Fine Arts

Fine ArtsCourse Descriptions

The Notre Dame Chorus is structured to train the young singer as both a vocalist and a musician. Students perform standard choral literature in a variety of musical styles. Emphasis is placed on learning proper vocal technique including posture, breathing, tone production and diction.

The Chorus performs a minimum of two evening concerts per year, and they may participate in various festivals. In order for a student to perform in a concert, he/she must demonstrate the ability to match pitch, balance and blend, follow the conductor and use proper concert etiquette. Select students also sing at school masses.

The Notre Dame Band is structured to give each student a meaningful experience in music. Care is taken to explore a wealth of literature during their participation in the program while always striving for excellence in performance. It is our goal to give students the skill and knowledge to appreciate and enjoy music as a life-time avocation and to instill in them a desire to excel in all that they pursue.

Performance expectations for Band including two evening concerts per year, local, school, and community events. Each member is representing the school and must always display appropriate concert etiquette.

This course allows students to begin by exploring how dance communicates meaning and connects to health and well-being. They understand themselves as dancers through learning how to take a dance class, then move on to sound body mechanics and how they apply to essential dance elements and principles. These are the foundations of dance styles and techniques. Students apply these principles to exploring their expressive capabilities and communicating with others through the non-verbal medium of the dance art form. Throughout the course, students will learn the origins and history of dance, and explore and perform a range of dance styles including, but not limited to, classical ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary. They will participate in a daily dance warm-up, learn about the skeletal, muscular and cardiovascular systems and their response to dance movements. A range of dance practices that promote fitness, stress management, emotional wellness, and prevention and treatment of dance injuries will be introduced. Students of all experience levels are welcome to take this course.

Dance Repertory
Students must be evaluated for placement in this course. Students must be able to identify and perform basic dance steps in various dance styles and demonstrate the ability to retain and perform choreography. Dance forms covered in the year include ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and tap. We will be working on dance technique by focusing on balance, turns, jumps, core strength, and flexibility while developing an emotional expression for our performances in the Winter Arts Concert, Spring Arts Concert, and various community appearances. We will also learn proper audition technique, and how to create a dance reel and cut music. Students will be encouraged to develop choreography individually and in groups.

Music Appreciation
In this course students will listen to and identify major musical works from famous composers like Bach all the way up to famous 21st century performers such as Adele or Bruno Mars. Students will learn about famous pieces, songs, composers, and performers throughout music history and what made each song/musician so important in the landscape of music history. Specific units will include subjects like Beethoven, 1920s swing jazz, The Beatles, 80s rock, 90s pop, and other subjects of varying musical genres. In other words, the students will listen to and learn about as many different styles and genres of music as possible in a given school year.

Music Theory
Want to learn how to read and write music without having to play an instrument? Want to learn how clefs, key signatures, tempo, dynamics, chords, and many other concepts come together to create music? Ever wonder how to play the chords to your favorite pop song? Ever wanted to learn to write down your own music? Then sign up for this course and gain a stronger understanding of music. No prior musical experience is necessary. Anyone can learn music! "Ah, music! A magic beyond all we do here!" - Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Foundations 1: Level 1/Semester 1 (Fall)
This introductory studio course will help prepare students for further high school art experiences.The emphasis is placed on understanding the Elements of Art and Principles of Design as a basis for composition. Students will explore a variety of artists, art processes and materials such as drawing, painting, printmaking, collage and design. Willingness to get involved in the creative process is a more important requirement than the student’s talent or previous experience. All students are required to have a sketchbook for in-class assignments. No Prerequisite required

Foundations 2 - Level 1/Semester 2 (Spring)
This is also an introductory studio course. The students will continue to learn how to incorporate the Elements of Art and Principles of Design into their pieces. We will focus on famous artist’s works, art styles and movements. We will also be creating projects that are inspired by nature. Occasionally (weather permitting), students will produce their art outdoors, and use natural forms as inspiration. Again, the students involvement in the creative process is a more important requirement than the student’s talent or previous experience. All students are required to have a sketchbook for in-class assignments. PREREQUISITE: Foundation Art 1

Studio in Drawing and Painting: Level 2-Full Year
This studio course is designed for students who wish to continue to develop their drawing and painting skills. They will use different drawing materials, and utilize and experiment with a variety painting mediums. The students will also learn new techniques and how to apply interesting effects on their pieces. A large range of subject matter will be explored including, still life, landscape, portraiture, and non-objective. All students are required to have a sketchbook for in-class assignments.  PREREQUISITE : Foundation Art 1 and 2

Sculpture and 3D Explorations: Level 2 - Full Year
In this studio, students will learn how to sculpt and create three-dimensional objects. Students will explore the element of form using a variety of materials including paper, wire, clay, paper mache, wood, cardboard, aluminum and found objects. They will utilize their creativity and dexterity skills to generate pieces that are unique and carefully crafted. Students will also gain knowledge about various inspirational artists. All students are required to have a sketchbook for in-class assignments.  PREREQUISITE: Foundation Art 1 and 2

Art Portfolio: Level 2: Full Year Independent Study (Recommended Junior Year)
This course is designed for highly motivated students who want to continue their artistic efforts at a more advanced level and / or intend to further their art education after high school. Students will be given the opportunity to concentrate on a particular medium, art style, and/or subject matter. Information will be provided on art careers and schools. Students in this class are required to prepare a portfolio of their best work. All students are required to have a sketchbook for in-class assignments.  PREREQUISITE: Foundation Art 1 and 2 and Permission of Instructor