Art, Design and Technology

ADT 101: Grade 7 ADT

The primary objective of the 7th Grade Art course is to provide a rudimentary understanding of the various elements of art and to encourage students to harness a series of skills that will help them approach the subject from a more curious, open and critical perspective. Several core questions are introduced for deeper and long-term examination, such as the definition of art, where art is found, and the best approaches for analyzing and interpreting works of art. To ensure that these topics are tackled in manner suitable for the age group and the varying degrees of experience and exposure to art within a classroom, the subjects are tackled through collaborative discussions and draw inspiration from subject matter relevant to the students themselves, including film, music, games, pop culture, and others. Following the theoretical discussions, practical instruction takes the bulk of the remaining time so that students continue to develop their skills and craftsmanship, with constructive feedback provided throughout the process.

Course length: One semester

ADT 201: Grade 8 ADT

The 8th Grade Art course builds on the foundations established in 7th grade. The course begins with a refresher on the elements of art for students old and new, allowing them to reconnect with the basic concepts that facilitate the learning process moving forward. From there, the course launches into a higher range of skillsets. The first is a comprehensive introduction to 3D form, which is approached through observational drawings. This allows students to experiment with more advanced skills, while further developing their conceptual understanding of objects and how to translate them onto a 2D space. The course then moves into advanced drawing through water colors, which not only familiarizes students with a versatile and challenging coloring medium but also help them build deconstruction skills by exploring the layers of their work after completion. Once this skillset is mastered, the students become ready to explore more conceptual territories through more dynamic and individualized projects, usually conforming to a given theme. This helps students become more independent and premeditative thinkers, planning their work ahead of time, understanding the meaning of metaphorical vs. literary work, and learning how to create art pieces that speak to an audience. 

Course length: One semester

MUS 101: Grade 7 Music

Students explore the fundamentals of music through acts of creating, performing and responding. They build skills for reading music notation, performing on basic percussive music instruments and incorporating some basic elements of the string family. Students explore digital musicianship and learn to appreciate music by developing a deeper understanding of its elements.  

Course length: One semester

MUS 201: Grade 8 Music

Students explore the fundamentals of digital music-making through the acts of creating, performing, and responding. They learn about the present-day music industry and collaborate in class to create their own music and promote it to their peers and community. Students acquire the knowledge to discuss music and respond to it in a meaningful way, and they grow in their appreciation of its influence as an art form and an expressive outlet.

Course length: One semester

ADT 312: Art and Design

The course introduces students to the building blocks of visual language; the principles of composition and the elements of art and design. Emphasis is placed on improving technical skill, craftsmanship, creative problem-solving and critical thinking. Students explore a variety of mediums both traditional and digital.

ADT 313: Lens-Based Arts

This course is designed for those interested in studying introductory photography and film. Students learn how the elements of art and principles of design relate to photography and the fundamental technical tools of filmmaking. They apply these connections and techniques in the creation of conceptual lens-based projects that will enhance their creative-thinking skills. Students also explore the history of photography and film, learn about artists and artworks of inspiration, document their planning, and reflect on their creative process throughout the course.

ADT 314: 3D Arts

This course introduces students to 3-D design principles (e.g. form, structure, volume, visual balance, surface treatment, texture, composition, movement and scale) through different mediums, such as ceramics and sculpture. They are exposed to a variety of materials and techniques and tools with which to create three-dimensional forms. A visual vocabulary is developed through an understanding of the creative process, personal aesthetic and conceptual intent.

ADT 502: GOA Graphic Design

What makes a message persuasive and compelling? What helps audiences and viewers sort and make sense of information? This course explores the relationship between information and influence from a graphic design perspective. Using an integrated case study and design-based approach, this course aims to deepen students’ design, visual, and information literacies. Students are empowered to design and prototype communication projects about which they are passionate. Topics include: principles of design and visual communication, infographics, digital search skills, networks and social media, persuasion and storytelling with multimedia, and social activism on the internet. Student work includes individual and collaborative group projects, graphic design, content curation, some analytical and creative writing, peer review and critiques, and online presentations.

