The Fine Arts Department encompasses art, photography, music, film and drama.

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  • Petaluma High
  • PHS
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  • Our department is unique in the fact that all instructors are specialists in their areas.

  • Visual & Performing Arts Course Descritions

    P-BEGINNING ACTING

    J001PY YEAR (9-10)

    This course covers the basic principles of acting technique, including looking at what motivates a character and how actors make characters come to life. Using improvisation exercises and games, students will learn to trust one another and to communicate with their bodies and voices. Students will learn how to analyze a role in a play, create a character, audition, and gain an understanding of how the theatre works. Technical elements of theatre are explored, such as sets, costumes, lights, sound, and make-up. Students with interest in these areas are encouraged to develop their skills and participate in the school's productions. This course meets the Visual Performing Arts requirement for graduation. This course meets the subject area - f requirement for the UC/CSU approved course list.

    P-DRAMA

    J100PY YEAR (10-11)

    This class is an introduction to the theatre and acting class combined. Students learn theater terminology, vocal and physical expression, and the traditions of the theater while performing in monologues, directed scenes with classmates, improvisations, and theater games. An important aspect of the class is the viewing and written analysis of both professional and amateur work and a written character analysis for each role undertaken. Beginning students work along with advanced students at levels appropriate to their individual experiences. This course meets the Visual Performing Arts requirement for graduation. This course meets the subject area - f requirement for the UC/CSU approved course list. 

    P-ADVANCED ACTING

    J003PY YEAR (11-12) Prerequisite: Drama

    While emphasis will be placed on performance, play reading, library research, written critiques, and sensory exercises creative projects will also be assigned. As part of their lab assignments all students are expected to be involved at some level in the school play productions and other performance events; on stage, back stage, off stage, ticket sales, house management, attendance, etc. Thus, participation outside of class time is required. Selection of participants is by instructor approval and is based upon will, productivity, leadership, attendance, citizenship, and scholastic ability. Self-direction and group cooperation is a must. This course meets the subject area - f requirement for the UC/CSU approved course list.

     

    P-SYMPHONIC / MARCHING BAND

    J301PY YEAR (9-12) Prerequisite: Audition or approval of instructor

    This intermediate instrumental performing ensemble is open to students by approval of the instructor or by audition. Students must have good command of their instrument and be able to read music of easy/medium difficulty. Students will learn intermediate musical techniques on their instruments including: some major, minor, and chromatic scales; rhythm exercises; and arpeggio exercises. Students will learn to sight read easy/medium level music while observing dynamics, key signatures, tempo markings, and articulations. In addition to the techniques of rehearsal and performance, the students will learn the theory and history of the music performed. Students are expected to perform at a wide variety of events, including school concerts, sporting events, parades, and regional competitions, and are expected to observe the proper performance etiquette appropriate for the occasion. All band members are expected to march and to learn the fundamentals of marching technique. Course may be repeated for additional credit. This course meets the Visual Performing Arts requirement for graduation.This course meets the subject area - f requirement for the UC/CSU approved course list. 

    P-WIND ENSEMBLE / MARCHING BAND

    J302PY YEAR (9-12) Prerequisite: Audition or approval of instructor

    This advanced instrumental performing ensemble is open to students by audition only. Students must have very good command of their instrument and be able to read music of medium-advanced difficulty. Students will learn advanced musical techniques on their instruments including: all major, minor, and chromatic scales; rhythm exercises; and arpeggio exercises. Students will learn to sightread medium-difficulty level music while observing dynamics, key signatures, tempo markings and articulations. In addition to the techniques of rehearsal and performance, the students will learn the theory and history of the music performed. Students are expected to perform at a wide variety of events, including school concerts, sporting events, parades, and regional competitions and are expected to observe the proper performance etiquette appropriate for the occasion. All band members are expected to march and can travel on the annual music performance trip (to locations such as Disneyland). Course may be repeated for additional credit. This course meets the Visual Performing Arts requirement for graduation. This course meets the subject area - f requirement for the UC/CSU approved course list. 

