Spring Semester Arts Courses

Ceramics II

This course builds on skills learned and practiced in Ceramics I. Students in Ceramics II move on to more challenging techniques in hand-building, including coil pots and large-scale slab construction. Wheel work focuses on mastering form and throwing larger more complex vessels. An introduction and mastery of mold making and slip casting techniques will be discussed. Self-evaluation and weekly practice outside of class time are important parts of the learning process throughout the course. [Prerequisite: Ceramics I or departmental approval. 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.]

Film Style and Structure

This course is a film studies course which examines different genre 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 examine different types of films (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 II

This course provides an opportunity for experienced Glass students to explore the sculptural, conceptual, and functional aesthetics of glass as an artistic media. Students will gain a thorough knowledge of glass chemistry to understand how to manipulate copper, sulfur, and lead bearing glasses to produce color reactions. Advanced techniques for working in kiln formed glass such as; glass weaving, glass painting, creating imagery with frit and powder, creating texture, designing and applying decals, kiln carving, and mold making will be explored. Students in the course are required to experiment and develop new techniques to use to create a body of work. Contemporary artists Toots Zynski, Karl Harron, Martha Pfanschmidt, Richard Parrish, and Stacy Lynn Smith will be studied. [Prerequisite: Glass I. 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.]

Introduction to Video & Animation

This course is an introduction to the use of digital video and animation as a medium for visual communication and artistic expression. Students will learn to effectively use computers, mobile devices, camcorders, digital cameras, and various computer software programs as a way to create works that are thought provoking and expressive. 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 digital media and visual art. The material covered in this course will emphasize the development of each student's skill in making expressive visual statements and stories 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.]

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 I 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.]

Photo II: Color Photography

This course is a continuation of Photography I and will cover greater depths of shooting, editing and printing photographic images. Students will be introduced to new types of film and digital formats. They will explore more advanced techniques of both analog and digital photography dealing with lighting, advanced lenses, advanced camera functions and settings, as well as digital editing, management, and output. The primary objective for this course is for students to use photography as a means of visual expression and experimentation and to further push the expressive use of ideas, materials and processes. Students will use their knowledge of the fundamental principles of photography in order to demonstrate their skills by exploring various photographic styles and ideas. Students will demonstrate proficiency in proper film exposure, film developing, digital editing, digital file management, and digital output. Both content and technique is expected to be at its highest quality. Students will also gain both historical and contemporary knowledge of artist/photographers that specifically pertain to each lesson. [Prerequisite: Photo I: Intro to Black and White Photography. 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 II

This course offers a more comprehensive study into the various elements of technical theater production; including lighting, sound and scenic design. Continuing themes from the previous course, students will explore various production roles, develop management and production skills while creating and implementing original technical designs. Students will be expected to draw on knowledge from the previous course while mastering new concepts and skills. Students will be involved in all levels of production, from conceptualization and construction through operation and management. As an aspect of the course, students will serve as technical crew for many of Lake Forest Academy’s productions. [Prerequisite: Theater Technology I. Half credit.]

2-D Studio: Intro to Painting

This course will explore creating two dimensional works using water-based media from both observation as well as imagination. We will work with a variety of painting media including gouache, watercolor, acrylic and water-soluble oil paints as we seek to discover, refine and enhance our individual artistic styles. In addition, we will explore ways to create works using alternative painting methods with digital means. Emphasis will be placed on the development of solid compositions that engage the viewer with a balance of strong relationships and intimate details. We will investigate aspects of the history of painting in the Western world as we ask ourselves questions about the nature and power of the painted image. [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.]

Advanced Woodworking

This course is offered for students who have successfully completed Introduction to Woodworking. Student will investigate a variety of areas of study including, hand tools, complex joinery, Eastern woodworking techniques and more. During this course students will continue to build on their knowledge in project planning, selection and use of materials, including tools and machines to produce a finished product. Emphasis will be on safety and quality of workmanship. The students will do one required project and then they (with direction) will select the rest. (The instructor will decide if the student has the ability for any given project.) This class is about the world of work and each student will need to be in attendance and participate fully in all activities. [Half credit.]

Contact Us

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

powered by finalsite