Course length: One semester

ADT 503: GOA Filmmaking

This course is for students interested in developing their skills as filmmakers and creative problem-solvers. It is also a forum for screening the work of their peers and providing constructive feedback for revisions and future projects, while helping them to develop critical thinking skills. The course works from a set of specific exercises based on self-directed research and builds to a series of short experimental films that challenge students on both a technical and creative level. Throughout, the course focuses on helping students express their personal outlooks and develop their unique styles as filmmakers. Students review and reference short films online and discuss how they might find inspiration and apply what they find to their own works.

Course length: One semester
Prerequisites: Students must have access to an HD video camera, tripod or other stabilizing equipment, and editing software such as iMovie, Premiere Pro, etc.

ADT 504: GOA Digital Photography

In an era where everyone has become a photographer obsessed with documenting most aspects of life, we swim in a sea of images, whether posted on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, or another digital medium. Yet what does taking a powerful and persuasive photo with a 35mm digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera require? Digital photography explores this question in a variety of ways, beginning with the technical aspects of using and taking advantage of a powerful camera then moving to a host of creative questions and opportunities. Technical topics such as aperture, shutter, white balance and resolution get ample coverage in the first half of the course, yet each is pursued with the goal of enabling students to leverage the possibilities that come with manual image capture. Once confident about technical basics, students apply their skills when pursuing creative questions such as how to understand and use light, how to consider composition, and how to take compelling portraits. Throughout the course, students tackle projects that enable sharing their local and diverse settings, ideally creating global perspectives through doing so. Additionally, students interact with each other often through critique sessions and collaborative exploration of the work of many noteworthy professional photographers, whose images serve to inspire and suggest the diverse ways that photography tells visual stories. 

Course length: One semester
Prerequisites: Students must have daily access to a DSLR camera

ADT 505: GOA Advocacy

This course is a GOA Learning Studio, which explores interdisciplinary topics through student-driven learning. Led by a teacher who designs the overall structure, this course asks students to craft their own projects based on their interests and develop strong relationships with classmates through frequent conversation and feedback. Students can expect to learn how to identify relevant local and/or global issues to explore deeply, how to craft their own plans for structuring and exploring the issue, how to test new ideas both in and out of class, and how to be an active part of a community of learners. Learning Studios demand a high level of organizational and interpersonal skills, curiosity, determination and flexibility. This skills-based course explores the creativity, effort and diversity of techniques required to change people’s minds and motivate them to act. Students learn how to craft persuasive arguments in a variety of formats (written, oral, and multimedia) by developing a campaign for change around an issue about which they care deeply. Units include persuasive writing, social media, public speaking and informational graphics. The culminating project is a multimedia presentation delivered and recorded before a live audience.

Course length: One semester

ADT 506: GOA Computer Science II: Game Design and Development

In this course, students design and develop games through hands-on practice. Comprising a series of “game jams,” the course asks students to solve problems and create content, developing the design and technical skills necessary to build their own games. The first month of the course is dedicated to understanding game design through game designer Jesse Schell’s “lenses”: different ways of looking at the same problem and answering questions that provide direction and refinement of a game’s theme and structure. During this time, students also learn how to use Unity, the professional game development tool they use throughout the class. They become familiar with the methodologies of constructing a game using such assets as graphics, sounds, and effects, and controlling events and behavior within the game using the C# programming language. Throughout the remainder of the course, students work in teams to brainstorm and develop new games in response to a theme or challenge. Students develop their skills in communication, project- and time- management, and creative problem-solving while focusing on different aspects of asset creation, design and coding. 