    P-JAZZ BAND I / JUNIOR VARSITY JAZZ ENSEMBLE 

    J311PY YEAR (9-12) Prerequisite: Audition or approval of instructor and 2 years of Symphonic Band or Wind Ensemble (may be taken concurrently)

    This class is a beginning jazz performance ensemble and is open by audition only to saxophone, trumpet, trombone, bass, guitar, piano and drum-set musicians. The students will learn how to read jazz charts, read complex rhythms, play in different jazz styles, improvise solos and improve their sight-reading skills. Students will learn the fundamentals of jazz including: melody, harmony, rhythm, scales, improvisational technique, and jazz history. Students will be able to perform Big Band charts and know the proper performance etiquette for jazz concerts. Students will be expected to perform at a few select concerts and can travel on the annual music performance trip (to locations such as Disneyland). Course may be repeated for additional credit. This course meets the Visual Performing Arts requirement for graduation.  This course meets the subject area - f requirement for the UC/CSU approved course list. 

    P-JAZZ BAND II /VARSITY JAZZ ENSEMBLE 

    J312PY YEAR (9-12) Prerequisite: Audition or approval of instructor, 3 years of Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, or JV Jazz (may be taken concurrently)

    This advanced jazz performance ensemble is open by audition only to saxophone, trumpet, trombone, bass guitar, piano, and drum-set musicians. The student will learn how to read jazz charts, read complex rhythms, play in different jazz styles, improvise solos, and improve their sight-reading skills. Students will learn the fundamentals of jazz including: melody, harmony, rhythm, scales, improvisational technique, and jazz history. Students will be able to perform Big Band charts and know the proper performance etiquette for jazz concerts. Students will be expected to perform at a variety of concerts, and can travel on the annual music performance trip (to locations such as Disneyland). This course may be repeated for additional credit. This course meets the Visual Performing Arts requirement for graduation. This course meets the subject area - f requirement for the UC/CSU approved course list. 

    P-CHAMBER CHOIR

    J340PY YEAR (9-12) Prerequisite: Audition and approval of instructor

    This is a performing choral group. Entry level and experienced students will be accepted. Demonstrating understanding of basic fundamentals of vocal production and of music will be stressed. The course will include multi- part ensemble singing, small group singing, and written and oral music theory. Rehearsal and performance skills along with ensemble awareness will also be important. Additional time will be required outside of class and for performances. Students can travel on the annual music performance trip. This class may be repeated for credit. This course meets the Visual Performing Arts requirement for graduation. This course meets the subject area - f requirement for the UC/CSU approved course list. 

    P-CONCERT CHOIR

    J305PY YEAR (9-12) Prerequisite: Approval of Instructor

    This is a performing choral group. Students of all experience levels will be accepted. Demonstrating understanding of basic fundamentals of vocal production and choral performance will be stressed. The course will include multi-part ensemble singing, principles of vocal technique, and written and aural music theory. Rehearsal and performance skills along with ensemble awareness will also be important. Additional time will be required for performances during and outside of the school day. Students may travel on the annual music performance trip. This class may be repeated for credit. This course meets the Visual and Performing Arts requirement for graduation.This course meets the subject area - f requirements for the UC/CSU approved course list. 

     

    P-ART I

    J010PY YEAR (9-12) Materials Donation: $25.00

    This course introduces the student to beginning drawing, painting and sculpture through the elements of art and principles of design. Through sketchbook assignments and projects students will be introduced to a variety of materials such as: graphite, color pencil, ink, watercolor and acrylic painting, clay and various other materials. Developing confidence, students will explore many different concepts, such as shading, perspective, color theory and art history and critiques. This class may NOT be repeated for credit. This course meets the Visual Performing Arts requirement for graduation. This course meets the subject area -f requirement for the UC/CSU approved course list. 

    P-ART 2

    J020PY YEAR (10-12) Prerequisite: Completion of Art 1 with a grade of C or better or by approval of instructor. Materials Donation: $30.00

    Students will build on their acquired skills in Art I with more complex projects in terms of technique and design. The elements of art will be restated but most of the focus will be on the principles of art. Students will better understand the major styles of art through practice and identification. More projects in other cultural arts will deepen their understanding of the visual language and its audience. Art 2 will have more time for discussion and evaluation. Concepts will be expanded on through figurative work and graphic design. Students will further develop This course meets the subject area - f requirement for the UC/CSU approved course list. This course meets the Visual Performing Arts requirement for graduation.

