Waldorf High School of Massachusetts Bay
An Independent Waldorf High School For Grades 9-12

Practical Arts and Electives

Practical Arts and Elective are offered on a trimester schedule.

The Art of Tea Tasting

Enthusiastic about tasting a variety of teas every week, recording your observations, and sharing them online in a world-wide community of tea aficionados? Willing to learn and perform a traditional Chinese tea ceremony for the Springs Arts Evening? Ever wonder about the difference between green, oolong, black, red, purple, and white teas? Interested in the health, social, and cultural dimensions of tea? Stand to benefit from the grounding and concentration improvement benefits of tea? Motivated to shift to tea knowing that for the price of one Starbuck's (dessert) beverage you can drink amazing teas all day?

Musical Theatre (Cabaret)

In this course, students will explore their potential as singers, actors and performers. Students will decide their path as they rehearse. As a group, the class will create a theme, choose songs, and polish these songs of their choice into a final performance that will be performed, in fraction or full for a school event. Along the way students will discuss themes in the musicals, work to expand their singing range, practice and hone skills for healthy and effective vocal technique and projection, acquire strong stage presence, speak and sing with crisp diction, the importance of being an ensemble, and many more valuable skills for the stage.

The Art of Karaoke

Do you love singing in the car or jamming with friends? Are you interested in Broadway musicals? Do you ever wish you knew more about how to sing? Learn the basics of vocal technique while singing your favorite songs in the Art of Karaoke. Weekly we will be learning songs as a class, while individually, students will prepare songs that they will perform for the class every Friday. As we go, students will learn some favorite Broadway classics as well as some newer music. Students will also be given tips and advice on vocal technique and how to be better vocalists.

Acting and Performance

Elective Course, two trimesters
The Drama Elective offers the opportunity for students who wish to explore the acting and performance more deeply. In class sessions and extra-curricular rehearsals, students delve into choosing a challenging play, interpreting the language, exploring their characters, and practicing and developing techniques to bring a character to life. Students in the drama elective work on complex, modern pieces for most of the year, performing plays for the community in April. Recent performances include Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” and several of his one-act plays, Sam Shepard’s “True West”, Sarah Ruhl’s “Eurydice”, Frank Wedikind’s “Spring Awakening”, and Tina Howe’s “Painting Churches”

Destination Imagination

Elective Course
In this elective, students will participate in the Destination Imagination (DI) program, a creative problem-solving competition where teams of 2-7 students choose a challenge and work together to develop a solution to present at a tournament in March.  Teams that do well move on to the state tournament and perhaps even to Globals. DI challenges range from engineering-based (e.g., build a device to move objects through a course) to artistically-based (e.g., write a play telling a story from three different perspectives) and are designed to encourage holistic, divergent, and innovative thinking skills.  Participants will be required to attend the DI regional tournament, which will be a full-day event on a Saturday in March. For more information about DI, check out www.destinationimagination.org.

Flag Football

Elective Course
Flag Football allows for friendly energetic team efforts while also allowing us to enjoy New England's colorful autumn great outdoors. We will learn a few team strategies, but mostly make fair teams and have fun while we PLAY THE GAME!!!

Hand Spinning

Elective Course
Students try to get as far “from sheep to shawl” (or scarf?) as possible. The class explores the steps to turn raw wool into a finished scarf or shawl. These steps include combing the wool and preparing it for spinning, then using a simple drop spindle and spinning the wool into yarn. If time allows, students will knit their own handspun yarn into a simple scarf or shawl.

Music Ensemble

Elective Course
This elective is a gathering of all musicians who play to celebrate and play music of many different styles. Musicians will explore various styles of music, such as folk, jazz, classical, concert band, popular, and more. We will also do some music composition. You do not need to read music to be in this class, but it does make things easier as sometimes music is arranged and handed out to the group. Members of the class will help shape the curriculum based on their interests and experiences.

Chinese Calligraphy

Elective Course
This workshop is an introduction to the principles , techniques, and art of Chinese calligraphy. Emphasis is placed on the techniques of using Chinese writing brushes, the execution of individual strokes, and the construction of Chinese characters in "regular" style. Students also acquire an understanding and appreciation of the aesthetics of Chinese calligraphy and its role in Chinese culture.

Computer Programming

Elective Course
In this course, open to beginners and all levels of experienced programmers, students will learn to write graphics software. Each student designs and creates their own computer game and/or graphical simulation program. The primary language is BASIC, though experienced programmers may also work in other languages such as Python or Java.

Digital Arts

Elective Course
In this course, students develop skills in digital photography, digital darkroom and photo-compositing, animation and digital filmmaking. While most of the time is spent on individual and small-group projects of the student’s choice, some skill-building assignments are also required of all participants.

Knitting for Charity

Elective Course
Students in this class knit or crochet squares to make blankets for the estimated 14.8 million abandoned children and AIDS orphans in southern Africa living in dire poverty. Our squares join the thousands of squares from around the world in blankets sewn together by the organization KasCare through their Knit-a-Square project. According to the organization’s website: “As a children’s charity, KasCare’s knit-a-square program has two goals: 1. To warm and comfort these children with blankets, hats, vests and pullovers. 2. To raise awareness of this mostly hidden human tragedy.”

Model U.N.

Elective Course
The Model UN elective gives students an opportunity to advance their understanding of international politics by attending a model U.N. conference as delegates of a U.N. member nation. Prior to the conference, students research their assigned topics and write position papers that are the basis for their participation in the committee debates and discussions. At the conference, student delegates follow U.N. procedures to pass resolutions on their topics.

Watercolor and Acrylic Painting

Elective Course
Wielding a brush of color across an empty white expanse--- is there anything else like it? Working in gesture with all the varieties of mark-making possible using a brush as a tool, combined with the phenomenon of color is an experience like no other. We start with luminous pure transparent watercolors, exploring the qualities of light inherent in that medium. The second half of the trimester sees a switch over to the very opaque and saturated world of acrylic painting, with all its richness, immediacy and texture.

Yearbook I and II

Elective Course
Students focus on layout.  They manage publication deadlines and proofread the yearbook prior to submission.  They also finish soliciting advertisements and recognitions, and make sure all photos are complete.  They carry on with photographing students, faculty, and school events.

The strengths of Waldorf High School are many. One is the acceptance of all students and the welcoming, nonjudgmental atmosphere. Another is capturing the interest of students; it is real experiential learning.
Waldorf High School Parent
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