Course length: One semester
Prerequisites: Computer Science I: Computational Thinking or its equivalent

ADT 507: GOA Architecture

In this course, students build understanding and apply skills in aspects of site; structure, space and design. While gaining key insights into the roles of architectural analysis, materials, 3D design and spatial awareness, students develop proficiency in architectural visual communication. Students begin by learning the basic elements of architectural design to help analyze and understand architectural solutions. Then, through using digital and physical media use models to enhance visual communication, they study the role building materials play in architectural design, developing an understanding of the impact materials have on structural design and cultural traditions. Students interact with peers from around the globe, learning and sharing how changes in materials, technology, and construction techniques lead to the evolution of contemporary architecture style and visual culture. The course culminates with a final project in which each aspiring architect has the opportunity to work towards a personal presentation for the GOA Catalyst Conference. Through a variety of outcomes, students present an architectural intervention which they have proposed as a solution to an identified need, one emanating from or focused within their own community. Throughout the course students refer to the design process and use visual journaling techniques to track, reflect and evidence their burgeoning understanding of architecture, construction and engineering.

Course length: One semester

ADT 751: Advanced Studio Art: Drawing (AP)

Advanced Studio Art: Drawing is a rigorous but rewarding process, in which students work towards submitting a 24-piece portfolio in the drawing discipline for AP recognition. This course is designed for students who have advanced talent and interest in visual art and who are particularly interested in traditional media such as drawing and painting. The course is intended to encourage students to address a broad interpretation of drawing issues such as line quality, light and shade, rendering of form, composition, surface manipulation, the illusion of depth and mark making. Students are expected to exhibit their work in the annual art showcase.

Prerequisites: Art and Design or department consent

ADT 751: Advanced Studio Art: 2-D Design (AP)

Advanced Studio Art: 2-D design is a rigorous but rewarding process, in which students work towards submitting a 24-piece portfolio for AP recognition. This course is intended to address two-dimensional (2-D) design issues that involve purposeful creative decision-making. Students are expected to complete a portfolio that demonstrates their mastery of 2-D design elements and principles through any two-dimensional medium or process, such as digital imaging, photography, collage, fabric design, illustration and printmaking. Students are expected to exhibit their work in the annual art showcase.

Prerequisites: Art and Design, Lens-Based Arts or department consent

MUS 304: Instrument Lessons Year I, MUS 404: Instrument Lessons Year II, MUS 504: Instrument Lessons Year III, MUS 605R: Instrument Lessons Year IV

This course is offered to students who want to improve their playing through daily practice, weekly lessons and end-of-term performances. Students explore the most efficient ways to practice in order to achieve mastery-level playing. Building a repertoire portfolio helps them track their progress through the year. Students are encouraged to collaborate with other musicians. Students are eligible to sign up for this course if they have at least one year of experience on their instrument or are qualified to take Chamber Music. Based on one-on-one lessons, the course meets once a week for the entire year. Classes are coordinated with teachers based on mutual free periods and instrument.

Note: Offered for violin, viola, cello, bass, trumpet, trombone, French horn, piano
Prerequisites: Department consent

MUS 306: Arabic Music Ensemble

This course is ideal for students who have a passion for Arab music, it introduces students to traditional Arabic instruments; Kanoun, Oud, Tableh, Daff, and aims to develop the students’ playing skills, theoretical skills, solo instrumental playing and instrumental ensemble. The course’s main objective is to inspire the next generation to preserve the beautiful Arab music heritage.

Prerequisites: Department consent

MUS 307: Chamber Music

This course is designed for instrumentalists with previous playing experience. Students are arranged in smaller chamber groups according to their playing level. The chamber curriculum consists of weekly coaching sessions and individual sessions. Each group is assigned a faculty member. Emphasis is placed on group participation, rehearsal techniques, ensemble issues, intonation work and mastery of staple chamber repertoire.

Prerequisites: Department consent

MUS 308: Guitar

This course covers the basics of classical guitar playing and simple music theory concepts. By the end, students will be able to play on all six strings using both rest and free stroke techniques and strum simple chords; no previous knowledge is required.

MUS 309: Strings

This course is open to both beginners and to students who have had previous instrumental experience. Each student may choose to specialize in one of the offered stringed instruments. The class aims to allow students to acquire skills to play the string instrument of their choice. In addition, students explore the required levels of music theory, ear training, music appreciation and music history relating to their specialized level. This course may be repeated as many times as the student wishes.

