Yearlong, One Credit Arts Courses

Introduction to 2D Studio

In this course, we will work from the basis of observational drawing in order to develop and express our ideas visually. In addition, we will work with a variety of drawing materials as we explore the development of a composition, modeling forms with value, and working with marks and surfaces as we seek to discover, refine, and enhance our individual artistic styles. Moreover, this course is designed to promote experimental thinking and risk-taking. Drawing media might include graphite, charcoal, pastel, sharpie, pen & ink, and India ink. We will explore various techniques for rendering the illusion of objects in space including the use of simple shapes, ellipses, construction lines, perspective, negative space, and the manipulation of light and shadow. The emphasis is on the acquisition of skills and the recognition and development of personal style. [Yearlong, One credit.]

Acting 1

Acting I is an ensemble acting class that emphasis on performance. Each semester students will have an opportunity to perform on stage in a show. Emphasis in the class will be scene work, technical theater, theater history, directing, dramatically, and performance in a production. [Yearlong course, One credit.]

Advanced Acting

Advanced Acting is for students who have already taken Acting I or have previous acting experience. This course is designed to build upon the skills explored in Acting I. Students will deepen their ability to create and portray characters from a variety of periods and styles. The principles of voice, movement, character development, and script analysis will be explored in greater depth. Emphasis in the class will be scene work, technical theater, directing, dramatically, and performance of a production. [Yearlong course, One credit.]

Advanced Studio

Advanced Studio is a rigorous course which requires the production of an extensive portfolio. Through direct teacher instruction, individual and group critiques, and independent focused studio activity and research, students will acquire the conceptual, technical and critical abilities to execute their personal ideas and complete a portfolio which demonstrates mastery in concept, composition and execution. A major gallery exhibition will be presented in late spring featuring work completed during the year. Juniors and Seniors only. Open Cressey hours in addition to class periods are required as part of the expectation of this course. Prerequisite: Two or more consecutive Visual Arts courses and Permission of the Department. [Yearlong, One credit].

AP Art History

AP Art History offers a broad, global survey of the world’s various artistic traditions from antiquity to present day. The course familiarizes students with some of history’s most important achievements in the visual arts and architecture, as well as with larger patterns of artistic production and consumption that unfolded over time. Students also learn to recognize the ways in which art-making intersects with other cultural formations, such as religion, economies of exchange, and political ideologies among others, and in turn how these contexts can be used to construct historically grounded interpretations of art objects. Assessments consist principally of exams and papers that will reinforce student’s capacity for visual analysis and evidence-based observation and interpretation. Students electing to take the course should have enrolled in World History II, or be currently enrolled. Prior knowledge of art-making is a plus, but not required. [Yearlong, One credit.]

AP Music Theory

AP Music Theory is intended as a yearlong course which starts with fundamental rudiments of music reading, writing, and listening. Beginning with basic note identifications and music organization, students will progress through learning elements of harmony, rhythm, and musical structure. Second semester course content includes such topics as advanced harmony, analysis, composition, sight-singing, harmonic and melodic dictation, and form. Students enrolled are encouraged to take the Advanced Placement Exam in May. While musical study will focus on Classical and Romantic era music, jazz and popular styles will also be discussed. Students must have departmental approval to enroll in this class. [Yearlong, One credit.]


Choir is offered to students who have a desire to participate in a enjoyable and meaningful choral performance experience, singing a wide variety of challenging choral repertoire. Students are welcomed to the ensemble regardless of previous musical experience. The Choir’s main focus involves rehearsal for and involvement in major performances, including the LFA Gala, Spring Concert, Alumni Weekend, School Assemblies, Service Day and Visiting Artists performances, and other related music theory or history topics are also covered. Additional performances may include but are not limited to off-campus concerts, adjudication, and a Choir trip on the odd numbered years. [Yearlong, One credit.]


Directing is an in-depth study of theater directing and the collaborative process involved in producing a play, with a specialized focus on script analysis, thematic research, concept development, the principles of directing and collaboration. Students will choose a play and work with students in the Design Track to produce the student-directed One-Act Festival. This course will encourage students to think creatively, develop ingenuity, communicate effectively, and develop the leadership skills necessary to bring their vision to fruition. Prerequisites: Acting 1, Advanced Acting, performances in 2 theater productions, or instructor approval. [Yearlong, One credit.]

Laptop Orchestra

Laptop Orchestra serves to give students an outlet for collaborative exploration, improvisation, and organized performance of both the traditional dance-oriented and the experimental forms of electronic music. Heavy emphasis is placed on group composition and improvisation, while iOS fluency remains paramount to an individual musician’s success in the course. Students may expect to demonstrate the musical potential of various technologies, interpret notated pieces (for both solo and ensemble), collaborate with other musicians in composing new works for group performance, develop programming and sequencing skills using DAWs and Object-Oriented Programming tools, improvise within loosely structured pieces, and purposefully experiment with new musical forms. Laptop Orchestra musicians use both iPads/iOS apps and traditional desktop platforms such as Ableton Live, Reason, Massive, etc (only iPads and apps are required for the class). A series of evening and all-school meeting performances (some in collaboration with the acoustic orchestra and COAX) will be scheduled throughout the academic year. Prerequisites: Electronic Music 1 or Interview with Laptop Orchestra Director [Yearlong, One credit..]


Orchestra is offered to students who have an instrumental performance background and a desire to perform great instrumental works together. Orchestra members must have at least a basic level of independent musical ability on their instruments, as well as experience playing in other large ensembles. Students will prepare music for performances while gaining musical skills from scale playing, basic music theory, and rhythm reading. While there is no set requirement for individual practice, students are expected to maintain a satisfactory level of performance on all assigned music. Orchestra performs at Parents Weekend, Winter Concert, Graduation/Move-Up Day, and a Spring Concert. Additional performances may include but are not limited to off-campus concerts, adjudications, and an Orchestra trip on the even numbered years. Prerequisites: Previous playing experience in a school orchestra/band or private lessons on the student’s main instrument. [Yearlong, One credit.]

Introduction to Digital Media and Photography

Introduction to Digital Media and Photography
This course is an introduction to the overarching concepts and ideas of both film and digital photography. Students will be introduced to a wide variety of tools and techniques surrounding photography and digital media including 35mm film cameras, film scanners, mobile devices and apps, digital SLR cameras, darkroom development and digital darkroom. Ultimately, students will spend much of the time in the “making” phase and the class will focus on experimentation and understanding of basic concepts with these mediums. The goal would be for students to get to a point where they can utilize the concepts and techniques in order to create more thought-provoking art pieces that express an idea and are visually appealing. [Yearlong, One Credit]

Piano 1

Piano 1 is an introduction to piano playing and music concepts through a group learning format. Students work together to learn beginning musical skills such as note reading and rhythm, and apply them in their piano efforts. Class activities will range from discussions to group playing to individual learning. Regular assignments and playing assessments will be given, and individual practice outside of class time is stressed to help develop playing ability. This class is intended for pianists at the beginning level. More advanced pianists should speak with the Director of Music about individual lessons. (Yearlong course, One credit)

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1500 West Kennedy Road
Lake Forest, IL 60045
(847) 615-3210

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