Fall Semester Arts Courses

Ceramics I

This course introduces students to create and use the pottery wheel by sculpting clay by hand. Students will learn various techniques for adorning the surface of their clay objects using glazing and printmaking methods. Students will explore the historical significance of ceramics in various cultures as well as the aesthetic traditions of making functional pottery. Through this exploration students will become proficient in a number of skills that are used when working with clay including; throwing and trimming work on the pottery wheel, printmaking onto a glazed surface, sgraffito, slip trailing and slip casting techniques. [Half credit.]


This course is offered to students who have a desire to participate in an 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 Parents/Alumni Weekend, seasonal concerts, visiting artists, Service Day, LFA Gala and school assemblies. 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. [Half credit.]

Electronic Music I

This course introduces students to the power of electronic music in two ways: through the use and mastery of industry standard music production software (Ableton Live and iOS recording and editing apps, etc) and through study of the history and influence of all forms of electronic music (early classical experiments, jazz, blues, rock, hip hop, techno, dubstep, and beyond). Students will learn how to program beats, sequence parts, edit recorded and sampled sounds, splice and merge sections, and combine these skills to create your own original music. Students will also have access to over 300 tracks online for listening and discussion purposes – a collection of electronic and related pieces which forms the basis for our study. This class will challenge the notion of what music actually is, engage students in thought-provoking listening experiences, and help students to develop skills in producing, arranging, editing, and distributing their own electronic music. iPads are required; access to sophisticated production software will be provided in class. Some additional iOS apps will be needed. [Half credit.]

Introduction to Graphic Design

This course is an introduction to the use of digital tools and techniques as a medium for visual communication and expression. Students will learn to effectively use computers, scanners, digital cameras, and various computer software programs in order to produce digitally printed output. Throughout the semester the class will learn how these and other devices function in the real world and will utilize these tools to create their own graphic layouts and fine art. The material covered in this course will emphasize the development of each student's skill in making expressive visual statements utilizing computer technology. The pairing of digital and traditional techniques will also be an important aspect of this course and our exploration of the medium. [Half Credit.]

Film Style and Structure

This course is a film studies course which examines different genres of film. The class will include a history of modern narrative film as both an art and a business. Essays and discussion will be central to the course. The use of digital cameras and editing will be a principal tenet of the course. Students will experiment with different types of film (expressionistic, naturalistic, and post-modern). Films from different genres will include horror, science fiction, film noir, screwball comedy, and drama. Essays and critical reading will augment the course. [Half credit.]

Glass I

This course is an introduction to fused, kiln-formed, mosaic, and stained glass works of art. This course is recommended for students interested in examining the dynamic and complex characteristics of glass as a visual arts medium. Students will study the basic chemistry of glass materials and how glass can be manipulated using various tools and processes. Students will explore the historical significance of glass in various cultures as well as the aesthetic traditions of making both functional and sculptural glass works. Through this exploration students will become proficient in a number of skills that are used when working with glass including; glass cutting, polishing, printmaking, and mold-making techniques. Students with a strong interest in color theory are encouraged to take this course. [Half Credit.]

Guitar I

This course is an introduction to music through learning and playing the guitar. Students will learn the foundations of musical concepts such as note reading, rhythm, and basic harmony. These concepts will be applied through basic guitar technique. Simple songs and chords will be learned while working out of a proven method book, Jerry Snyder’s Guitar School, Book 1 (with CD). Class activities will range from group lecture and practice to individual and small group playing. Assignments will include individual playing tests, recorded ensembles, and a creative improvisation. Students will provide their own acoustic guitars (steel or nylon string) of at least novice quality (see instructor for recommendations.) A limited number of guitars will be made available to those who need to borrow them. [Half Credit.]

Laptop Orchestra

This course 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 will be scheduled throughout the academic year. [Prerequisite: Electronic Music 1 or departmental approval. Half credit.]

Mass Communications

In this course students examine various mass communications media strategies. Through critical reading and viewing, students will gain a better understanding of how media impacts our life. Different media examined will include advertising, television, film, radio, music, books, and the Internet. Analysis of these media through critical essays, projects, and class discussions will form the basis of the class grade. [Half credit.]


This course 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 various times throughout the year including Parents Weekend, seasonal concerts, Graduation, and Move-Up Day. Other performance opportunities include Alumni Weekend, the LFA Gala, and school assemblies. Additional performances may include but are not limited to off-campus concerts, adjudications, and an Orchestra trip on the even numbered years. [Half credit.]

Photography I: Intro to Black and White Photography

This course is designed to familiarize the photographer with the basic mechanics of using a 35mm film camera, understand basic shooting techniques, chemical film developing, print enlargement and chemical print developing. Students will concentrate on gaining complete editorial control over their photographic images and prepare them for presentation and critique. The class is structured so that each week, students build upon the previous weeks' topics and reach a point where they can develop their film, create contact sheets, and begin making prints in the darkroom without assistance. The goal then would be to concentrate solely on content and image quality. In addition to skill, each assignment will challenge the student to create meaningful work that requires thought and artistic vision. [Half credit.]

Public Speaking

This course teaches the methods and strategies of speaking in front of an audience and requires students to learn the principles by formulating specific purpose statements, analyzing and adapting to audiences, organizing ideas, topic selection, language, constructing outlines in preparation for delivering a speech in front of an audience. Working independently and with peer groups, students will be actively involved in every step of the process of public speaking preparation and execution. Assignments include formal speeches (to inform, to persuade, and to pay tribute), brief extemporaneous speeches, speech analyses, and evaluations. [Half credit.]


This course is recommended for students that want to gain a basic understanding of the concepts and materials used in creating three-dimensional artworks. Students will be introduced to a comprehensive range of sculpture techniques and will work with a variety of mediums including clay, glass, textiles, paper, plaster and metal. During the course of the semester students will become familiar with different art forms and practices used by various cultures throughout the world. [Half credit.]

Theater Technology I

This is an introductory course, investigating the technical aspects of designing and running a theatrical production. This course will introduce students to the basic principles of scenic design, sound design, lighting design as well as other aspects of technical theater. Students will learn to safely use many of the tools and equipment required to set the stage for a performance. Students will be involved in all aspects of production, from conceptualization and construction to operation and management. As an aspect of the course, students will be required to serve as technical crew for many of Lake Forest Academy’s productions. [Half Credit.]

2-D Studio: Introduction to Drawing

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. [Half credit.]

Introduction to Woodworking

This course is designed to expose students to the fundamental elements and skills of basic woodworking. Students will understand the safe, effective and efficient use of both hand and power tools while emphasizing craftsmanship, planning and finishing. As students progress, they will create various woodworking projects that reinforce and challenge skills while exploring areas of functional object making. [Half credit.]

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