The arts are important to each person's overall education. They provide a distinct and vitally important way in which students learn about themselves and about how that aesthetic, emotional, and kinesthetic self-knowledge fits into the worlds of school-based and lifelong learning. Participation in the arts can make anyone more curious and more able to take the creative risks essential for success in their careers and their lives. Bernards High School offers programs in music, art, photography and theater. The programs are designed to encourage skill and technical virtuosity and to provide cultural enrichment and appreciation.

These courses meet the Visual and Performing Arts Requirements which must total 5 Credits

Art I (semester)

AP Studio Art 2-D

Art II


Advanced Art (A)/(H)

Concert Band

Photoshop (semester)

Jazz Ensemble (H)*

Digital Photography (semester)

Musicianship and Musical Theory I  (semester)

Digital Imaging (semester)

Musicianship and Musical Theory  II  (semester)

Photo Workshop

Music Technology I (semester)

          AP Studio Art

Music Technology II  (semester)


Theatre Arts I  (semester)

Concert Choir

Theatre Arts II  (semester)

Madrigals (H)*

Acting Troupe

ART I        Credits:  2.5        03810

Grades:  9-12        Semester

Prerequisite:  None

This one-semester introductory art class is open to all students 9-12 and is a prerequisite for taking Art II. The students will explore the basic fundamentals of various art mediums such as drawing, color theory, painting, graphic design and printmaking. The students are required to maintain a sketchbook, and by the end of the semester, will have a 5 to 8 piece final portfolio.

ART II        Credits:  5.0        03812

Grades:  9-12        Year

Prerequisite:  Art I

This full year course is open to all students 9-12, and is a prerequisite for taking Advanced Art. Art II explores further the basic

fundamentals of Art I, and includes more in-depth art studies and techniques. The students will explore further figure/gesture drawings, two-point perspective, color theory, several approaches to printmaking, bookmaking, and graphic design. At the end of the course the students will have an 8 to 10 piece final portfolio. The students are required to maintain a weekly sketchbook. The class will include Art History lessons, films, visits by guest artists, and representatives from art schools.

ADVANCED ART (A)         Credits:  5.0        03814

Grades:  10-12        Year

Prerequisite:  Art I & II

Advanced Art classes are open to all students in grades 10-12 who have completed the Art II course. This enables students to complete 3 years of study in art. Students work independently along with several weekly technique exercises. With help and supervision from the instructor, the students will choose 3 to 5 different art mediums to work with throughout the year. The first marking period is devoted to concentrating on drawing skills. During the second marking period students begin their independent projects along with one required project which is painting a ceiling tile of a famous artwork. Along with the ceiling tile the students are required to write a paper on the artist chosen as well as information of the famous artwork. At the end of the course, each student will have a 10- to 15-piece final portfolio. This is necessary for those students who are seniors to prepare them for college or art school admission. The students are required to maintain a weekly sketchbook. The class will be augmented with brief Art History lessons, films, and visits by guest artists and representatives from art schools.

ADVANCED ART (H)        Credits:  5.0        03815

Grades:  11-12        Year

Prerequisites:  Art I, Art II and Advanced Art

The Advanced Art honors course is open to students who have successfully completed the prerequisites for the department, Art II and

Advanced Art, and have been recommended by the teacher and guidance department. This honors level course will allow the student to explore and expand their artistic abilities and creativity while exploring Art history and the events in the current Art world. Students are required to conduct an art therapy experiment resulting in a 3-5 page reflection paper. This course is recommended to students who plan on continuing art at the college level and will help provide a portfolio for pre-college admission.

AP STUDIO ART        Credits:  5.0        03816

Grades:  11-12        Year

Prerequisites:  Art I, Art II and Advanced Art

The Advanced Placement offering in Studio Art is intended for highly motivated students who are seriously interested in the study of

art. It is highly recommended that students who select this course will have had previous art courses including Art II and Advanced Art. This course involves significantly more commitment and accomplishment than a typical high school art course and is not for those with a casual interest. Students will need to work during and beyond classroom time. The AP Studio Art assessment is not based on a written examination but on the evaluation of two distinct portfolios that should reflect the quality and breadth of the work of first-year college level students. Students will be expected to take the AP Assessment.

PHOTOSHOP        Credits:  2.5        03141

Grades:  9-12        Semester

Prerequisites:  None

This is a semester course open to all interested students. Students will become familiar with the skills necessary to pursue a career or

hobby in digital imaging and or graphic design. Students will learn the basic skills to use the Photoshop program. Basic digital camera functions and importing digital images using Photoshop will be explored. The toolbar, layers, filters and masks will all be covered in this initial course. Student will develop the skills necessary to put together digital layouts, learn the basics of digital retouching create black and white images, explore digital hand coloring techniques, and multimedia processing. Students will learn how to interface images with the Internet, as well as advanced file management. Each student will develop a finished digital portfolio, as well as print and display their work. This course may not be repeated.

