Arts in the Upper School

Students with a strong interest in the arts are urged to speak with Arts Department faculty in order to arrange maximum credit and maximum exposure.

Visual Arts

Visual ArtMajor Courses

Studio Art I & II (2D or 3D) 

Students in these courses are expected to develop mastery in concept, composition, and execution of ideas through the development of a comprehensive portfolio. In constructing the portfolio, students will explore creative thinking, the elements and principles of art, and the definition of design. Students are responsible for demonstrating mastery in using the elements of art in their work. Students enrolled in both levels of Studio Art must research their ideas for independent projects and document this in a sketchbook journal. Through a goal-planning process, students are guided in setting challenging but attainable creative goals for in-class and independent projects.

AP Studio Art 

This course accommodates students interested in completing one of three AP portfolios: Drawing Portfolio, 2D Design Portfolio and 3D Design Portfolio. Emphasis is placed on the production of a volume of quality artwork pieces. Students address all three sections of the portfolio: breadth, concentration, and quality. Students are challenged to develop their own personal work, while mastering the concept, composition, and execution of their ideas and themes. Art-making is an ongoing process that employs critical decision making to best resolve problems, and students will develop a comprehensive portfolio that addresses these issues in a personal way. Submission of an AP portfolio in May for either Drawing, 2-D Design, 3D Design is required; there is an additional cost for submission.

Examples of Minor Courses

Ceramics I

Students will be introduced to various methods of hand building with clay. Glazing and other finishing methods will be discussed as well as concept development as it relates to personal expression. Projects will explore the wide range of creative possibilities from functional objects to sculptural forms.

Advanced Ceramics

Advanced Ceramics is the continuing of the study of ceramic forming methods, focusing on using the potter’s wheel. Making and using plaster molds will also be introduced, and students will continue to develop their creative voice.

Drawing

Introduction to the basic skills in drawing. Materials covered include graphite, charcoal and colored pencil. An independent drawing project will be required.

Advanced Drawing

This course is for students who have previously taken basic drawing and would like to explore both their imagination and burgeoning drawing skills. A variety of drawing mediums will be explored such as charcoal, pastel and colored pencil.

Fashion Sewing

Do you love fashion? Would you like to make your own clothes? Have you ever wished that wonderful skirt came in a fabric you like? In Fashion Sewing, students will learn the basics about sewing with a machine and by hand. Beginners will complete a set of samples (basting, hemming, tacking, as well as sewing darts, seams, and attaching a button) to gain basic skills. Every student will design and sew a fashionable bag that expresses individual style through shape, fabric, texture, and ornamentation. If you wish to continue sewing, the spring sewing course will provide an opportunity to make clothes.

Film Production

This course introduces students to the technical qualities of film making. The course will explore introductory lighting, editing, and cinematography theories which will be put into practice as students write, direct, film, and edit there own narrative shorts. This is a process driven course that demands commitment to the required work. Student filmmakers will work in small groups and engage in several exercises that reinforce the theories introduced in class.

Furniture Design

This furniture course acquaints the student with the creative design process, from initial concept to finished functional object. Topics include design elements and their application, surfaces, alternative materials, functionality and ergonomics . Emphasis is placed on proper technique, safety, and shop policies, giving the student the knowledge and confidence to operate each woodworking tool effectively.

Advanced Furniture Design

This furniture course acquaints the student with the creative design process, from initial concept to finished functional object. Topics include design elements and their application, surfaces, alternative materials, functionality and ergonomics . Emphasis is placed on proper technique, safety, and shop policies, giving the student the knowledge and confidence to operate each woodworking tool effectively. Advanced students will develop and construct a full size furniture piece independently.

Mosaic Art

Through this course students use ceramic tile, glass, china, stone and “trash” to create mosaic works of art. Demonstrations include the techniques of design, planning, breaking, cutting, setting and grouting on 2D and 3D surfaces.

Advanced Mosaic Art 

This course is for students who have already taken a mosaics class and are ready to work at an advanced level on class and independent projects.

Painting Realism

Students will focus on literal interpretations of photo-based images in oil paint, the results of which will produce extraordinary detail with elements of abstraction. Studio time will focus on experimenting with the materials, learning the painting techniques and developing independent projects. Class projects will evolve out of studies of contemporary artists such as: Robert Cottingham, Richard Estes, Vija Celmins, Ralph Goings, and Franz Gertsch.

Advanced Painting

This is a continuation of study in oil paints. Students work on class and independent projects for portfolio development. An oil painting class is a prerequisite to being in advanced painting.

Digital Photography

In digital photography, students are introduced to the digital camera and its controls, image creation, and workflow, from capture to print output. In-class instructions and assignments cover non-automatic shooting modes, file types, menus, exposure, light, shutter effects, and creativity. Students will gain experience with image editing programs, online resources, and digital portfolios. Students are encouraged to bring their own digital SLR camera and manual. Advanced students will work on developing a comprehensive portfolio.

Photoshop: From Pixels to Print

Students create an assortment of projects using Adobe Photoshop. They will be taught the technical skills and learn the working behind the Photoshop process. Students will be given project ideas, but are encouraged to use their creativity to create fun, exciting digital artwork. Topics include color modes, raster vs. vector, typography, filters, layers, paint brushes, and more. Students will have the ability to print poster-sized pictures of some of their work to showcase their finished assignments.