    P-AP ART 3    May not be offered every year

    J100AY YEAR (11-12) Prerequisite: Completion of Art 2 with a grade of C or better. Materials Donation: $40.00  

    Students will produce a variety of projects to show their technical and creative ability. Outside time will be required. Students must be motivated to follow through and meet deadlines. Homework is approximately 6-8 hours a week. All projects will be produced at the college level. The second semester is devoted to the student’s area of emphasis. Because the standard of quality and craftsmanship is high, this portfolio can be submitted to the College Board for review. Students can take this class 3 times for development of three distinctive portfolios. For the 2D Design Portfolio: Students will develop a portfolio addressing issues for two-dimensional design. Aesthetic organization of composition is the focus. For the Drawing Portfolio: Students will develop a portfolio with an emphasis on three-dimensional space and form on a two dimensional surface. The goal will be placed on rendering form with mark making skills practiced through observation. For the 3D Design/Sculpture Portfolio: Students will develop a portfolio of sculptures produced with various themes and materials. Composition of space, balance, structure, surface textures and more will be explored. This course meets the Visual Performing Arts requirement for graduation. This course meets the subject area - f requirement for the UC/CSU approved course list. 

    P-3D:MAKE

    J110PY YEAR (9-12) 

    Three-dimensional Design is a class at PHS where the   emphasis   is  on   innovation,  exploration,  tool-use,  and individual/group problem solving. This class combines   STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) , Design Thinking, as   well  as  the   Studio   Habits of Mind to develop the skills and   confidence   of    the    future designers of the 21st century. Using a huge variety of materials from wood, plaster, metal, clay, and    fiber,   students will    have    access    to    a   range  of  high  and  low  tech  equipment,  hand  tools and power tools. As students build, make, and develop they will learn about the true power of collaboration, community, complexity and about themselves. This course meets the Visual Performing Arts requirement for graduation. This course meets the subject area -f requirement for the UC/CSU approved course list.

     

    P-PHOTOGRAPHY

    J222PY YEAR (10-12) Prerequisite: Access to any 35mm camera, a camera may be available on a checkout basis Materials Donation: $40.00 (does not include film).

    This course will cover the fundamentals of black and white photography. Students will learn the operation of the camera, develop film and print photographs. Students will work on project-based assignments, through which they will learn to develop their artistic vision and explore a wide range of subjects. In addition, students will study the history (and future) of photography, as well as learn about careers in photography. This course incorporates reading and writing assignments and requires students to take their photographs after school and on weekends. Student work will be displayed on campus. This course meets the Visual Performing Arts requirement for graduation.  This course meets the subject area - f requirement for the UC/CSU approved course list. 

    P-ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHY

    J223PY YEAR (11-12) Prerequisite: Access to any 35mm Camera and successful completion of Photography. Materials Donation: $40.00 (does not include film).

    This course will continue, with more depth, the material covered in Photography. Students will explore large/medium format and alternative processes as well as digital imaging. Emphasis is on the creation of a portfolio in addition to exploring new formats. This course meets the Visual Performing Arts requirement for graduation. This course meets the subject area - f requirement for the UC/CSU approved course list. 

     

    P-FILM MAKING

    J900PY YEAR (10-12) Prerequisite: Approval of Instructor

    Students will learn artistic, persuasive, and storytelling techniques through film and will be required to write, direct, video, and edit a variety of projects. Projects could include: music video, commercial, public service announcement, animation, and short narrative. Students will learn about pre-production, production, and post production while participating in small group projects. Students will learn the language of film and film making while using moving images within a frame, both ambient and pre-produced sound and controlled lighting in an artistic manner. Students will study a variety of critically acclaimed American and foreign films, analyzing effective techniques and duplicating techniques in their projects. While not required, it is beneficial if students have access to a video camera and editing hardware and software. This course meets the Visual Performing Arts requirement for graduation.This course meets the subject area - f requirement for the UC/CSU approved course list.