Two semesters required

[Unless otherwise noted, all academic courses in this department meet both CSU and UC entrance requirements]

College Prep Classes

Visual Arts

#6036  INTRODUCTION TO VISUAL EXPRESSION    
10 credits - Grade(s) All  
Prerequisite: None
Fee: $100

No prior experience is needed – all skill levels are welcome! Activities and projects are specifically designed to introduce the student to the elements and principles of design. Techniques covered include: use of line and value, light and shadow, shape and space, use of perspective (1 point and 2 point), composition, and portraiture. Students will explore a variety of mediums (pencil, charcoal, oil pastel, watercolor, acrylic paint, collage). There will be fieldtrips to local galleries and museums, as well as participate in whole class discussion, and preparation of a portfolio. Students will develop their own artistic style and voice over the year. This is a year-long course.

#6025 INTRODUCTION TO PHOTOGRAPHY    
10 credits - Grade(s) All 
Prerequisite: none 
Fee: $100

This course inspires the students to learn the process of traditional black and white film photography as a means of visual expression.  During the first semester, students develop an eye for strong craftsmanship and compositional skills, basic principles of 35 mm camera use, time-honored darkroom techniques, and an appreciation of the history and development of photography as a fine art form.  During the second semester, students build upon their first semester knowledge to refine and expand their newly acquired skills and develop their artistic voice with projects that equally challenge their critical thinking and creativity.  They will be given the opportunity to showcase their work in a number of shows/contests and Notre Dame publications.  Students will shoot primarily outside of class time, though we will go on local photo shoot field trips, visit MLK Library’s  Special Collections, and visit local art galleries.  This is a year-long course.

*A 35mm manual single lens reflex film camera is a plus for the student. Loaners may be available for student use.

#6045 INTRODUCTION TO CERAMICS       
10 credits - Grade(s) All
Prerequisite: None
Fee: $100

This course is an introduction to the nature of clay, including the three basic hand-building techniques: pinch, coil and slab; and wheel thrown methods.  Various glaze, surface enrichment techniques, and firing processes are studied.  The course provides students with an opportunity to create decorative, functional and sculptural ceramic ware. Lectures and projects of ceramic forms from both ancient and contemporary cultures are studied to enrich the students’ knowledge of ceramics. There will be field trips to local galleries, museums and ceramic studios. This is a year-long course.

#6041 ADVANCED CERAMICS ~ CERAMICS II  
5 credits - Grade(s) 10, 11, 12 
Prerequisite: Introduction to Ceramics   
Fee: $50

Continue to expand your ceramics knowledge--explore scale, function, form, and surface design. This semester-long class will further explore utilizing ceramics as a vehicle for personal expression expanding the student’s conceptual development, techniques, and materials knowledge. Focused upon ceramic sculpture, students will investigate advanced handbuilding strategies as well as pottery wheel techniques. Handbuilding techniques will include learning how to use leather-hard slabs of clay to build modular forms that will articulate the student’s visual narrative. Pottery wheel techniques will introduce the wheel as a sculptural tool to throw multiple forms that will then be reassembled into functional ware. A variety of surface decorations will be covered including: underglaze image transfer, inlay, water etching, sgraffito, and slip trailing. Throughout the semester, students will study contemporary ceramics artists as well as ceramics art history to inform and connect this research to their own artmaking practice.  Students will be expected to record their research in their ceramics journal, write reflective essays, participate in class discussions, collaborate with peers, and observe proper ceramics studio etiquette.

#6010 ADVANCED CERAMICS ~ WHEEL THROWING
5 credits - Grade(s) 10, 11, 12
Prerequisites: Introduction to Ceramics
Fee: $50

From ancient techniques to contemporary practices, students will delve into the world of the potter’s wheel in this semester-long course. Through guided research, students will build upon their prior ceramics knowledge by using the pottery wheel as a tool to articulate their visual voice as well as expand their artist portfolio to include advanced level works that demonstrate mastery of technical skill and personal aesthetic.  Students will learn to throw complex wheel-thrown form such as a set of matching teacups, vases, lidded jars, and teapots. A variety of surface design techniques will be covered including: underglaze image transfer, inlay, water etching, wax resist, sgraffito, and slip trailing. Students will also have the ability to explore different clay bodies and continuing to enrich the surface by layering mid-fire glazes. Throughout the semester, students will study contemporary ceramics artists as well as ceramics art history to inform and connect this research to their own artmaking practice. Students will be expected to record their research in their ceramics journal, write reflective essays, participate in class discussions, collaborate with peers, and observe proper ceramics studio etiquette.

