Seattle’s Jesuit College Prep School Since 1891

Arts

Department Overview

The arts classes at Seattle Prep create and enable aesthetic perception and experiences through preparation, performance and hands-on creativity. The classes are taught by practicing artists to provide an enriching experience. Through the appreciation and analysis of masterworks, through familiarity with the languages of art, through dialogue and reflection, and through the creation of musical, visual and dramatic pieces, the arts come alive at Prep.

The arts provide tools with which students can perceive music, drama, filmmaking and visual art in terms of beauty. The aesthetic response to art is valuable, as it brings vividness and breadth to experience, and sharpens a student’s grasp of culture. More subtly, the value of aesthetics is that it teaches students how to receive what is presented to them as a gift.

Arts Department Curriculum

What follows is a list and brief description of arts class offerings. Each freshman rotates through a set sequence of four art classes throughout the year. After freshman year, each sophomore and junior is required to take one semester of an arts class each year. Seniors may continue their pursuit of the arts through various electives.

Freshman Year Courses

Introduction to the Arts – All freshmen rotate throughout these art classes: visual art, music, drama, and media literacy. In these classes students are introduced to the basic language, concepts, and history of each art.

Sophomore Year Courses

Choir – The Seattle Prep Choir is a class for sophomores and juniors, and may be taken each year. The choir performs as a whole for a Christmas Concert and a concert at Benaroya Hall with other catholic school choirs. (Weeks)

Jazz and Popular Music Ensemble - This class will be an instrumental ensemble based in genres of jazz, blues, funk, rock, and other popular styles. We will play music from written charts and by ear. Students will focus on simple improvisation, accumulate basic music theory knowledge, and collaborate with instructor to make their own arrangements of tunes. This is a very democratic class and will have a few performances during the school year. Instructor would love to plan field trips to hear area high school jazz bands (ex. Hot Java Cool Jazz at the Paramount) and potentially to jazz festivals. Let's jam! (Bost)

Music in the Movies – Students view films from the silent era to the present, evaluating the way music enhances one’s understanding of the characters and the vision of the film. (Weeks)

Acting 1 - Students will gain an understanding and appreciation of theater, public speaking and the craft of acting. Through a variety of games, activities, scene work and acting projects, students will deepen their performance skills while promoting artistic collaboration. (Othman)

Filmmaking and Video Production – Students become digital filmmakers learning the art and technique of video production by creating, storyboarding, filming, editing and sharing their own short films and videos. (Othman)

Drawing – Students focus on learning how to draw from observation. Students learn techniques on how to draw and design with line, value, perspective, and texture, using a variety of mediums including pencils, charcoal, ink, and collage. (Dold, Petty)

Junior Year Courses

Choir – The Seattle Prep Choir is a class for sophomores and juniors, and may be taken each year. The choir performs as a whole for a Christmas Concert and a concert at Benaroya Hall with other catholic school choirs. (Weeks)

Jazz and Popular Music Ensemble - This class will be an instrumental ensemble based in genres of jazz, blues, funk, rock, and other popular styles. We will play music from written charts and by ear. Students will focus on simple improvisation, accumulate basic music theory knowledge, and collaborate with instructor to make their own arrangements of tunes. This is a very democratic class and will have a few performances during the school year. Instructor would love to plan field trips to hear area high school jazz bands (ex. Hot Java Cool Jazz at the Paramount) and potentially to jazz festivals. Let's jam! (Bost)

Music in the Movies – Students view films from the silent era to the present, evaluating the way music enhances one’s understanding of the characters and the vision of the film. (Weeks)

Acting 2 - students will deepen their undeaderstandiing of theater and the craft of acting through a variety of projects and performance assignments. They will look at the entire artistic process from writing and directing to acting and performance. Students do NOT need to take Acting 1 to register for this class. (Othman)

Filmmaking and Video Production – Students become digital filmmakers learning the art and technique of video production by creating, storyboarding, filming, editing and sharing their own short films and videos. (Othman)

Printmaking – This class introduces students to the world of making prints. Students will learn how to make prints using linoleum blocks, collagraphy, screenprinting, monoprinting, as well as additional transfer techniques. (Dold)

Digital Photography – Students will use their camera as a tool to capture the world they see artistically. They will learn a variety of shooting and editing skills and techniques. Students will also learn about the history of photography as an art form. (Petty)

Senior Year Courses

AP Studio Art – This year-long course is offered to students who will be submitting a portfolio of work for AP credit. Students will pick a concentration in Drawing or in 2-D Design and produce a portfolio of work that shows quality, concentration, and breadth as outlined in the AP studio art requirements. (Dold/Petty)

Advanced Filmmaking and Video Production – Students will take the skills and techniques they learned in Filmmaking and deepen their creativity by creating longer form films and promotional videos. (Othman)

Ceramics – This course will introduce students to the world of clay. It is a hands-on course that will cover information on materials, tools, terminology, hand-buiding and throwing techniques, and the cultural history of ceramics and pottery. (Petty)

Digital Photography – Students will use their camera as a tool to capture the world they see artistically. They will learn a variety of shooting and editing skills and techniques. Students will also learn about the history of photography as an art form. (Petty)

Jazz and Popular Music Ensemble - This class will be an instrumental ensemble based in genres of jazz, blues, funk, rock, and other popular styles. We will play music from written charts and by ear. Students will focus on simple improvisation, accumulate basic music theory knowledge, and collaborate with instructor to make their own arrangements of tunes. This is a very democratic class and will have a few performances during the school year. Instructor would love to plan field trips to hear area high school jazz bands (ex. Hot Java Cool Jazz at the Paramount) and potentially to jazz festivals. Let's jam! (Bost)

Meet the department chair


Melissa Dold teaches visual art classes including Freshman Art, Drawing, Printmaking, and AP Studio Art. She is married to artist, Kyle Cook, and they have two daughters, Harper and Calla. Melissa is a practicing artist and received her B.F.A. from the University of Washington, her M.F.A in painting from Boston University, and her teaching certificate from Pratt Institute in NY.