New art classes to be offered next year

Music Appreciation and Studio Art History will be offered as classes next year after being approved last week by the Faculty Academic Committee. Orchestra teacher Mark Hilt proposed the new music course, which had been a long-time goal of his, while Visual Arts teacher Arthur Tobias created Studio Art History.

With the help of Director of Studies Deborah Downing and the approval of Department Chair Rees Pugh, Hilt submitted the new class to FAC for review. He said the curriculum will “probably undergo significant revision,” but tentatively plans to have the class cover eight major composers from the 20th century.

“I want to help the students see the connections in the world of music that they already have from many of their other classes, such as history and English literature,” Hilt said.

He plans on using “The Rest is Noise” by Alex Ross as a textbook to situate the music in a broader social context so that it does not remain a “museum curiosity,” Hilt said.

“One of the main reasons why I feel the book will be great for the students is that he doesn’t really believe in any divisions between genres in music, and I believe this approach is one students can relate to,” he said.

Hilt plans to get University of California arts accreditation for the class before the start of the new school year.

Studio Art History will be offered as a companion to AP Art History. Instead of being lecture-based, however, the class will take place primarily in the studio.

The class was designed by Tobias as a way for students to create the same types of art as the cultures studied in Art History. These types of art include frescoes, etchings, and other mediums used from medieval to modern times.

“The idea is to better understand the images in the art history slides,” Tobias said. “I can’t guarantee a better grade in Art History if you take the new class, but it can’t hurt.”

Concurrent enrollment in Art History is not required, but is recommended. Tobias has submitted a course outline to the UC system which has been approved for arts credit.