The Arts

GROUP 6 – THE ARTS 4 CREDITS

Each student in the Utica Academy for International Studies will select an art focus that will progress throughout their four years, with an opportunity of dropping their art at the end of sophomore year to take an additional class from Groups 3, 4, or 5. As the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program Learner Profile requires students who are well balanced and culturally aware, the arts component of the curriculum is essential. Course emphasis is on creativity in the context of disciplined, practical research into the relevant genres. Students will have a choice of one of the following tracks for their duration of time at the Academy:

Instrumental Music
Vocal Music
Visual Arts
Theatre Arts

Course Descriptions:

BAND 9 – 9th grade (1 credit)
Students taking Band 9 (Concert Band) will find it to be a similar experience to their participation in junior high band. The focus of the freshman band is to meld the various musical backgrounds with which students enter UAIS and create a new sense of identity as an ensemble. After the completion of Concert Band, as sophomores, band students will join the upperclassmen in Symphonic Band (grades 10-12).  While on a daily basis many rehearsals will resemble a traditional band classroom, the primary contrast is found in the emphasis on frequent small group work. In keeping with the IB philosophy, students are encouraged to think independently and develop the ability to identify, analyze, and synthesize musical problems and concepts and share in the responsibility for their musical learning and growth.  UAIS is a member of MSBOA (Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association), and all band students are welcome and encouraged to participate in district Solo & Ensemble festival in January or February. Many of our students meeting the criteria go on to state Solo & Ensemble festival in March. Other opportunities such as honors band festivals may also be available. School-based performances include a winter concert in November or December, a spring concert in March, and graduation in June.  Because of the diverse nature of the IB program, our band repertoire includes traditional band compositions as well as jazz- and internationally-influenced works.

INSTRUMENTAL SOLO AND ENSEMBLE –10th-12th grades (1 credit)
Instrumental Solo & Ensemble (Symphonic Band) is a continuation of Concert Band.  Students will further develop their musical and leadership skills in a cooperative learning environment.  All Symphonic Band members are strongly encouraged to perform in an ensemble or as a soloist at MSBOA Solo & Ensemble festival.  The winter concert, spring concert, and graduation are the three required performances for Symphonic Band throughout the school year
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 VOCAL SOLO AND ENSEMBLE – (1 credit; 9-12 graders) 

All students are welcome in this course!  This is a course for students who have always wanted to learn to sing, as well as for those who have experience and want to continue developing their skills.  Students taking Mixed Chorus will delve into vocal technique, vocal performance, applicable music theory concepts, and the study of music history in the context of the chosen choral repertoire.  Students will learn how to care for and use their voices as musical instruments; learn to “speak” the language of music through study of terms, symbols, sight-singing, and choral repertoire; develop poise and confidence as they perform live concerts; learn to recognize and appreciate high-quality ensemble singing; perform a widely varied repertoire of music, including jazz, choral, pop, musical theater, multi-cultural/world music (in a variety of languages); reflect on the artistic value of the art of singing and its social/historical relevance. There are two required evening concerts per school year, and there are usually additional engagements as opportunities arise.  UAIS Mixed Chorus also participates in the MSVMA Vocal Festival in the spring.  There are also occasional opportunities for solo performing and piano accompanying for those interested.

 IB MUSIC HL/SL (1 & 2) – 11, 12 (2 credits)

Co-Requisite: Vocal or Instrumental Solo and Ensemble
The IB Music course will focus on the study of all major style periods of Western music and a survey of non-Western world music. This course is designed for both vocal and instrumental musicians to meet the requirements of the IB Diploma program. The purpose of this course is to promote curiosity in, and sensitivity to, the musical world which surrounds us.The study of music allows for exploration of the shared human perceptions and emotions which temper our lives. The aims of this music course will be to give students the opportunity to explore and enjoy the diversity of music throughout the world, encourage students to develop perceptual skills through a breadth of musical experiences, where they will learn to recognize, speculate, analyze, identify, discriminate and hypothesize in relation to music, enable students to develop creatively their knowledge, abilities and understanding through performance and composition, and assist students to develop their musical potential. Objectives are that candidates who have completed the course will be expected to demonstrate the use of appropriate musical language and terminology to describe and reflect their critical understanding of music, development of perceptual skills in response to music, and knowledge and understanding of music in relation to time and place.

 

ART FOUNDATIONS - 9th Grade (1 credit)
Through a variety of teaching approaches, all students are encouraged to develop their creative and critical abilities and to enhance their knowledge, appreciation and enjoyment of visual arts. The Art Foundations course will introduce fundamental concepts in art theory and design to enable students to achieve a novice to intermediate level of proficiency in visual art and design.  Students will be introduced to art concepts and techniques through practical work and reflective journaling.  The aim of Art Foundation is to prepare students with skills essential for success at Visual Arts HL and SL enabling students to meet a number of objectives outlined in the class syllabus.

2D & 3D STUDIO – 10th Grade (1 credit)

Prerequisite: Art Foundations
In 2D & 3D Studio, students will be introduced to art concepts and techniques through practical work in the studio. Students will: explore media, including the use of material and equipment, explore and develop artistic qualities in visual arts, study the relationships between form, meaning, and content in visual arts, study a variety of social and cultural functions of visual arts, and appreciate and evaluate their own work and the work of others. Students will build on skills learned in the Art Foundations course and further investigate past, present and emerging visual arts from a local, national and international perspective. Students will expand their personal creativity and further develop their reflective capacity as it relates to their skill in producing and evaluating artistic design and practice.


