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Curriculum

Fine Arts

The mission of the Loyola Academy Fine Arts Department is to empower students to grow in self-discovery and achieve their creative and expressive potential through holistic, aligned, articulated, and assessed experiences in the arts with the ultimate goal of developing creative, innovative leaders motivated to serve a global community within the Jesuit tradition of men and women for others.
  • 3D Studio Art

    This sculpture course offers an investigation of student driven ideas through the creation of three-dimensional art or sculpture. Students explore a wide variety of materials and techniques such as woodworking and carving, plaster sculpting, 3D modeling and printing, working in clay, learning handbuilding and wheel throwing, as well as working with other materials and techniques. Projects are thematic with a focus on student driven idea creation and development as well as making well crafted objects to communicate those ideas. This course is offered to students in grades 9-12.
  • American Dance Beat

    This high energy dance course develops a foundation for students to explore the body and fitness through hip hop, body percussion, jazz and tap dance styles. Coursework emphasizes technical instruction and movement composition. Students are required to perform with their class in performances throughout the year. This course may be taken during sophomore year in lieu of Physical Education.
  • American Dance Beat 2

    This intermediate level dance course in hip hop, body percussion, jazz and tap is designed for students with previous experience in these forms or students who have completed American Dance Beat (A047).  Coursework emphasizes choreography, improvisation and performance as well as cultural and historical studies of American dance. Enrolled students are required to perform at school concerts as well as attend professional performances in the Chicago area.  This course may be repeated with permission from the teacher.  This course may be taken during sophomore year in lieu of Physical Education.
  • Animation

    In this course, students explore storytelling through animation.  With an emphasis on creativity and expression, students learn animation tools in order to advance their own artistic ideas.  Both traditional and digital methods of creating will be used as students conceptualize and produce original works of sequential art.  Prerequisites:  A Visual Art or Design course or permission from the department chair.
  • AP Art History

    This is a multidimensional course that focuses on aesthetics, art history, and studio practicums in the visual arts. Emphasis centers on works of art as they are created, perceived, understood, and appreciated by human minds. Students are required to take the national AP exam at the end of the course. Previous honors or AP experience required or approval of the chair. 
  • AP Music Theory

    This course introduces music students to musicianship, theory, musical materials, and procedures. The course integrates aspects of melody, harmony, texture, rhythm, form, musical analysis, elementary composition, and, to some extent, history and style. Musicianship skills such as dictation and other listening skills, sight-singing, and keyboard harmony are considered an important part of this theory course. AP Music Theory is offered every other year. Prerequisites include consent of the teacher based upon the ability to read and write musical notation and a minimum of two years of previous music performance or theory experience. This course is offered to students in grades 10-12. Students are required to take the national AP exam at the end of the course.
  • AP Studio Art and Design

    This course follows the standards and guidelines of the College Board’s review of student portfolios. Students produce a drawing, 2D or 3D design portfolio for submission to the College Board for portfolio scoring and the potential of earning college credit. Students develop an inquiry-based artistic investigation in the course that becomes the basis of their submitted portfolios. The submitted portfolio must demonstrate synthesis of ideas, materials and processes through practice, experimentation and revision of art methods and works. The documentation and physical preparation of the portfolio is a component of this course. The course is open to seniors based on a portfolio review or approval of the instructor. Students are required to submit a portfolio to the College Board at the end of this course.
  • Architecture 1

    This full-year studio course is an introduction to architectural design. The course curriculum is predominantly project-based and intentionally focused on developing relevant techniques, skills, terminology and philosophies used in today’s architecture industry. In addition to sketching and creating study/massing models by hand, students learn to utilize computer-aided drafting and design software (Revit) to develop plan, section, and elevation technical drawings and document three-dimensionally. Students also create digital presentation graphics and produce scale models utilizing laser and 3-D printers. Each semester, students work in groups on at least one major design project. This course is offered to students in grades 9-12. Successful completion of this course qualifies students to enroll in Honors Architecture 2 (A070).
  • Art and Social Change

    This Service Learning Course challenges student artists to explore ideas and transform perceptions through art. This course provides the opportunity for students to engage with community partners to investigate contemporary issues through the artistic process. In-class studio time will develop artistic skills and studio habits by utilizing a variety of mediums and approaches to art making. As an extension, the course will deepen critical thinking through the creation of an art series that explores the complex themes of social justice based on experiences with the community partner, field trips, class discussions and guest speakers. Students will meet with community partners outside of class three times per semester.  This course is offered to students in grades 10-12.
  • Beginning Guitar

