Fine Arts Curriculum

All fine art classes, unless otherwise noted, are .5 credit courses.

Glee Club 

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12           Year-long course

Glee Club  is an advanced choral class and performance ensemble. Students will learn choral singing skills such as music reading, healthy vocal production, ear training, foreign language diction, and performance etiquette. Students are expected to participate fully in class sessions and maintain a binder of all songs, choral pieces and handouts. Glee Club performs a wide variety of women’s repertoire in several concerts each year on and off campus. Concert participation is mandatory and takes the place of an exam. Students must also attend two choral concerts/operas/musical theatre shows/voice recitals per semester and submit a written critique.

Music Theory 

Grades 11, 12           Year-long course

Music Theory is an academic class designed to compliment the music performance curriculum at Salem Academy. This course prepares students for college music study. Topics include note reading, intervals, time signatures, key signatures, scales, chords, transpositions, score reading and composition. This class is open to eleventh and twelfth graders, contingent on teacher recommendation.

Art Design 

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12           Year-long course

Art design is an introductory level of art, and the focus is to explore, experiment, and enjoy. There is no prerequisite for this course and no prior experience is necessary. Students develop a love for art with a strong foundation in manipulating materials and mastering techniques. Discovery of the elements and principles of 2-D and 3-D design form the basis for all that students create. 

Advanced Studio Art 

Grades 10, 11, 12           Year-long course

Advanced Studio Art is the second level of art, with a prerequisite of Art Design. Students use their knowledge of elements and principles of design, mediums, and techniques to narrow their individual approach to creating. At this level, students begin to develop drawing skills as preparation for individual work. Each student follows an intensive exploration towards mastering a single focus of either 2-D design, 3-D design or drawing for future portfolio development. Students who wish to continue in art and do not wish to move on to AP Art may repeat Advanced Studio Art.

AP 2-D Design 
AP 3-D Design 
AP Drawing 

Grades 11, 12           Year-long course (AP 3-D Design, 1 credit)

In the highest level of the art program, students utilize knowledge from Art Design and Advanced Studio Art, combined with a portfolio review, to prove mastery of elements and principles of design, composition, and technique.  The AP curriculum offers three independent portfolios, and with a passing portfolio score, students may earn three hours of college credit. The 2-D Design portfolio focuses on mastering 2-D design elements and principles; the 3-D Design portfolio focuses on mastering 3-D design elements and principles; and the Drawing portfolio focuses on mark making, a highly developed understanding of proportion and scale, and exploration of positive and negative space.  Each independent portfolio consists of three sections: breadth, concentration, and quality. In the breadth section, students begin by demonstrating a wide breadth or variety of previous learning by creating eight to twelve pieces of work. In the concentration section, students develop an idea and bring it to life through twelve works of art, creating a cohesive visual journey. In the quality section, students use their experience from art criticism to choose the five strongest representations of quality from their portfolio of work. These three sections of work are then compiled to submit for AP review and scoring.

*Students may take two portfolio courses and earn up to six college credit hours but are limited to one course per year. Work created in one portfolio cannot be repeated in other portfolios. 

Theatre I

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12           Year-long course

This introduction to theater course gives students the opportunity to experience many different facets of theatre. Students work on beginning acting techniques, mime, improvisations, props/sewing, monologues, theatrical exercises, and scene study, and the class puts on a one-act play for the school during an assembly. Students are required to give ten hours of theatrical work to one of the main stage plays and write a play performance theatre critique each semester. A film critique may be used in place of one, but not both, of the play critiques. This course has no prerequisites.

Advanced Theatre 

Grades 10, 11, 12           Year-long course 

The Advanced Theater course gives students a chance to act at a higher level and to learn a variety of technical design aspects. This class offers a new curriculum each year involving two or three technical design projects as well as advanced acting techniques. The classes that are offered on a rotating basis are: costume design, set design, musical theatre study, makeup techniques, mask making, radio drama, Shakespeare workshop, directing techniques, and dialects. This class also performs a one-act play for the school and students have the option to become student directors. Students are required to turn in two play critiques per year and to work ten hours on one or both of the main stage plays. Students must complete Theatre I or its equivalent to enroll in this class.


Grade 12           Year-long course

Theatrix is an advanced theater course that introduces students to audition preparations that  can be used with the specific desire to practice acting as a career. Theatrix gives students a chance to study acting unions, work on resumes, prepare audition materials, use a theatre textbook and learn to journal, work with a specific style of acting, and create and perform in a one-woman show. The class meets on an individual basis once a week for a full class period. Students must have completed at least one year of Advanced Theatre and be enrolled in Advanced Theatre at the same time they take the course.