Skip to main content

Music & Art Courses

Art Course Offerings

Multimedia Exploration

*Open to entry-level artists.* Students will experiment with textural themes and 2-D ideas. Students will construct works of art using paper, paint, printing, fabric, photos, and other textural elements. Emphasis will be placed on themes and abstraction. Students will be given instruction on the elements of art but then will be encouraged to discover their own unique style. Some sculpture elements will be included in this class.

Drawing

*Open to all levels.* This class will explore the basic elements of art and design. Line, shape, space, texture, and value will be the basis of all projects. Using primarily black and white colors, students will experiment with charcoal and pencil to create drawings from real life, photographs, and their own imagination.

Advanced Drawing

*Prerequisite: Portfolio or permission from the instructor.* Students in this class will venture into perspective, composition, realism, and abstraction using black and white and color.

Painting

*Open to all levels.* Painting is designed for the artist who wants to work two-dimensionally. This class will focus on creating works of art within the boundaries of color theory. Acrylic paint will be the dominant material on various surfaces. Art history will also be an important part of this class.

Advanced Painting

*Prerequisite: Painting or permission from the instructor.* Students will discuss and explore concepts of composition and value. Working from real life and photos, students will be enabled to take more risks, devote more time to their work, and think outside the box. Materials used will be oil, pastel, and acrylic. Art history will also be an important part of this class.

Printing

*Open to all levels.* This class will introduce students to basic printing techniques including block printing, reduction printing, Gelli printing, and silkscreen.

Digital Image Making

*Open to all levels.* Exchanging paint for pixels, digital image making explores the world of digital media. The foundation of this course is digital photography; students will begin the course learning camera controls and composition. Using Adobe Photoshop, Bridge, and InDesign, students will learn how to enhance, manipulate and make images come alive in the digital world. Students will understand the basics behind fonts and layering. They will have the opportunity to create stop motion videos, collage and photo essays. Along the way, they will learn about the contemporary photographers and graphic designers who will inspire their work. Most of the homework will involve the camera; a powerful tool for students to explore the world around them.

Ceramics

*Open to all levels.* Neat freaks need not apply; it is a dirty world. Ceramics is Northwood’s most hands-on, tactile art experience. Every project starts will a lump of clay. To create both functional and sculptural ceramics, students learn to pinch, coil, slab, carve, extrude, and throw on a wheel. Ceramics is a two-part process; projects are created, then bisque fired in an electric kiln. Students learn about all the painting and glazing techniques available to make their work burst with color in the final firing. The class will understand the roots of ceramics with a pit or barrel firing and study some contemporary potters and how they work today.

Raku

*Prerequisite: Ceramics or permission from the instructor.* Raku is an advanced ceramics course that explores the 16th century Japanese firing process and its contemporary counterparts. In Raku, pots are taken from the kiln molten hot and either allowed to air-cool or are placed in reduction barrels full of flammable materials meant to bring the shine out in specialized glazes, similar to processes in our ceramics course with less functional pottery and more fire. Pieces tend to be more sculptural, but are all created either by hand-building or throwing on the wheel. The class bisque fires and squirrels pieces away throughout the winter, then the course culminates with an all-day outdoor Raku firing in the spring to finish each piece.

Sculpture

*Open to all levels.* In sculpture, students explore art in three dimensions. Students will learn to create beyond the page using wood, clay, glass, plaster, wire, organic, and found objects. Sculpture is a hands-on course; students should be prepared to get dirty and make decisive, tactile decisions. Gaining the knowledge to use small hand tools for basic construction and adhesion, they will learn to carve, mold, build, and make sculptures through both additive and reduction techniques. Students will use contemporary and historical sculptors as inspiration for their projects.

Music Course Offerings

Band

For students with a basic working knowledge of an instrument. Band focuses on developing individual musical skill as well as working together as a performing group. The focus will be on how chord voicings, melodies, and dynamics work together to create interesting music, and how particular instruments work within songs. Exploration and listening will be emphasized. This course is designed for musicians who would like to take their playing to the next level in a band setting. Singers are welcome!

Advanced Band

*Prerequisite: previous instrumental or vocal instruction or competency.* Advanced Band focuses on developing individual musical skill as well as working together as a performing group. The focus will be on how chord voicings, melodies, and dynamics work together to create interesting music, and how particular instruments work within songs. Exploration, listening, song structure, and arrangement will be emphasized. This course is designed for experienced musicians who would like to take their playing to the next level in a band setting. Singers are welcome!

Guitar

*Open to all levels.* Guitar is for beginner musicians as an introduction to music. Students learn about chords, rhythm, and simple melody. Reading simple chord charts, and using online resources to play their favorite songs will be learned. The goal is to gain comfort and confidence with an instrument and to learn how to play songs they enjoy competently. The course is geared towards acoustic guitar, but electric guitar, bass, and ukulele are options.

Advanced Guitar

*Prerequisite: previous guitar instruction or competency.* This course explores guitar techniques as they apply to different musical genres: jazz, soul, funk, rock, pop, bluegrass, etc. As an advanced guitar class, it builds upon the foundations of music already learned and strives to help students advance in their musical abilities and familiarity with the fretboard. Sonic possibilities in the forms of effects and tunings will also be explored. We will explore how to best work with a full band, how to decide what to play in different contexts, and how to better listen and interact with other musicians. Students will play and practice as an ensemble and with the larger jazz band as well.

Music Recording

*Open to students at all experience levels.* This course will introduce students to recording using professional recording software called Digital Performer, a digital audio workstation and MIDI sequencer well suited for songwriters, live performance, film and video soundtracks, audio post-production, surround mixing, and other professional audio production tasks. The software will record, edit, arrange, mix, process, and master audio and MIDI tracks. We will begin with recording live sounds and instruments and then delve into pre-recorded music. We will also utilize the MIDI controller to recreate sounds and put new songs together.

Vocal Performance

This course is designed to improve each student’s singing voice and develop the ability to sing successfully in front of others. It will also focus on the basics of vocal technique and harmonizing in a group setting. Singers will perform both with instrumental accompaniment and without as well as individually and in groups. Students will also be involved in the arrangement of pieces to suit their individual talents.

Unique Academic Programs