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Visual & Performing Arts

Graduation Requirement:  Students must pass either one year or 10 credits in VPA courses for graduation or 10 credits in World Languages. 

​College Requirement:  Students must pass one year or 10 credits of  Visual or Performing Arts (VPA) class with  grades of "C" or higher.  
VPA courses receive credit in the F area for the University of California (UC)  and California State University (CSU)  systems.

Visual Arts:

P -Art 1
Prerequisites: None This introductory visual art course is designed to instruct students through the process of creative drawing and painting using a variety of materials. In addition, the course includes the principles and elements of design, art history, and art appreciation and promotes creative self-expression. 

P - Drawing and Painting
Prerequisites: C or better in Art 1 This is an advanced art course for those students who want to continue their art education through creative drawing and painting. It emphasizes portraits, seascapes, landscapes, still life, and animal drawings. Media used will include pencil, pen and ink, pastels, prismacolor pencils, water colors, acrylics, and oil.

P - Multimedia
This course is a computer arts course designed to develop student’s visual thinking, creative expression, and the awareness of the impact of media in our lives. The course will extend the student’s knowledge of the elements and principles of design and prepare them with entry-level skills in technology. Students integrate images, graphics, text, animation, and video in their artwork using media such as computers, digital cameras, and scanners, as well as applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and In-Design. The approach for the class is project-based learning; students will develop a portfolio. The course fulfills the Fine Arts high school graduation requirements and the UC A-G requirements.

P - Photography
Photography is a yearlong introductory course that focuses using digital cameras and basic image editing software. This course includes print production for making black-and-white and color photographs and studio techniques that include portrait lighting and still life photography. No prior photography experience is required. Students use digital photography for the production of a photographic portfolio. 

Performing Arts:

P - Drama 1
Prerequisites: None 

This is an introductory course which exposes the student to theatrical techniques of breathing, vocal projection, concentration and relaxation. Improvisation techniques, theatre games and scene study are a part of the course, as well as an introduction to musical theatre, singing and dancing for the stage. The audition process is explored, and by the end of the course, each student will have mastered 2 audition pieces. 

P - Drama 2-4
Prerequisites: "C" or better in previous Drama course This course builds on the skills of Drama 2 or 3, exploring acting techniques such as: Body and Movement with Alexander and Suzuki methods; acting styles such as Stella Adler, Meisner, Uta Hagen and Method acting. Two specialty units are rotated into the curriculum covering topics such as: Design, Acting-Directing-Writing for TV and Film, Body and Movement, Stage Combat, Shakespeare. Time is spent learning two accents each year and students are actively involved in all aspects of producing a holiday showcase and a one-act festival, murder mystery or spring showcase.

P - Tech Theatre
Prerequisites: None Technical Theatre is a course that introduces students to the basic elements of set building, light and sound design, costume design and stage management. This course is taken at the end of the school day (7th period) with actual hands-on learning taking place as students apply the in-class concepts to building and designing for the fall and spring main stage productions.

P - Guitar 1
Guitar 1 offers beginning instruction in basic chords, reading music, theory, and solo and rhythm techniques. Students learn how to play both the melody and accompaniment to songs.

P - Guitar 2 - 4
Guitar 2 - 4 offers intermediate instruction. Students learn movable chords, note reading, scales, theory, and finger style and pick style playing techniques. Students participate in solo and ensemble performances.  Students add improvisation, chord soloing, classical guitar, jazz styles and standards to their skills.  Students participate in solo and ensemble performances in and outside of class.

P - Guitar Ensemble
This elite course is focused on small- and large-ensemble guitar performance. Students regularly perform exciting and challenging repertoire for the school community and for the public. Daily practice outside of class is required. A guitar is provided for in-class study. This course is open to students by instructor approval (i.e. by audition). 

P - Choir 1
The Choir 1 courses are introductory courses designed to develop skills and techniques necessary for advancement to Choir 2. 

P - Choir 2-4
Choir 2 through Choir 4 courses afford students the opportunity to study a wide variety of musical styles, as well as the basic elements and techniques of singing. Required activities include concerts, festivals, solos, and ensembles. The following Choir 2–4 courses are available: 

Treble Choir (Choir 2–4) Prerequisites: Audition or teacher recommendation 
This class is only for intermediate students who have some experience in choir. 

Concert Choir (Choir 1–4) Prerequisites: Audition or teacher recommendation.

P - Advanced Band 1
In the Advanced Band 1 courses, students will study a wide variety of musical styles with an emphasis on developing technical proficiency on their instrument. Advanced Band 1 courses are designed to develop skills and techniques necessary for Level 2 through Level 4 courses. 

P - Advanced Band 2-4
The performance-based Advanced Band 2 through Advanced Band 4 courses are the most advanced instrumental music organizations in the school. Required band activities include concerts, festivals, spirit band, rallies, solos, athletic events, and ensembles.

Concert Band (Advanced Band 2–4) Prerequisites: Completed an instrumental class This class is for intermediate students who have some experience in band. Instruments include the following: flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, oboe, bassoon, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone horn, tuba, and percussion. 

Wind Ensemble (Advanced Band 2–4) Prerequisites: Audition or teacher recommendation only All students must be auditioned to be enrolled in this class. This course is for advanced students. Instruments include the following: flute, clarinet, bassoon, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone horn, tuba, and percussion.

P - Orchestra 2-4
In Orchestra 1 courses, students gain technical proficiency on their instruments and experience in string and full orchestras. Some outside activities are required. Orchestra 2 through Orchestra 4 courses are designed to create technical proficiency on the individual orchestra instruments and to give students experience in both the string orchestra and full orchestra. This is a performance class. Required activities will include concerts, festivals, solos, ensemble performances, and musicals. The following Orchestra 1–4 courses are available: String Orchestra (Orchestra 1–4) (UC, CSU) Prerequisites: Audition or teacher recommendation This class is for intermediate students who have some experience in orchestra. Instruments include the following: violin, cello, viola, and bass.

P - Music Appreciation
This is a non-performance based course. Open to all grades.  This class will explore the elements of music as they are used in a variety of musical styles - historical and contemporary. Students will develop an understanding of the nature and structure of music as well as its expressive qualities. The course includes tapes, C.D.'s, films, concerts, lectures and live performances by guest artists. Students will learn to value, understand and appreciate all types of music. ​