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY        Credits:  2.5        03142

Grades:  9-12        Semester        Prerequisites:  None        

This is a semester course open to all interested students. Students will become familiar with the skills necessary to pursue a career or

hobby in digital photography, graphic design and the digital design field. Students will learn to utilize a digital camera, and learn the principals of photography. Students will learn to use the digital SLR and studio lighting. Students will create and manipulate digital images, and learn the fundamentals of composition and design. Students will develop skills to input and export media in a variety of creative ways, create a digital portfolio and learn to communicate through the use of digital photography and multimedia processes. Students will print and display their work. This course may not be repeated.

DIGITAL IMAGING        Credits:  2.5        03143

Grades:  10-12        Semester

Prerequisites:  Digital Photography or Photoshop

Students will explore the areas of photojournalism, the business of photography, digital restoration, careers in photography and

portfolio development. The students will participate in "real life" projects during and beyond classroom time. Students will shoot school functions and events for local non-profit organizations. The students will complete a final portfolio, participate and advertise their own student show. This class will also include history lessons, films, presentations, guest artists and college speaker s offering guidance for possible career paths. This course may not be repeated.

PHOTO WORKSHOP        Credits:  5.0        03146

Grades:  11-12        Year

Prerequisites:  Photoshop, Digital Photography; Teacher Recommendation

Students can pick an area of concentration in photo and explore other artists that are in the same area, keep an ongoing journal log, and shoot for a 30 photo portfolio reflecting their style. The students will participate in a photo show for their exam. This course may not be repeated.

AP STUDIO ART 2-D        Credits:  5.0        03849

Grades:  11-12        Year

Prerequisite:  Digital Photography, Photoshop, Digital Imaging with Teacher Recommendation

This Advanced Placement offering in 2D Digital Photography is intended for advanced, highly motivated students who are seriously

interested in the study of photography. The course involves the development of an area of concentration in photography. The student will be required to research and explore a specific area of digital imaging, producing a journal of work that develops into a visual portfolio. The AP assessment will be based on the digital submission of this portfolio of work. The student will have to demonstrate, quality and in depth concentration in an area of photography equivalent to the work of a first year college student. Students will be expected to take the AP Assessment.

CHORUS        Credits:  5.0        03820

Grades:  9-12        Year

Prerequisites:  None

Chorus is available to students in grades 9 through 12. It is designed to increase each singer's knowledge and enjoyment of all forms of music and guide their development as an independent vocalist. The chorus performs as part of the winter and spring concerts and at competitions during the spring.

CONCERT CHOIR        Credit:  5.0        03822

Grades:  9-12        Year

Prerequisite:  Audition

Bernards High School Concert Choir is an auditioned group of high school students, grades 9 through 12. Objectives of the choir are: to give the student an advanced background in choral singing and vocal production; to offer representative works of the finest i n choral literature from the masters; and to provide an in depth experience in the art of performance. The Concert Choir gives two evening concerts each year, participates in choral festivals and performs concert tours for additional musical experiences.

MADRIGALS (H)        Credits:  5.0        03824

Grades:  9-12        Year        

Prerequisite:  Audition

The Madrigals (H) consists of an auditioned group of singers at Bernards High School that perform choral music at a very high level.  The ensemble is chosen by audition based on musicianship, scholarship and ensemble balance and students must have previously demonstrated a high level of focus and passion for music-making on a daily basis. Students in the ensemble are required to learn and memorize all of the Concert Choir repertoire on their own while learning the more complex and musically demanding Madrigals (H) repertoire that represents all periods and styles of music history. Madrigals (H)  gives numerous concerts during the year, performing for several events including festivals, benefits and competitions.  In addition, students are expected to practice their music at home, work outside of school in regular student-led sectional rehearsals, attend all Concert Choir and Madrigals (H) rehearsals and concerts both outside and during school hours and are encouraged to take private voice lessons.

ORCHESTRA        Credits:  5.0        03836

Grades:  9-12        Year

Prerequisite:  None

The String Program is available to all string and piano players in grades 9 through 12. The Beginning String Program is available for

students desiring to begin the study of a stringed instrument. After the fall season, woodwind, brass and percussion musicians from the band program will be selected (by audition) to join the string players in playing orchestral music.

CONCERT BAND        Credits:  5.0        03832

Grades:  9-12        Year

Prerequisites:  None

The goals of the concert band include individual musical growth, ensemble development, aesthetic awareness and music performance.  The student accepts the in-school and out-of-school obligations of participation as integral components of their experience in the study of music. The band program at Bernards High School offers students an advanced level of music making   experiences through a highly structured sequential training program. All members of the class are encouraged to participate in Marching Band as an integral part of the total Band experience. Upon graduation, students are prepared for membership in college level ensembles. Emphasis is placed on developing technical skill, characteristic tonality, musical sensitivity, ensemble awareness and developing a lifelong love and appreciation of music. Concert selections are of an intermediate level (level 3 to 3.5) progressing to literature suitable to college and professional bands (level 4 to 6).