    This performance-based course is for students in grades 9-12 and no previous musical experience is necessary for enrollment. Students learn a variety of styles and playing techniques including classical, folk, jazz, and rock. This class is designed to create competent literate musicians capable of reading traditional notation, TABS, and lead sheets/chords. This class prepares students for Guitar Ensemble (A028). Guitar courses may not be taken in lieu of Physical Education. 
  • Beginning Instrumental

    This course is designed for students with no instrumental musical background.  This is a discovery course where students will be permitted to learn from a selection of instruments.  Students enrolled in this course will build and maintain musical stamina, vocabulary, and appropriate concert etiquette through the rehearsal and performance of level-appropriate music.  This course is designed to prepare students for either Concert Band (A005) or Symphony Orchestra (A016). Students enrolled in the course should be prepared to rent their own instruments if the school cannot provide one. This course is offered to students in grades 9-12. This course may be taken during the freshman or sophomore years in lieu of Physical Education.
  • Chorale

    This course is a treble performance ensemble for students who plan to study vocal performance in high school and college. Students practice and perform vocal music of all styles and periods.  Special attention is paid to advanced literature, and individualized coaching for solo passages.  Students will continue to learn musicianship skills including modal and interval listening exercises along with their continued study of sight-seeing. This course is for students who have successfully completed one year of Beginning Concert Choir (A051 or A052), or CVE (A054) and/or who have successfully auditioned. Incoming students with voice experience and basic sight reading skills may audition for this class. This course may be taken during the freshman or sophomore year in lieu of Physical Education.
  • Concert Band

    This course is for the high school musician who has previous instrumental experience in grammar/middle school. Students perform developmentally appropriate music and expand their musical vocabulary through the performance and critique of standard band repertoire.  This course is offered to students in grades 9-12. This course may be taken freshman or sophomore year in lieu of Physical Education.
  • Concert Choir (Female)

    This is an entry-level course for students interested in developing and utilizing vocal musical expression in high school and beyond. Basic skills in musicianship including sight-reading, notation, and vocal techniques such as breathing, phrasing, tone, and projection are stressed using exercises and one-, two-, three-, and four-part compositions for mixed voices. Background lectures, clinic demonstrations, and rehearsals combine to reach these goals, as well as public performance. This course is open to all grade levels, however some vocal knowledge is helpful. No audition is required to enroll in this course. This course may be taken during the freshman or sophomore year in lieu of Physical Education.
  • Concert Choir (Male)

    This is an entry-level course for students interested in developing and utilizing vocal musical expression in high school and beyond. Basic skills in musicianship including sight-reading, notation, and vocal techniques such as breathing, phrasing, tone, and projection are stressed using exercises and one-, two-, three-, and four-part compositions for mixed voices. Background lectures, clinic demonstrations, and rehearsals combine to reach these goals, as well as public performance. This course is open to all grade levels, however some vocal knowledge is helpful. No audition is required to enroll in this course. This course may be taken during the freshman or sophomore year in lieu of Physical Education.
  • Contemporary Vocal Ensemble

    This intermediate mixed-choir course focuses on choral music of all styles including jazz, contemporary a cappella, and sixteenth to twentieth century classical art forms. On occasion, the ensemble combines forces with the Chamber Singers to provide a quality large-choir experience. Students will continue their studies in musicianship skills, including sight-singing and music theory. Students will also perform at school concerts as well as community events.  This course is for students who have successfully completed one year of Beginning Concert Choir (A051 or A052), and/or who have successfully auditioned. Incoming students with voice experience and basic sight reading skills may audition for this class. This course may be taken during the freshman or sophomore year in lieu of Physical Education.
  • Dance 3

    This is an advanced course of study aimed at students with strong backgrounds in contemporary/modern, ballet, and jazz dance. Advanced techniques and combinations are employed and performance aspects of technique are stressed. Students are expected to attend dance performances of quality, as they are available in the metropolitan Chicago area and students are required to perform at Loyola’s Open House and in the annual spring dance concert. This course may be repeated for credit with the permission of the teacher. This course may be taken during sophomore year in lieu of Physical Education. Juniors and seniors may take this course to fulfill their Fine Arts requirement. Placement in this course is based on audition, which takes place during January of the prior academic year.
  • Dance Design & Performance 1