MUS 601R: Evening Orchestra

Evening Orchestra is designed for instrumentalists with previous playing experience who aim to play in a larger ensemble. It focuses on developing individual playing skills in a group setting. Students learn the techniques of playing together, while focusing on listening skills and musical awareness. The course meets two evenings per week.

Prerequisites: Strings or department consent

MUS 602R: Guitar Orchestra

This course is designed to promote and develop musical performance skills for guitarists, we will cover wide range of music genres from classical to rock; Guitar strings or instrumental course is a prerequisite otherwise audition is required for students who have taken guitar classes elsewhere.    

Prerequisites: Guitar or department consent

MUS 604R: Choir (Glee Club)

This course aims to develop students’ singing skills. Students develop mastery of solfege, major and minor scales, and four-part harmonies, and they gain an understanding and appreciation of music from other cultures and the connections that music brings to people, places and time. The course is available during school hours and one evening per week. Enrolled students are expected to participate in the evening choir concert.

MUS 701: Advanced Music Theory (AP)

This course is recommended for students who want to build on their knowledge of music through the study of basic musicianship skills, notation skills, compositional skills, score analysis skills and performance skills. Students who take this course should have basic performance skills on voice or an instrument. The goal of this course is “to develop a student’s ability to recognize, understand, and describe the basic materials and processes of music that are heard or presented in a score.” Students develop these skills through aural training of listening to, performing, and writing music as well as written work such as score analysis and composition exercises. A successful student in this course will be able to “read, notate, write, sing, and listen to music” with an analytical ear and be able to describe structural, harmonic, and melodic functions of a piece. Students enrolled in Advanced Music Theory are expected to take the AP Music Theory Exam in May.

Prerequisites: Music Theory, String Ensemble/Chamber/Orchestra, or department consent

DAN 301: Introduction to Dance

This course places its primary emphasis on creativity. It introduces students to basic concepts of contemporary dance, while also encouraging each student to develop a unique, individualized movement vocabulary. Contemporary dance is a broad dance form that references many movement styles from around the world including ballet and martial arts. Through the study of technique and improvisation, students expand their physical range and expressive capabilities, and heighten spatial awareness. They also investigate concepts such as momentum, spiraling, breathing, alignment, musicality and timing. Students ultimately learn to apply the various aspects of dance to compose original, cohesive and exciting public presentations.

DAN 601: Advanced Dance Tutorial

In this course, experienced dance students further their studies in concepts of contemporary dance, while also continuing to develop a unique, individualized movement vocabulary. Heavily emphasizing creativity through composition projects, students explore solos and duos, incorporating various mediums from other art forms such as set design, costumes, music and literary texts. This class closely examined students’ own movement tendencies and worked to refine the physical mechanics and the thought processes behind each of those movements, regardless of their interest in a particular style.

Prerequisites: Introduction to Dance or permission of instructor

DAN 602R: Evening Dance Ensemble

This is an advanced level course for experienced dance students, with a focus on group performances. Students may repeat this course each term, and are encouraged to do so. The focus changes each term depending on student interest and guest artist availability. Concepts that may be examined include text and movement, animation and silent movies, dancing for the camera, guerrilla dancing, contact improvisation and sight-specific choreography. In the past, students from this class have performed under the direction of such acclaimed choreographers as Elizabeth Johnson, Young Seung Lee, Yuko Mitsuishi and Yoshiko Chuma. They have also performed alongside artists from the United States, Japan and Palestine in the Amman Contemporary Dance Festival, one of the premiere dance festivals in the region. 

Prerequisites: Department consent following an interview with the student

DAN 603R: Arabic Folklore: Dabkeh

This is a year-long course that meets in the evenings. It focuses on rehearsing and performing staged dabkeh performances created by a local choreographer. The course can be taken for credit or non-credit. Students who take it for credit explore the cultural history of dabkeh through reading, writing and studying videos, and are assessed on the accuracy of the movements that they have learned.

