 2

.5 credit
This course, intended for students with a strong foundation in drawing and experience painting, allows them to pursue ideas of color and painted form with emphasis on the head, figure, and landscape. Fundamentals of painting are stressed and students are encouraged, through specific projects, to develop a “painterly vocabulary” of color, light, and form. Concepts of abstraction and representation are addressed as students increase their visual awareness and understanding in relation to their own painting. The course culminates in large-scale paintings and projects based on themes of personal interest to each painter. Participants articulate their ideas through frequent presentations, group discussions and critiques. Prerequisite: Drawing I, Painting I, or permission of the instructor.

Photography 1

.5 credit
Through shooting with traditional film cameras, and learning how to develop and print in a darkroom, students in our photography class learn the basic science of the photographic process and discover the power of the single black and white photographic image. Our class explores photography as a visual language and the use of design elements such as line, light, and motion to build strong compositions. Students delve into a variety of photographic genres throughout the class including portraiture, narratives, experimental and alternative darkroom techniques. Journals and critiques help students develop language and the ability to assess both their own work and that of others. Cameras are available for students to borrow and supplies are purchased through the school store.

Photography 2

.5 credit
Students in advanced level photography classes build upon the foundations learned in the Photography I through independently designed projects and focused portfolios. They have the opportunity to do in-depth exploration of a genre or learn new photographic techniques such as large format cameras,19th century processes, and digital photography. Students gain a deeper understanding of the power of image making and the development of the art form through research projects and presentations on photographers. Cameras are available for students to borrow and supplies are purchased through the school store. Prerequisite: Photography I or permission of the instructor.

Photography 3

.5 credit
Students in advanced level photography classes build upon the foundations learned in the Photography I through independently designed projects and focused portfolios. They have the opportunity to do in-depth exploration of a genre or learn new photographic techniques such as large format cameras,19th century processes, and digital photography. Students gain a deeper understanding of the power of image making and the development of the art form through research projects and presentations on photographers. Cameras are available for students to borrow and supplies are purchased through the school store. Prerequisite: Photography I or permission of the instructor.

Piano Basics

.5 credit
This piano-based class helps students build comfort, ability, and basic functionality at the keyboard. Students will learn proper hand/finger position and coordination, notation reading skills, and basic keyboard harmony. This single trimester course is intended for students with little to no formal piano training or experience.

Printmaking 1

.5 credit
In this course students focus on learning various printmaking techniques as well as developing their individual creative processes. Students will explore intaglio (etching, drypoint, and aquatint) and relief (linoleum cut and letterpress). Further emphasis in the class will be on the self-editing process, keeping an active sketchbook, studying the Elements and Principles of Design, looking at historic and contemporary printmakers, and developing an individual and expressive voice. Prerequisite: Drawing 1.

Printmaking 2

.5 credit
Students in advanced Printmaking classes explore techniques in intaglio and relief printmaking through sustained individual projects. Prerequisite for Printmaking II: Printmaking I.

Printmaking 3

.5 credit
Students in advanced Printmaking classes explore techniques in intaglio and relief printmaking through sustained individual projects. Prerequisite for Printmaking III: Printmaking I & II.

Sculpture 1

.5 credit
This course guides students in exploring the skills and techniques of sculpture using various materials and approaches. Students will learn the processes of modeling, carving, and welding using clay, wax, plaster, wood, stone, and metal. Drawings and three-dimensional models will be used to create designs for sculpture. Students will be expected to complete sculptures in various media. Understanding the history and integrity of the material is emphasized as students create their work. Realism, abstraction, and symbolism are explored as ways of translating ideas into sculptural form. Reading and written work, presentations, discussions, field trips, and critiques integrate the work of other sculptors with the students’ studio work. Prerequisite: none.

Sculpture 2

.5 credit
This course, intended for students with previous sculpting experience, allows them to delve into sculptural materials of their preference to create a cohesive series of sculptures or one or two larger single works. Students will be encouraged to experiment, but also to develop mastery of their chosen sculptural techniques. Students learn to articulate thoughts and goals for their own work through reading and written reflection, presentations, discussions, and critiques. The class will study the work of past and contemporary sculptors. Prerequisite: Sculpture I or permission of the instructor.

Sculpture 3

.5 credit
This course, intended for students with previous sculpting experience, allows them to delve into sculptural materials of their preference to create a cohesive series of sculptures or one or two larger single works. Students will be encouraged to experiment, but also to develop mastery of their chosen sculptural techniques. Students learn to articulate thoughts and goals for their own work through reading and written reflection, presentations, discussions, and critiques. The class will study the work of past and contemporary sculptors. Prerequisite: Sculpture I, II or permission of the instructor.

Studio Art Intensive: 2D

.5 credit
This course is designed to give highly motivated and independent students the opportunity to further develop their skills and interests in drawing, painting and multi-media visual art. In addition to independently designed projects students will be introduced to historical and contemporary art practices. These include graphite, ink, charcoal, and conté, oil, acrylic and watercolor, preparation of canvases, paper and wood for drawing and painting. Students will participate with visiting artists in our Currier Gallery and engage with the work by way of written responses. Weekly presentations on the work of artists will expose students to a wide range of concepts and techniques. A component of this class is the continuous communication and collaboration with others in the class, regardless of medium. At the end of the term, you will exhibit the work you have created in the Currier Center. This course will provide an opportunity for Seniors to focus on their work in drawing and painting in preparation for their college portfolios. Participation in the weekly evening figure drawing evening arts course is encouraged

Prerequisite: Drawing 1, Painting 1 and permission of the instructor.

Theater Elements

.5 credit
Act. Write. Direct. Students will acquire knowledge and fluency in all three of these aspects of theater. We will do improvisations, theater exercises, text and scene analysis; we will work together to bring the page to the stage. Students will broaden and deepen their vocabulary for watching and working in theater. In addition this class will help you develop your diction, increase your ability to memorize and speak in front of others.

Theater Intensive

.5 credit
This course is designed for advanced theater students interested in pursuing an aspect of theater. Students may choose to direct, perform, or write a play. The emphasis is determined by the student before enrollment and approved by the theater director. A presentation of the work is required at the end of the trimester. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

World Dance

.5 credit
This course will serve as an exploration of dance as an art form, by critically examining its influences from various parts of the world. World Dance is designed to provide students with an appreciation of dance by exploring various forms of world dance and cultures, associated with those forms. Students will engage in observing dance in live and video formats, performing selected styles of dance, critically reading and writing about dance, discussing dance as an art form, and exploring dance as a cultural reflection. Students will be able to articulate a synthesized understanding of culture, history, and physical movement trends that are common to each. Throughout the class students develop a terminology to discuss and critique, and each segment of the class culminates in a final creative project.