    This course is for students who need to focus on proper technique and choreography in contemporary / modern, ballet, and jazz dance. Students enrolled in this course  are required to perform with the class at Loyola’s Open House, Dance Jam and in the annual spring dance concert and attend dance performances in the Chicago area. This course may be taken during sophomore year in lieu of Physical Education. Juniors and seniors may take this course to fulfill their Fine Arts requirement. The successful completion of Dance 1 & Health (P910) or American Dance Beat (A047) or permission of the teacher is a prerequisite. 
  • Dance Design & Performance 2

    This is an advanced course of study aimed at students with strong backgrounds in contemporary/modern, ballet, and jazz dance. Advanced techniques and combinations are employed and performance aspects of technique are stressed. Students are expected to attend dance performances of quality, as they are available in the metropolitan Chicago area and students are required to perform at Loyola’s Open House, Dance Jam and in the annual spring dance concert. This course may be repeated for credit with the permission of the teacher. This course may be taken during sophomore year in lieu of Physical Education. Juniors and seniors may take this course to fulfill their Fine Arts requirement. Placement in this course is based on audition, which takes place during January of the prior academic year.
  • Filmmaking 1

    This full-year course combines the art and technology of filmmaking. Students will explore every aspect of making a film including writing, directing, editing, and producing. Throughout the year students will investigate the history of filmmaking and how to tell stories on film including writing scripts, working with actors, pre-production, editing, sound mixing/foley, and post-production. In addition, students will explore the science behind the films including the lighting design, acoustics, and the technology of Adobe Premier editing software. The course will culminate at the end of the year with a short-film festival of student works made throughout the course. Prerequisites include the completion of one Visual Arts or Theater class or department chair permission. 
  • Graphic Design

    This is both a theoretical and hands-on full year course that immerses students in all aspects of the visual side of print media.  Topics for study include design, layout, typography, color, illustration, photography, and information graphics. Students develop skills in digital typesetting, and the creation of digital documents including ads, posters, flyers, and graphics through a computer lab and studio experience.  This course is offered to students in grades 9-12. 
  • Guitar Ensemble

    This performance-based course is for students who have successfully completed Beginning Guitar (A018) or who have auditioned for the instructor. Students will further their playing technique through ensemble literature, performances in large and small group settings, and
    solo guitar literature. This class is open to all grade levels. Guitar courses may not be taken in lieu of Physical Education. 
  • Hnrs Architecture 2

    This full-year studio course is open to students who have successfully completed Architecture I (A067) and wish to further explore architectural design. The course is well-suited for students considering potential careers in Architecture, Interior Design, Industrial Design, Urban Planning or Landscape Architecture. The project-based curriculum builds upon the digital and analog skills learned in Architecture I (A067); in addition, students learn site analysis, program development and 3-D modeling to communicate concept, schematic, and final designs. Students also learn basic planning rules-of-thumb for including structural, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical elements in their architectural designs. The primary focus of the second semester is the annual design contest sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Center known as the Newhouse Architecture and Design Competition. Architecture 1 (A067) is a prerequisite of this course.
  • Hnrs Chamber Singers

    This course is the most advanced vocal ensemble and is limited to 24 students. Using the highest standards of literature and performance, the ensemble performs on a collegiate level and represents Loyola Academy in public performances of distinction on and off campus. Students will focus on their individual performance and vocal development at a rigorous level. Honors credit will include individual study of voice, solo performances, and adjudicated performances. This course may be taken during the sophomore year in lieu of Physical Education. 
  • Hnrs Chorale

    This course is a treble performance ensemble for students who plan to study vocal performance in high school and college. Students practice and perform vocal music of all styles and periods.  Honors Chorale students sing most of their repertoire with Chorale (A053). However, special attention is paid to advanced literature, and individualized coaching for solo passages. High performance standards lead to public performance on campus and across the Chicagoland area. At the honors level, students will focus on their individual performance and vocal development at a rigorous level. Honors credit will include individual study of voice, solo performances, and adjudicated performances. This course is open to students who have successfully completed one year of Beginning Concert Choir (A051 or A052), or CVE (A054) and/or who have successfully auditioned. Incoming students with voice experience and basic sight reading skills may audition for this class. This course may be taken during the freshman or sophomore year in lieu of Physical Education.
  • Hnrs Concert Band