#6030 ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHY ~ DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
5 credits - Grade(s) 10, 11, 12   
Prerequisite: Introduction to Photography
Fee: $50

This is an exciting semester-long course that looks to continue to explore students’ creativity and curiosity, while learning digitally advanced photographic techniques applying Photoshop CC. With these new techniques and skills, students can further develop new concepts, narratives, and perspectives unavailable to them in traditional black & white photography. Final projects will be reproduced in large and small format high-quality inkjet prints.  Students will develop a body of work, some of which will be entered into local shows/contests or could be applied to portfolio building. We will learn and practice proper art studio etiquette, which is necessary in order to help us reach our potential and build a strong creative community. At times you will be required to read handouts, use a journal to record your shots, write reflective essays, participate in group critiques, collaborate with peers, and complete final projects as a way to showcase your growth.

*Students will need to provide their own digital camera, with a minimum resolution requirement of 5 Megapixels.  A DSLR digital camera is not required, but a camera with manual separate shutter and aperture is a plus.

#6050 MIXED MEDIA 
5 credits - Grade(s) 10, 11, 12   
Prerequisite: None
Fee: $50   Does not meet CSU/UC requirement   

This semester course explores the theory and practice of combining painting and drawing with other artistic elements to provide students with a deep understanding of traditional and contemporary art forms. Students will also experiment with unconventional materials and techniques to create abstract sculptural works to enhance their level of critical thought and creativity. Projects may incorporate unusual surfaces, found objects, multiple medias, fragments of other artwork, or text.  This course introduces the student to critical discourse regarding the student’s artwork, art history and aesthetics.  Students may be expected to spend time outside of class gathering images and found materials to be used in their artwork.  Fieldtrips to local galleries and museums will provide inspiration for students’ own works as well as in-class discussions.

#2155 INTRODUCTION TO GRAPHIC DESIGN 
10 credits - Grade(s) All      
Prerequisite: None
Fee: $100

Believe it or not, design has a major influence on our daily lives - whether it is found on the box of your morning cereal, the logo on your favorite T-shirt, or the movie poster advertising the latest feature film, this imagery plays a leading role in our consumer society.  In the simplest terms, Graphic Design is the relationship shared between image, text, and symbols, though as we will learn, there is far more to it in today’s society. It has dramatically changed how we communicate in the modern age. In a safe and positive learning environment, students will also become knowledgeable in basic design and art elements, while developing their own opinions, critical thought, observations, and expressive creative style. This year-long course will use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop software, and often paired with traditional artistic practices such as drawing, painting and printmaking. Fieldtrips to local galleries and museums will provide inspiration for classroom discussion, as well as for students’ own works of art.

#2160 Advanced Graphic Design
5 credits - 10,11,12      
Prerequisite: Introduction to Graphic Design
Fee: $50

This one semester course is designed for students who look to gain a deeper experiential understanding and appreciation into the ever expanding language of Graphic Design. This class will explore all sub-types of Design: static (print), Motion (animation), and Interaction (Web) by introducing professional-grade programs such as Adobe After Effects, Dreamweaver, InDesign, and AutoDesk Sketchbook Pro. Projects will allow students to explore personal design interests/influences, as well as focus on small group creative collaborations. Students will also be given the opportunity to develop a diverse digital portfolio.

#6060 Visual Storytelling / Graphic Storytelling
5 credits - Grade(s) All
Prerequisite: Introduction to Visual Arts (basic visual art experience)
Fee: $50

This one semester course is designed for students interested in exploring the genre of creative visual storytelling, which is the marriage between the written word and drawn visual images with the goal to convey a specific story with an audience in mind. This semester will provide students an opportunity to develop a short story script, learn to translate it into a sequence of panels (applying art elements, design techniques, and composition for maximum emotional impact) using traditional drawing techniques, and then completing it by inking/coloring their work using state-of-the-art digital art programs & equipment. Students will find inspiration while also gaining a deeper appreciation for visual storytelling through exposure to the works of leading graphic novelist working in the field today.

#6210 ADVANCED PEN & PAINT
5 credits - Grade(s) 10, 11, 12 
Prerequisite: Introduction to Visual Expression 
Fee: $50

This semester course encourages the serious visual art student to refine and expand techniques in painting and drawing, and focuses on portfolio development. Topics include complex still life and observational studies, acrylic painting, screenprinting, exploration of 2D media and techniques to further develop the student artist’s skill, style and artistic voice. Each project will encourage critical thinking, problem solving, and aesthetic discussion. In addition, projects will focus on building strong compositional skills as well as development of original concepts.  Fieldtrips to local galleries and guest speakers will provide inspiration for the student’s own artmaking as well as in-class discussions.

