List of Student Enrichment Activities

Students will be introduced to five categories of theatrical performance: drama, comedy, classical works, improvisational theater, and the musical.  The goals of the course are to introduce the student to the dramatic art form, improve student confidence, develop and enhance critical thinking and analysis, and to improve existing literary skills. The students will do creative drills that enhance concentration and memory while improving reading and text analysis aptitude. The students will also use dramatic training and technique to more effectively communicate in all settings. The program is designed to grow personal discipline, to release individual uniqueness and creativity, while developing an affinity for the arts.

Students will learn the basics of video camera operation, audio and lighting design on industry standard equipment.  Lessons are put into practice during performances held at the school, where students set the stage and operate the lights and sound for Friday Performances, guest performers and school shows.  Students also prepare short film projects for submission to film festivals and competitions.  Exciting classes like these keep students engaged in learning and driven to stay in school and attend college. The local chapter of the International Alliance of Theatre Stage Employees (IATSE) has many aging members, who need to recruit the next generation of technicians.  Student taught to reliably operate professional technical theatre equipment are more engaged in learning and develop employable skills.

Students will begin their course in visual art with an introduction to its fundamentals.  This will be followed by instruction in drawing, composition, and design. They will be encouraged to develop their own personal creative “voice” and style of expression.  Students will be exposed to the traditional and nontraditional techniques of Master Artists and examine visual art concepts thru an overview of Art History. Students will experience 3 dimensional design through clay and other materials.  Students will participate in a collaborative project with the objective of increasing problem solving abilities, experiencing cooperative learning, and developing personal responsibility and character.

Students will develop an awareness of storytelling as a fundamental means of communication across space and time, build individual competency and confidence in the student’s abilities as a storyteller and creative writer, and explore the role of the individual storyteller within a community of creative writers. Students will use constructive wordplay and free-writing techniques to facilitate the discovery of individual storytelling and creative writing abilities. The course employs games, exercises, and interactive lectures to teach essential story elements and the writing process. Peer reviews and class workshops will be used to examine the relationship between a writer, a reader and a text. The students will showcase their work in a literary anthology at the end of the semester.

Music is taught Monday through Friday.  Students in vocal music will receive fundamental elements of vocal technique, music theory, rhythm, and music history.  Through fun and innovative lessons, students will gain an understanding of their voices, their “ears,” and their overall musicianship.  Students will be exposed to a variety of musical genres, including: classical, choral, jazz, gospel, and pop.  On Tuesdays, students will participate with the entire Jessye Norman School in the all-school chorus.  

Beginner Modern Dance is designed to introduce the student to contemporary dance from the early 20th century to the present with an emphasis on fundamental dance concepts and elements of dance. Intermediate Modern Dance is designed to increase the student’s technical proficiency beyond the beginner level with greater emphasis being placed on intermediate modern dance concepts, movement quality and sense of performance. Some ballet positions and concepts will be included at all levels.

Students will begin the course with photography with an introduction to basic digital camera operations. The course is designed to give a broad overview of photography, graphic design and stage technology. A typical week will include a lesson day, an activity day, two project work days and presentation day. They will experience hands on learning where the lessons provide the why and the technological resources provide the how. Students will participate in a collaborative projects with the objective of increasing problem solving abilities, experiencing cooperative learning, and developing personal responsibility and character. 

Students will learn the basic fundamentals of sewing through a variety of small projects leading up to costuming for our spring musical.  Sewing begins with needle and stitch work and gradually progresses to the use of modern sewing machines and techniques.  This class gives students the ability to develop an extremely important life skill, while giving them an opportunity to create and express themselves through the art.