JAZZ ENSEMBLE (H)        Credits:  5.0        03834

Grades:  9-12        Year

Prerequisites:  Audition or Teacher Recommendation

Jazz Ensemble (H) provides a variety of technical and performance experiences for the instrumental music student. Jazz Ensemble (H) explores a variety of jazz styles from the 1920’s through current compositions including blues, be-bop, post-bop, 1940’s big band, 1950’s cool jazz, 1960’s progressive jazz, 1980’s and 90’s big band composers and current compositions.  Jazz Ensemble (H) gives numerous concerts during the year, playing for several events such as festivals and benefits. Through active participation, each member develops his/her technical skill within a foundational study which leads to an advanced level of musicianship. Foundational study includes memorization of scales and modes, transcribing jazz solos and studying the styles of various jazz artists. Students also develop a clear understanding of the historical significance of jazz and the important role of that knowledge to their overall growth as a jazz musician, as well as increased mastery of one’s own instrument. In addition, students will write critiques based on a variety of jazz styles and performances. Students in the ensemble are required to learn all of the Concert Band repertoire on their own while learning the more complex and musically demanding jazz repertoire that represents all periods and styles of jazz history. Students are expected to practice their music at home, attend all evening Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble (H) rehearsals and concerts both outside and during school hours.

MUSIC TECHNOLOGY I        Credits:  2.5        03843

Grades:  9-12        Semester

Prerequisites:  None

This introductory course is open to any student with the desire to learn about the world of Music Technology. Students will become

proficient in the use of loops, recording digital audio and MIDI. Sequencing techniques utilizing Sony Acid Pro, Audacity and iTunes will be studied. Students will leave this course with a basic understanding of recording techniques, sound systems and digital recording.

MUSIC TECHNOLOGY II        Credits:  2.5        03844

Grades:  9-12        Semester

Prerequisites:  Successful completion of Music Technology I

This class will explore topics in Music Technology and will concentrate on practical applications. Radio Jingles, Film Scoring, and

Compact Disc Production will be some of the topics studied. This course provides students an opportunity to develop their creativity through projects involving recording and editing. Students develop an understanding of the history of sound, microphones, sound systems, and music for film.

MUSICIANSHIP AND MUSIC THEORY I        Credits:  2.5        03841        

Grades:  9-12        Semester

Prerequisites:  None

This course provides students an opportunity to learn the basic elements of music through the rules and principles of music as an aural and written language.  Students will listen to and analyze monumental works of music, fine-tune their musical listening ability, be able to read and write music using Western music notation (music theory and literacy), and begin to compose and arrange their own works.

MUSICIANSHIP AND MUSIC THEORY II        Credits:  2.5        03842

Grades:  9-12        Semester

Prerequisites:  Successful completion of Musicianship I (or similar experience)

In this course, students build upon the principles learned in Musicianship I and study more complex, musical skills and students will continue to study monumental works of music at a more in-depth level.  Learning to recognize chord progressions, intervals and instrumentation are taught aurally and through literacy, counterpoint is introduced, recognizing and understanding form and students will compose more complex works.

THEATER ARTS I        Credits:  2.5        03850

Grades:  9-12        Semester

Prerequisite: None

Theater is a form that concentrates on the experiences of human beings; their joys, sorrows, hopes, disappointments and relationships

with one another. Theater I students will examine theater as a part of daily life, as a way of enhancing knowledge and skills, and as a means of expression. Students will explore the role of the audience, critic, and the production team. The study of theatrical history will show students the progression of this form of communication. Students will develop confidence through individual and group performance activities.

THEATER ARTS II        Credits:  2.5        03852

Grades:  9-12        Semester

Prerequisite:  Successful completion of Theater Arts I

Theater II students will examine the role of the playwright and the structure of dramatic literature. Students will continue to develop

actor training techniques acquired in Theater Arts I - increasing the development of the powers of observation, concentration, sense memory, and imagination; voice and movement; improvisation.

ACTING TROUPE        Credits:  5.0        03854

Grades:  10-12        Year

Prerequisite:  Successful completion of Theater Arts II

This course is designed for the advanced acting student with serious intention to pursue further training or with a strong interest in

acting. Acting Troupe is designed for the student who is ready for college-level honors work. Students will study advanced acting/ directing techniques in objectives, character development, script analysis, and scene study, and upon completion will be prepared for college or pre-professional training. Acting Troupe students will participate in local and regional theater/forensic programs. Students may have the opportunity for public performance and attending professional productions.