#2082 INTRODUCTION TO DESIGN AND CREATIVE THINKING  
5 credits - Grade(s) 11, 12 
Prerequisite: None
Fee: $50             Does not meet CSU/UC requirement

This semester elective course is designed to support the development of the student’s conceptual design and creative thinking skills. The course will appeal to those students who are particularly interested in design, creative arts, engineering, science, interior or architectural design.  Course content will be structured around 4 major design projects that will utilize hand drawing, sketching and physical models which will emphasize 3 dimensional thinking and conceptual design theory.

#6215 SPECIAL PROJECTS / DIRECTED RESEARCH   
5 credits - Grade(s) 12   
Prerequisite: Advisors approval, Department Chairperson approval, discussion with the Vice Principal, Academic Affairs
Does not meet CSU/UC requirement

This course of independent study is for the self-motivated art student who has completed the Art Department’s course offerings in her chosen media. The focus may be either pictorial or spatial in nature [photography, painting, drawing, ceramics, mixed media, etc.]. Student must design a semester’s course of study for themselves, outline a written project, and procure a project advisor. The advisor must approve the course of study and the final project in advance. This course allows time for the serious student to pursue art in depth and for academic credit.

  • Students may complete an Art Special Project only if they have successfully completed all of the available courses.
  • Students who wish to complete an Art Special Project must first identify an advisor, provide a written description of the project, and submit the advisor-signed proposal to the department chairperson and the Vice Principal, Academic Affairs for approval.
  • If the advisor is no longer available to oversee a project when school begins the following year, the student must identify another advisor.
  • No projects should begin without prior approval.
  • All projects must be approved by May 1st of 11th grade.

Performing Arts - Theater

NOTE: Students wishing to meet the VAPA graduation requirement through Dance or Drama must take both semester courses.

#6413 DRAMA 1A: EVOLUTION OF PERFORMANCE
5 credits - Grade(s) All
Prerequisite: None

This course is an interactive exploration of the history of dramatic art. Students will explore the different genres of theater to discover the elements that make theater so adaptable and so enduring through reading, writing, designing, and acting. This overview of various theater traditions will help students to gain respect for the art and craft of theater and performance. Critical analysis and discussion-based classes help students deconstruct their perception of what theater is and reconstruct that perception with an understanding of how they can be active participants in a theater experience.

#6415 DRAMA 1B: FROM PAGE TO STAGE
5 credits - Grade(s) All
Prerequisite: Drama 1A: Evolution of Performance
 

By learning new skills in script analysis, students will explore all the aspects of the process of making a script come to life. As a design team, students will search for clues that help them design sets, costumes, lights, sounds, and props. As actors, students will learn how to evaluate character objectives and tactics and make strong acting choices. As technicians, students will build set elements, costumes, and properties for their production. As critics, students will draw conclusions about the effectiveness of productions on the basis of intent, structure, and quality of work. This course gives an inside look at theater production, from the first rehearsal to opening night.

#6426 ADVANCED ACTING
5 credits - Grade(s) 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: Drama 1A and Drama 1B or three department productions
CSU/UC approval pending

 

An exciting plunge into the world of acting. As students focus on language, mood, and use of space in performance and make acting choices based on script analysis, character research, reflection, and revision, they will perform in specific styles including the mime, commedia, absurdism, Shakespeare, realism, and naturalism.Students will meet and work with professional actors, and will end the class with an improved ability to bring a piece of text to life. 

#6428 ADVANCED THEATRICAL DESIGN
5 credits - Grade(s) 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: Drama 1B , Intro to Graphic Design, Intro to Visual Art, or three department productions
CSU/UC approval pending

This one semester class is designed for students who are interested in learning the process of theatrical design. Students will undergo the design process, which is the process by which a blank text is given a set, costumes, and lights. Students will practice taking ideas through iterations, collaborating with fellow designers, and will ultimately create a design portfolio. 

#2099 FILMMAKING
5 credits - Grade(s) All
Prerequisite: None
Does not meet CSU/UC requirement

This one semester elective course is a hands-on introduction to filmmaking.  Students will learn basics of screenwriting, storyboarding skills, camera shot techniques, editing in Adobe Premiere, and audio and video conversions. This course includes gathering digital footage, editing footage on a computer, production techniques and airing multimedia projects. It culminates with a final short film project and class-wide film festival event.