    This course is a Track 9 option available to students who register for Concert Band (A005). Approval of the band director is required and is based on the student’s musical growth, rehearsal etiquette, and commitment to practice outside of the main rehearsals of the Band program. Students are expected to go beyond the expected participation in Band activities by preparing and participating in solos and ensembles that require additional public performances. This course may be taken in the freshman or sophomore year in lieu of Physical Education.
  • Hnrs Dance

    This Track 9 option is open to students who have been placed through audition and are studying at a professional studio. Students will be challenged to perfect their performance and technical skills. Assignments include challenging choreographic solos and group works. Students will be expected to attend dance performances of quality, as they are available in the metropolitan Chicago area. Students are required to perform at Loyola’s Open House, Honors Dance Concert, and in the annual spring dance concert and may be required to perform outside of school.  This course may be repeated for credit with permission of the teacher. Students must audition in January of the prior academic year. 
  • Hnrs Percussion Ensemble

    This course is designed for students from grades 9-12 with prior musical experience in percussion or prior piano experience AND approval from the Band Director. Emphasis is placed on the fundamentals of a comprehensive percussion arts education, which includes skill development on concert, marching, and world percussion instruments. Concepts studied include performance of concert snare drum, bass drum, keyboard/mallet percussion, drumset, and rudimentary music theory. During the fall, Percussion Ensemble will focus on Marching Battery technique in conjunction with the full Marching Band. In addition to performing their own pieces, Percussion Ensemble members also perform with the Concert Band and/or Symphonic Band at all performances as well as during the Marching Season. Prospective students should contact the Band Director with questions about qualifications of the course.  This course may be taken in lieu of Physical Education during freshman or sophomore year.
  • Hnrs Photography 2

    Honors Photography 2 offers continued study of camera technique, shutter speed, aperture and studio lighting. Students will creatively problem solve using photo manipulation and alternative processes while developing their individual creativity. Students will continue to develop darkroom skills with innovative techniques. Adobe Photoshop will be used in photographic editing. The projects will combine camera technique, compositional choices and personal expression of ideas. Students are expected to develop an individual voice. Students must have a 35mm film camera or DSLR digital camera. Student must have completed Photography 1 or have approval from the department chair.
  • Hnrs Portfolio Development

    This course offers a continuation of the studio experience for students who completed Honors Studio 3 (A103) as freshmen or sophomores and want to develop skill, technique and variety in their work before enrolling in Advanced Placement Studio Art (A030). This course will allow students to explore, investigate and experiment with a range of approaches and materials as they begin to work with mini concentrations. Instructor recommendation and Department Chair approval are required.
  • Hnrs Studio 3

    A continuing experience in studio art, offered at the nine track level, for students looking to refine their skills in drawing, painting, and printmaking while broadening their scope of visual communication.  Students are encouraged to respond creatively to personal experiences and the world around them while developing an artistic voice.  Emphasis is placed on portfolio development. Studio Art 1 (A032) or Art and Social Change (A038) or the approval of the department chair is a prerequisite of this course.
  • Hnrs Symphonic Band

    This course is a Track 9 option available to students who register for Symphonic Band (A006). Approval of the band director is required and will be based on the student’s musical growth, rehearsal etiquette, and commitment to practice outside the main rehearsals of the Band program. Students are expected to participate in Band activities and to prepare solos and ensembles for additional public performances. This course may be taken during the freshman or sophomore year in lieu of Physical Education.
  • Hnrs Symphony Orchestra

    As the most advanced orchestra class available at Loyola Academy, this course is designed to prepare students for college level music study. Admittance is by audition only and space is limited based upon instrumentation. This class will introduce students to professional level literature, playing techniques, and a variety of performance experiences. If granted admittance, this course may be taken during the freshman or sophomore year in lieu of Physical Education.
  • Hnrs Theater Arts 1