IB VISUAL ARTSHL/SL (1 & 2) – 11th-12th grade (2 credits)
Prerequisite: 2D/3D Design

The aims and assessment objectives are the same for visual arts students at both HL and SL. Through a variety of teaching approaches, all students are encouraged to develop their creative and critical abilities and to enhance their knowledge, appreciation and enjoyment of visual arts. Studio work involves practical exploration and artistic production. Investigation work involves independent contextual, visual and critical investigation and reflection, both visual and written. An integrated relationship between studio work and investigation work is essential throughout the course. Option A (HL and SL): Option A is designed for students who wish to concentrate on studio practice in visual arts. Students will produce investigation workbooks to support, inform, develop and refine studio work through sustained contextual, visual and critical investigation. At both HL and SL, the investigation workbooks are integral to studio practice and should reflect the student’s critical visual and written investigation.

 

AP ART HISTORY--11th and 12th Grades (1 credit)

The AP Art History course prepares students for the AP Art History exam.  The course covers art from the Paleolithic period through postmodernism and is designed to provide students with the same material covered in an introductory college course in art history.  Students gain knowledge or architecture, sculpture, painting, and other art forms within diverse historical and cultural contexts.  Students examine and critically analyze major forms of artistic expression from the past and present and from a variety of European and non-European cultures.  In this course, students engage in both visual and historical study about art and its contexts. Students develop an understanding of artworks in their context, considering issues of patronage, gender, politics, religion, and ethnicity.  Attention is given to the interpretation of a work of art based upon its intended use, audience, and the role of both the artist and work of art in a particular society.  Throughout the study of AP Art History, students examine how and why the work looks the way it does, what it means within its particular context, and how and why it has this meaning.

 

ADVANCED STUDIO ART --11th-12th Grades (1 credit)
Prerequisites: Art Foundation, 2D/3D Design or Portfolio Review

This class is for students who have a desire and motivation in pursuing personal individual art projects.  Students will utilize the techniques taught in the prerequisite courses.  Artists will further develop their creativity, style, and complexity of ideas through traditional and experimental works.  The advanced class will focus significantly on personal approaches to creating works of art.


THEATRE ARTS I – 9th grade (1 credit)
The focus of this course is on development of voice, movement, and imagination.  Students will use a range of theatre techniques and practice to understand character as an actor and/or audience member. Students will develop their understanding on practical approaches to production aspects that influence performing conventions.  Emphasis is placed on foundational approaches to performing and the social application of the various skills.  Students engage practically in creating and presenting performances.  This is strengthend through the development of acting as a means of self-expression.  Individual and ensemble-driven performance are both implemented regularly as the central focus of the class curriculum. Studied texts include Commedia dell'Arte: An Actor's Handbook, Lazzi: The Comic Routines of the Commedia dell'Arte, The Theatre and Its Double, The Moving Body, and Theatre of the Oppressed.

 THEATRE ARTS II – 10th grade (1 credit)

Prerequisite: Theatre Arts I
The focus of this course builds upon the foundation of Theatre Arts I, engaging students in more difficult and culturally-diverse theatrical studies and experiences.  Development of theoretical approaches to acting and the staging of theatre is introduced and examined.  Application of theoretical approaches to dealing with acting and production is implemented in the study of texts, performances, and practical exploration.  Awareness of cultural and historical impacts on the practice of theatre is explored and demonstrated.  Students learn to perfect their acting skills and apply their knowledge of theatre in various theatrical contexts across various styles, forms, eras, and cultures.  Reflective approaches on their own development within theatre is developed and strengthened.  Students demonstrate an ability to interpret types of performances analytically and imaginatively.  Studied texts include Commedia dell'Arte: An Actor's Handbook, Lazzi: The Comic Routines of the Commedia dell'Arte, The Theatre and Its Double, The Moving Body, and Theatre of the Oppressed.


IB THEATRE HL/SL (1 & 2) – 11th-12th grade (2 credits)
Prerequisties: Theatre Arts I and II

The theatre course emphasizes the importance of working individually and as a member of an ensemble. Students are encouraged to develop the organizational and technical skills needed to express themselves creatively in theatre. A further challenge for students following this course is for them to become aware of their own perspectives and biases and to learn to respect those of others. This requires a willingness to understand alternative views, to respect and appreciate cultural diversity, and to see the varied role that theatre plays in reflecting these. As a result, the theatre course can become a way for students to celebrate the international and intercultural dynamic that inspires and sustains some forms of contemporary theatre, while appreciating the specifically local origins that have always given rise to performance, and which, in many parts of the world, still do. At the core of the theatre course lies a concern with clarity of understanding, critical thinking, reflective analysis, effective involvement and imaginative synthesis—all of which should be achieved through practical engagement in theatre. Theatre students at both SL and HL are presented with a common core syllabus that encourages the development of certain skills, attributes and attitudes, as described in the “Objectives” section of this guide. Due to the nature of the theatre course, there may be no great difference in the complexity or artistic merit of the work produced by students at SL and HL.  Works studied include: The Servant of Two Masters and Other Italian Classics (Bentley), Waiting for Godot (Beckett), A Streetcar Named Desire (Williams), Doctor Fausus (Marlowe) and Death of a Salesman (Miller).