#6313 DRAMATIC PERFORMANCE
2.5 credits - Grade(s) All
Prerequisite: Audition Fall Semester Only
Does not meet CSU/UC requirement

This performance-based class exposes students to all the aspects of producing a dramatic play. It encourages students to participate at all levels of performance. During the course of the rehearsal schedule, students will learn the basic terminology of dramatic theater, how to operate within a strict rehearsal regimen and how to apply themselves to learning dialogue. The students will be required to participate in the fall play at the end of the rehearsal schedule.

#6311 MUSICAL THEATER PERFORMANCE
2.5 credits - Grade(s) All
Prerequisite: Audition - SPRING SEMESTER ONLY
Does not meet CSU/UC requirement

This performance-based class exposes students to all the aspects of producing a musical play. It encourages students to participate at all levels of performance, including drama, dance and vocal. During the course of the rehearsal schedule, students will learn the basic terminology of musical theater, how to operate within a strict rehearsal regimen and how to apply themselves to learning dialogue, songs and dances. The students will be required to participate in the spring musical at the end of the rehearsal schedule.

#6312 TECHNICAL THEATER
2.5 credits - Grade(s) All   
Prerequisite: None
Does not meet CSU/UC requirement  

This class is designed to include technical training for interested students within the context of crewing a live theatrical performance.  Students will focus on the technical aspects of theater including lights, sound and stage crew with the course culminating in class members “crewing” a live production which will be presented before an audience.  Students will also assist in the design, building and painting of sets used in the show.  This class is offered in the fall and spring.

#6316 THEATRICAL DESIGN
1.0 credits - Grade(s) All 
Prerequisite: None
Does not meet CSU/UC requirement      

This class is designed to include design work training for interested students within the context of designing for  a live theatrical performance. Students will read, re-read, and discuss the script with regards to designing for the director’s concept. Preliminary drawings will be reviewed and revised and students will create full desgins and models for the lights, sounds, properties, and costumes of a show.  This class is offered in the fall and spring.
 

#6317 THEATRICAL LEADERSHIP
1.0 credits - Grade(s) All 
Prerequisite: None
Does not meet CSU/UC requirement      

This class is designed to include technical training for interested students within the context of crewing a live theatrical performance.  Students will focus on the management aspects of theatre, including creating calendars, managing budgets, and delegating tasks. Students take on roles of stage managers, production managers, directors, choreographers, etc. and direct and instruct fellow students to create a piece of theatre.  This class is offered in the fall and spring.

Performing Arts - Music
 

#6430 INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN MUSICAL CULTURE 
5 credits - Grade(s) all
Prerequisite: None

This beginning course exposes students to a variety of American cultural musical styles and explores the relationship between culture and music. Students review and learn the basics of music theory and build their abilities in musical adaptation and improvisation. As they develop an understanding of musical quality, students engage in evaluative projects that examine the use of music in today’s media and marketing world.

#6432 INTRODUCTION TO MUSICAL COMPOSITION
5 credits - Grade(s) all
Prerequisite: Music 1A or 1+ years of musical instrument

Students may enroll in this course on a vocal,  instrumental, or digital music  track. All will achieve competency in sight reading and will use their understanding of theory to create their own compositions. Students will create collaboratively as well as individually and will present their creations in the end-of-year showcase

#6300 REGENT HARMONY CHOIR
2.5 credits - Grade(s) All    
Prerequisite: Audition
Does not meet CSU/UC requirement    

Regent Harmonies Choir is an introductory choir that is open to all students on campus. A formal audition is required to place students in the appropriate vocal part, but all who audition are admitted to the choir. Students practice the basics of choral singing in unison and parts. Students hone their technique and practice skills related to breath, placement, tone, and diction. The year-long program has two main performance seasons: the first in December and the second in May.

#6301 REGENT NDBCP PERFORMANCE CHOIR
2.5 credits - Grade(s) All    
Prerequisite: Audition
Does not meet CSU/UC requirement    

As a part of our program with community partners, the Notre Dame and Bellarmine Performance Choir consists of both ND and BCP students who audition each year. This choir is directed by Mrs. Gina Adams and participates in events at Bellarmine as well as at other community events. All students must audition at the beginning of the school year and will be considered based on range, technique and current choir composition.

#6302 REGENT A CAPELLA GROUP
2.5 credits - Grade(s) All    
Prerequisite: Audition
Does not meet CSU/UC requirement    

The newest addition to the music program at Notre Dame,  the Resounding Regents is an ensemble focused primarily on a capella arrangements and original songwriting. This group is ideal for anyone interested in learning how to make music, how to build a capella sound and/or creatively arrange favorite songs. This advanced choir is for more advanced students who have mastered the basics of harmony and tone in Regent Harmonies and are ready for more advanced musical work.