    This full-year course is open to students in grades 9-12 who have a strong interest or involvement in theater activities prior to the course. Students develop a solid understanding about the various aspects of theater arts, including acting, directing, and theater history. Each semester culminates in a performance by the entire class. This course is designed for the student who desires a concrete understanding of theater by working first hand on the art form. Students are required to attend both professional theater and Loyola Academy productions. Rising sophomores through seniors without experience in the Loyola Theatre Program are required to apply for enrollment in the course through their counselor. This course may be taken during the freshman or sophomore years in lieu of Physical Education.
  • Hnrs Theater Arts 2

    This course focuses on the advanced study and practice of theater arts. Emphasis is placed on developing the student’s acting skills through scene studies and monologue and audition preparations, playwriting, and directing process. During the second semester, students work together, and alongside professional theater artists, to create a mock theater company with a mission, season, and present about their company to the class. Students are required to attend both professional theater and Loyola Academy productions. Prerequisites include the completion of Theater Arts 1 (A034) with a grade of 95 or above, Honors Theater Arts 1 (A037), Theater Arts 2 (A036) or permission of the teacher. This course may be taken during the sophomore year in lieu of Physical Education.
  • Percussion Ensemble

    This course is designed for students from grades 9-12 with prior musical experience in percussion or prior piano experience AND approval from the Band Director. Emphasis is placed on the fundamentals of a comprehensive percussion arts education, which includes skill development on concert, marching, and world percussion instruments. Concepts studied include performance of concert snare drum, bass drum, keyboard/mallet percussion, drumset, and rudimentary music theory. During the fall, Percussion Ensemble will focus on Marching Battery technique in conjunction with the full Marching Band. In addition to performing their own pieces, Percussion Ensemble members also perform with the Concert Band and/or Symphonic Band at all performances as well as during the Marching Season. Prospective students should contact the Band Director with questions about qualifications of the course.  This course may be taken in lieu of Physical Education during freshman or sophomore year.
  • Photography 1

    This full-year course is designed for beginning photography students. Students will learn how to use digital and analogue SLR cameras to create images grounded in the elements and principles of art. Students will work in the darkroom developing images while also using Photoshop to edit their work. Students develop their artistic process by focusing on conceptualization and personal voice. Having access to a personal digital camera is helpful for students, but not required. A limited number of cameras are available for student use outside of class.
  • Structural Design

    This is a full-year course prepares students for the visual language of industrial design and architectural design.  It is an introduction to the use of shapes and forms used in spatial problem solving in both 2 and 3 dimensions.  This course allows students to explore the nature of various materials while creating a variety of designs and models utilizing the elements and principles of design in projects requiring an ever-greater sense of visual literacy. This course is offered to students in grades 9-12.
  • Studio Art 1

    This course introduces students to a broad range of approaches to communicating visually. Students will gain an understanding of the foundations of art and the principles of design while also developing critical thinking and problem solving skills. Students will be drawing, painting, printmaking and 3D assembling using multiple techniques and media. No previous art experience is necessary. This course is offered to students in grades 9-12.
  • Symphonic Band

    This course is for the advanced high school musician and may be taken by approval from the band director. Students work on emotionally expressive and technically challenging music while refining musical and technical fundamentals. This course also focuses to refine other elements of music, such as history, music theory, performance and rehearsal etiquette. Prerequisites include Concert Band and/or by audition. This course is offered to students in grades 9-12. This course may be taken during the freshman or sophomore years in lieu of Physical Education.
  • Symphony Orchestra

    This full-year performance-based course studies, rehearses, and performs intermediate level music from may eras, styles, and countries from around the world. This course is open to any student who has experience playing Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Harp or Piano. This class introduces students to more advanced playing techniques in preparation for audition into Honors Symphony Orchestra (A019). This class is open to all grade levels and may be taken during the freshman or sophomore year in lieu of Physical Education.
  • Theater Arts 1

    This course is open to students in grades 10-12. Students actively explore the communicative art of live theater. Areas of concentration include acting, theater history, theater appreciation, technical theater, theater production, and play writing. Students participate in group projects that stress the collaborative aspects of the theater arts. This course may be taken during freshman or sophomore year in lieu of Physical Education.
  • Theater Arts 2

    This course is open to students who have completed Theater Arts 1 (A034) and want to further explore the art of theater. Emphasis is placed on developing the student’s acting skills through exercises, scene studies, monologue and audition preparations, playwriting and the directing process. 
     

Department Members

Loyola Academy

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