THE 301: Introduction to Theater

In this course, students develop fundamental performance skills, while expanding their perspective of what “performance” means, and their understanding of how the various arts such as dance, theater and music are connected. In daily warm-ups, games and exercises, students hone their capacity to observe, discover the place around them, and establish clear communication with others. Students learn to commit fully to what they are doing on stage and in the process lose any self-consciousness. Through experimentation with body and voice, reflection, composition and performance, students expand their toolkit as performers and deepen their understanding of how to create and appreciate performance. A prerequisite to further theater or dance courses at King’s, this course prepares students to thoughtfully engage with the performing arts, whether as performers, choreographers/directors, or audience members.

THE 402: Scene Study

In this course, students continue to develop their acting skills based on the “10 Doings,” the foundation they built in their first year of theater. Actors read, Harkness and workshop at least three plays from drastically different theatrical styles and eras. Scene study off and on stage focuses on how characters achieve power of all kinds through manipulation: how they decide what they want, influence others to get it, and ultimately achieve or cede power to one another. Students undergo regular actors studio-type critique from the others in the ensemble. The emphasis is on developing honest, truthful acting. As the culminating event of the class, actors perform an evening of selected scenes from three different works in the diverse dramatic styles of their choosing.

Prerequisites: Introductory Theater (formerly IPA), Theater I and Theater II.

THE 603R: Evening Improv

This course is intended for students who have a serious interest and/or experience with improvisation and acting. It is inspired by a combination of American improvisational comedy made popular in the 20th and 21st century and community story-telling techniques such as Playback Theater. The course incorporates methods from famous teachers such as Viola Spolin and Augusto Boal to grow in our improvisation, acting and community-building skills. It may also look at contemporary improv troupes such as Second City or the televised series “Whose Line is it Anyway?” for inspiration. This is a year-long course that meets once a week in the evening, with extra rehearsals scheduled as needed in preparation for performances. The course focuses on the widely accepted “rules of improv,” such as acceptance, collaboration, timing, patterns, and the freeing of the body, voice and thinking processes, leading ultimately to uninhibited thought and playfulness. Most classes focus on practical exercises, warm-ups and group games of various levels of length and difficulty. There are also some out-of-class reading and research assignments to supplement knowledge development. Improvisation can be taken multiple years, but will only result in the fulfillment of one arts credit.

Prerequisites: Participation in at least one theater course at King’s, or participation in a school play, and/or audition or interview (requires the teacher’s recommendation)

THE 701: Fall Musical/Play

The Fall Musical is a graded class that occupies an extended block in both the major and minor co-curricular slots and runs through the December performance. While no previous experience is necessary, this class demands breadth and depth of training in acting, singing and dance, as well as a variety of other skills ranging from academic to personal growth. Rehearsing for the musical requires students not only to dedicate body, mind and soul to three performing art forms, but also to examine the social and historical context of the play, to explore the psychology of the characters they develop, and to hone skills in script analysis, technical theater, rehearsal techniques, physical endurance, team work, and, most importantly, self-confidence. Acceptance into this class is by audition only. Starting in early August, students can access a Google site containing information about the upcoming musical and how to prepare for auditions held in the second week of September. Students must bring with them a contract which both they and their parents or advisors are required to sign about the commitment of time and energy their child or advisee will be making. There are three nights of performances in the second week of December. The show is free and all friends and family members are most welcome.

Note: Fall co-curricular

ENG 604: Seminar: Plays on the Page and Stage

This course invites critical readers, thoughtful writers, and experienced actors to hone their capacity for literary analysis, boost their acting skills and develop a director’s vision. In the first students read great plays from world theater reflecting literary, historical and psychological themes. They alternate Harkness-style discussion with actors’ studio-style scene study. Having established a common language to coach the most honest acting out of one another, acting partners critique scenes from each play. They use mini-research topics for short, colorful presentations that explore the concrete world of each play, and they carry out several integrated writing projects combining acting techniques and script analysis. Toward the end of the second semester, students pick one of the works they have read for performance in late April. Students drive all components of this spring production, allowing them to develop some basic skills in at least one aspect of technical theater, and to demonstrate their accumulated learning throughout the year. In the final weeks of class, actors each prepare a classical and contemporary audition monologue.