#6305 LITURGICAL CHOIR
2.5 credits - Grade(s) All    
Prerequisite: Audition
Does not meet CSU/UC requirement    

The liturgical choir prepares and performs music for our monthly liturgies. All students are invited and encouraged to participate. Students serve as music ministers and provide musical leadership during liturgies. The choir sings mostly contemporary music, and focuses on mastering complex rhythms and providing cantors (soloists) for specific moments in the liturgy. 

#6315 SYMPHONIC BAND 
10 credits - Grade(s) All    
Prerequisite: Some music experience    

Symphonic Band is a performance-based ensemble for individuals who have previous experience playing woodwind or brass instruments.  The ensemble will rehearse and perform a variety of music while working to refine each member’s individual performance skills.  This course requires each student provide their own instrument.   The Symphonic Band class meets Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 7:40 - 9:05am on the Bellarmine Campus.  Transportation to Notre Dame after rehearsals will be provided.

Performing Arts - Dance
 

#2550A DANCE: GENESIS - SURVEY OF DANCE TECHNIQUES AND AESTHETICS  
5 credits - Grade(s) all
Prerequisite: None – preference will be given to seniors. This class is for Visual and Performing Arts credit but can be taken exclusively for a Physical Education credit.

This course is designed to give an introductory view of dance as an art form. Our main focus will be to introduce and establish various dance techniques, investigate the history of dance, condition the body to maximize strength, and analyze the various aesthetics of dance. Dance will be integrated through video, literature and live performance. We will culminate our overall knowledge by pairing historical landmarks with the evolution of dance today.

#2555A DANCE: REVELATION - COMPOSITION AND PERFORMANCE 
5 credits - Grade(s) all  
Prerequisite: Survey of Dance Techniques and Aesthetics or Instructor Approval. This class is for Visual and Performing Arts credit but can be taken exclusively for a Physical Education credit.

This course will focus on the technique, structure and creation of expressive choreography for performance. Each student will gain knowledge of body function and ability, while exploring its possibilities and limitations. With the foundation of the history of dance, the goal of this course is to provide a knowledge base, practical skill and performance experience in dance. Each student will choreograph works, perform as a dancer in others works and critically peer curate others’ works. Students will develop a working dance portfolio that can serve as a stepping stone toward further studies.

#2565 DANCE TEAM ~ ASB CHEERLEADERS
2.5 credits per semester – year long class - Grade(s) All
Prerequisite: audition
Does not meet CSU/UC requirement

The Notre Dame ASB Cheerleaders consists of 7 individuals from each class. This co-curricular leadership position is for students with dance experience, displaying good citizenship, school spirit, and are living examples of the mission of Notre Dame. Students are required to attend weekly 7 o’clock morning meetings, weekly leadership meetings, all team rehearsals, meet deadlines for calendared events, organize and promote student, class and school participation and have fun! Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA and cannot hold an ASB or class office.

#2570 DANCE WORKSHOP SERIES: ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE      
5 credits - Grade(s) All
Prerequisite:  Survey of Dance Techniques and Aesthetics, Dance Composition and Performance, or Instructor Approval
Does not meet CSU/UC requirement
Fee: $65

This course is designed to bridge students to working dance professionals in the Greater Bay Area. Taught by invited guest choreographers, students are immersed in 3 different dance styles. Each grading period will be taught by a different choreographer, in a different style. This allows for a 6 week dance intensive in a specific genre. The course is focused solely on learning and mastering various genres and techniques for performance. This is a great course for students who have completed the yearlong dance course, also for students who have been taking dance and would like to try other styles. For anyone who is genuinely interested, this dance intensive is sure to bring variety and versatility to their dance experience.

#2575 REGENT COLLECTIVE DANCE COMPANY    
2.5 credits - Grade(s) All
Prerequisite:  Audition
Does not meet CSU/UC requirementThe Regent Collective Dance Company is a union of dancers in alignment with the Visual & Performing Arts endorsed diploma, seeking the further pursuit of dance. By audition, students will be selected to be a part of this dance collective with the intention of building technique and repertoire. Students will gain professional work and performance experience in collaboration with other artists. In addition to the physical aspects of the dance company, students will be provided with mentorship and resources to better prepare them for auditions and portfolio development. Reliant on audition, academic and social conduct, students can participate up to 4 years