Grades 5-9
The Experience
Upper School: Grades 7-9

Arts: Grades 7-9

Exploration, expression, development: Upper School boys are given the freedom to channel their creative energies into pursuits of their choosing.

In the Upper School, boys develop their passion for a particular area of the arts. We encourage the pursuit of these passions by granting them the freedom to choose their electives in music, visual, and performing arts. With instruction from professional, working artists, boys benefit from creative and focused guidance—as well as expansive arts facilities, including a video production studio and digital photography lab. From theatrical performances to vocal concerts to gallery exhibitions, boys have numerous opportunities to showcase their talents around campus and in the local community.

Visual Arts Courses: Grades 7-9

List of 4 items.

  • Studio Art (Beginner and Advanced)

    We offer three levels of Studio Art. Boys start by learning art fundamentals and progress to more complex principles as they explore a variety of media and techniques, including: drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, and sculpture. Students create a personal online portfolio chronicling their studio experience.
  • Photography (Beginner and Advanced)

    Students start by learning the basic fundamental photographic principles that allow them to control and to manipulate their images with the camera and progress towards developing their own photographic style. They learn to edit their work and to join in numerous critiques and competitions. Students keep a portfolio book which is continuously edited to showcase their best work.
  • Woodworking (Beginner and Advanced)

    At the beginner level boys discover the art of working with wood and learn to use many hand and power tools safely and effectively. They build on those skills at the Advanced level as they learn to work with higher quality woods and execute more elaborate designs.
  • Video Production

    In this course, students produce a TV show for the Upper School in a dedicated video production studio. Skills include brainstorming, script and storyboard writing, filming, studio engineering, and video and audio editing. The finished productions, entitled “15 Minutes,” are shown to the entire Upper School.

Performing Arts Courses: Grades 7-9

List of 7 items.

  • Advanced Band

    For students with at least two years of experience, the band repertoire includes jazz, rock, and concert pieces for instrumentalists.
  • Jazz Ensemble

    This group comprises a select group of Advanced Band members interested in learning and performing jazz arrangements with improvised solo opportunities.
  • World Percussion

    Students learn various musical genres from West Africa, including the cultural context of each piece through supplementary materials (e.g., pictures, videos, and audio files). Instructors teach stick and hand drumming techniques. Although the focus is on percussion instruments, in Africa, the drumming happens in conjunction with singing and dancing. Therefore, basic dance steps and songs are also taught.
  • Orchestra

    This ensemble comprises strings and woodwinds for students who have at least two years of experience reading music. Boys are exposed to simple arrangements of light classical pieces and pop tunes with a focus on balance, intonation, dynamics, following the conductor, and live performances.
  • Choral

    The “Upper School Voices” (USV) are a singing group that performs a wide variety of music at concerts throughout the year.
  • Instrument Lessons

    Private lessons are available for the following instruments: clarinet, guitar/bass, piano, drums, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and others upon request.
  • Theater Arts

    This course teaches the fundamentals of theater, both on the stage and behind the scenes. Students learn acting basics as they produce simple scenes for the class and the Upper School. Additionally, students learn the technical aspects of theater, including set design, construction, and lighting. The class helps stage the fall and spring Upper School productions and mounts a simple theatrical show of their own.

Meet the Visual Arts Team

List of 4 members.

Meet the Performing Arts Team

List of 5 members.

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The Fessenden School
250 Waltham Street
West Newton, MA 02465
(617) 964-5350

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