Art Departments

a + d

Architecture + Design

Architecture + Design is for students who love to build, tinker, whittle, carve, craft, make street art, or fill sketchbooks with drawings. Students in this department will develop creative and critical skills, while learning about the ways architecture and design shape our world and can change the ways we live.

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Band students receive weekly masterclasses with professional musicians, studying many aspects of the craft of music making particular to the instrument they play.  Students build skills through large ensemble training, small ensemble performances, and solo repertoire development. Students have the opportunity to take AP Music Theory and select Electronic Music, Composition, or Songwriting. 


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Creative Writing

Students who share a passion for writing enter the Creative Writing Department with fresh, raw voices, and leave with their skills honed, their styles refined, and their originality intact. The four-year program introduces young writers to a variety of instructors and teaching styles– focusing on three core areas: poetry, fiction, and playwriting.

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The Dance Department offers rigorous coursework in ballet, modern, jazz, blues, and other contemporary styles of dance, as well as training in choreography and composition. Students learn to combine strong technique with a sense of artistry.

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The heart of the Guitar program is the study of classical guitar and its rich history. Students are encouraged to pursue projects in flamenco, blues, jazz, pop, rock, metal, and other styles and to compose and perform their own music.

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Media & Film Arts

Media students are introduced to a variety of genres, including documentary, animation, narrative and experimental and receive instruction in all aspects of motion picture production. Film history and analysis also play an important role in the coursework.

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Musical Theatre

The Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts Musical Theatre Program is a dynamic and demanding training experience for students who are interested in pursuing a career in Musical Theatre. The curriculum offers rich and intensive courses in singing, acting, dancing, musical theatre production.

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The Orchestra strand of Instrumental Music focuses on the string instruments. Students receive instruction in orchestral, chamber, solo, and collaborative musical performance as well as musicianship and musicology.

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The Piano Department focuses on European Classical and Twentieth Century Music. The curriculum includes training for solos, two piano duos and chamber music.  Weekly classes are offered in theory, improvisation, performance, vocal accompaniment, and composition.

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Spoken Arts

The Spoken Arts Department is motivated by the belief that speaking the truth can change our lives and change the world. All students are expected to uphold the principles of a beloved community, which includes challenging oppression based on class, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age, ability, language, citizenship status, and religion.

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Technical Theater

Technical Theater has two distinct strands: Stagecraft and Costume + Fashion Design. The department supports the technical needs of performances and events produced during the academic year, students collaborate with the other arts departments on more than 50 productions. Students are encouraged to explore and develop their skills in all aspects of theatrical production in a creative and unique learning environment.

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Theatre Arts

Students study and experience all aspects of theatre through classroom and studio work in a serious, rigorous, conservatory-style program.  Program includes acting, movement and ethnic dance, playwriting, voice and speech, Shakespeare, directing, periods and styles, script analysis, theatrical literature, and history.

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Visual Art

Visual Art emphasizes intensive studio instruction and the mastery of technique in drawing and painting with additional coursework in digital design and sculpture.  Students focus on composition, perspective, and color theory through instruction in a variety of media including oil, acrylics, conte, watercolor, ink, and charcoal.

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The Vocal Department is rooted in the study of European classical literature, world music, and twentieth century music with extended study possible in jazz, musical theatre, pop, and gospel.  Students sing in a variety of ensembles and study solo art song repertoire, opera, music history, world language diction, composition, and much more.

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World Dance

Students learn the fundamentals of movement and technique, choreography, dance theory, and history from a global perspective with an emphasis on dance customs and current practices.

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World Music

Students journey into a rich cultural landscape integrating mind, body, and spirit, through high-energy, hands-on exploration of the local music, dance, and traditions of other countries and cultures.

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