Advanced Digital Photography

In digital photography, students are introduced to the digital camera and its controls, image creation, and workflow, from capture to print output. In-class instructions and assignments cover non-automatic shooting modes, file types, menus, exposure, light, shutter effects, and creativity. Students will gain experience with image editing programs, online resources, and digital portfolios. Students are encouraged to bring their own digital SLR camera and manual. Advanced students will work on developing a comprehensive portfolio.

Screenwriting

This course, part one of a two part sequence, will allow students the opportunity to write and develop a script for production. The course will cover basic and intermediate writing theory and the scripts written will be used by the Film Production class (taught by Hezekiah Lewis) in the spring where they will be made into short films. Students are strongly encouraged to sign up for both courses in this sequence.

Sculpture

In this course, students will explore various sculptural issues through the creation of three-dimensional artworks. Projects will address materiality, craft, site, space, the body, permanence, and ephemerality through projects that are singular objects, installations, or wearable sculptures. Materials can include wire, wood, plaster, foam, cardboard, paper and found objects. Advanced students will develop an independent project.

Street Art and Social Art Practices

This course will deconstruct the issues relevant to street art and other creative social interventions by artists. Recent interventionist art practices have challenged notions of public/private space, community, institutional authority, democratic participation and environmental ethics through inventive forms. We will deeply investigate these issues before creating artwork in 2, 3, or 4 dimensions. Students may utilize, but are not limited to, painting, photography, digital media, sculpture, and non-traditional materials. Participation in group discussions in a necessity for all students.

Yearbook

In this course, students learn the skills needed to successfully create layouts for a magazine-format spread. Copy writing, photography, illustration, and layout will all be covered. Students will learn how to plan, organize, and oversee a major journalistic project. The work produced in this course appears in the 2014 MFS yearbook. Students who show dedication and initiative may apply for editorial leadership positions on the yearbook staff. All current yearbook editors must take this course for the full year. In the second semester course, students work directly in completing the 2014 MFS Yearbook and planning the 2015 Yearbook theme and design.

Performing Arts

Major Courses

Music TheoryAP Music Theory

This course is designed to prepare students for the AP Music Theory Examination. It begins by reviewing basic music reading skills and then progresses to harmonic analysis. Students develop aural skills (sight-singing, rhythmic and melodic diction) along with written skills (part-writing and score analysis). This course is designed for those with strong musical interest with a solid command of basic music theory. All students enrolled must take the AP exam in May.

Required Minor Course

Public Speaking

Students learn how to make effective in-class presentations and succeed in other public speaking situations. This course is designed to promote self-esteem, self-confidence, and reduce anxiety when speaking in front of an audience. Students deliver three major speeches with an emphasis on audience-centered communication.

Examples of Optional Minor Courses

Composition and Music Technology

In this course, students will explore the history and art of music composition and how technological advances have shaped it. Students will write and record their own work and learn to use many technological tools to support their efforts. Included will be a look at MIDI sequencing, sampling, digital audio recording and production, as well as the craft involved in lyric writing and composition.

Guitar Ensemble

This class is open to all guitarists. Emphasis is placed on finger technique, learning new chords and soloing. Students are given the opportunity to explore the guitar and how it applies to various styles of music including pop, jazz, blues, R&B, folk, country, alternative and classic rock.

Advanced Guitar Ensemble

This class is open to all guitarists who have completed one year of Guitar Ensemble or have previously studied guitar. Emphasis is placed on finger technique, note reading, learning new chords and soloing. Students are given the opportunity to explore the guitar and how it applies to various styles of music including pop, jazz, blues, R&B, folk, country, alternative and classic rock.

Symphonic/ Jazz Ensemble

The Symphonic/Jazz Ensemble performs a wide variety of symphonic band and jazz ensemble repertoire. The group performs at several events throughout the year, including major concerts in both December and April. Students are expected to practice at home a minimum 2 hours per week. Grades are based on effort, musical progress, and decorum during rehearsals.

Advanced Jazz Ensemble

Open by audition, this year-long course offers advanced jazz musicians the opportunity to explore challenging repertoire in a small ensemble setting.

String Ensemble

The Upper School String Ensemble plays a wide range of material, ranging from classical music literature to modern pop arrangements. The string ensemble perform two concerts at Moorestown Friends School, with one in the winter, and one in the spring.

MFS Singers

MFS Singers is open to all students with varying levels of previous musical experience. Choir will help students improve music reading skills, vocal ability and provide leadership opportunities and cooperation among their peers. Singers study and perform music from a range of styles and historic contexts including classical, contemporary and world music. There are three main concerts each year; the Winter Concert, the February Choir Showcase and Spring Concert. Additional concert appearances include caroling in Moorestown, providing music for Open Houses, assemblies, talent shows, coffee houses, special school events and the Spring Cabaret for underclassmen. Come to choir to build skills, build friendships and reach out to your community.

Women’s Choir

Womens Choir is open to all students with any amount of background in choral or individual music performance. Womens Choir often learns several pieces per semester of varying difficulty, with an emphasis on specific female vocal technique and diverse repertoire. Similarly, to MFS Singers, Womens Choir provides music at many school functions and performs in the three main concerts during the year; the Winter Concert, the February Choir Showcase, and Spring Concert.