Mary Star of the Sea High School

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Course Catalog » Visual and Performing Arts Department

Visual and Performing Arts Department


Note: An asterisk (*) following the course title indicates the course meets the 
entrance requirements for UC/CSU when passed with a grade of C or better. 
Prerequisite: None
Grade 11, 12 1 Year
The Fine Arts Department stresses the theme “Art is communication.” The teacher emphasizes perception and expression of the student’s personal and communal world. The students explore various media while learning fundamental techniques of design, composition, form, and color. The students are introduced to drawing with an emphasis on various styles. The student will also be introduced to the basic fundamentals of portraiture, landscape, and still life. The media to be used are pencil, charcoal, pen, ink, watercolor, pastels, collage and calligraphy. Art II explores advanced techniques in artistic media. The student builds on techniques already developed and experiments with additional mediums such as: painting, printmaking, fabric design, graphic art, glass etching and stencil making. This course fulfills the art requirement for graduation.



Corequisite:               Art I and II, Art and Music History, or Dance


Grade 11, 12              1 Year


A year-long course intended to assist students in preparing portfolios for various art colleges and art programs in the following areas: Fine Arts (Drawing and Painting), Photography, Photojournalism, Graphic Arts, Architecture, Theatre Arts. As a project-based course, students design and complete work based on personal interests and/or portfolio requirements for programs to which the students are applying.   

Prerequisite: None
Grade 11, 12 1 Year
Students will trace the history and development of music from its prehistoric roots to the present time. They will learn to understand the musical and artistic manifestations of cultural and societal values throughout history. Extensive in-class viewing and listening will enable them to recognize different musical and artistic styles and trends. This course fulfills the art requirement for graduation.

Prerequisite: None
Grade 9     1 Year

This course is designed for the student who has no previous understanding of dance. It will give the student a basic introduction to dance history, dance skills, costume design, and performance production. The student will be able to appreciate various styles of dance from ballet to hip hop along with an emphasis on fitness and exercise. A quarter of this class will also be dedicated to a health component. Through their study, students will see the benefits of taking cared of oneself, making healthy choices and understanding that taking care of one's health is a lifelong discipline. This course fulfills the MSHS P.E. requirement.

Prerequisite: Departmental approval
Grade 9-12 1 Year (zero period)
The yearbook class has as its main function the production of the Mary Star of the Sea Yearbook (Stella Maris). The staff is introduced to the principles of photojournalism, copy writing, editing, layout design, advertising, and other business techniques. In order to meet deadlines, staff members use the principles learned and work together to establish the yearbook’s budget, content, organization and design. Class size limited to 20 students. Students are required to interview for this class.