Libertas Selectives

Course Descriptions


3 Day Selectives

Art & Craftsmanship
Mr. Collins

The basic skill developed throughout the Art & Craftsmanship class is that of drawing.  Students learn to draw basic three-dimensional shapes and move to more difficult assignments such as drawing the human person, the use of perspective, etc. Other projects include learning about and coloring heraldic shields with a special regard to understanding the color wheel. There will also be three-dimensional craft projects primarily using the medium of leather.

Advanced Acoustic Guitar (7th and 8th Grade)
Mr. Whitebread

Designed for guitarists that have already taken Acoustic Guitar, this course seeks to further the development of guitarists that currently have a basic grasp of reading music, open position chords, song performance, and beginning music theory. As students continue studying the acoustic guitar, the class will include a richer exploration of applied Western music styles including jazz, country blues, modern pop/rock, and the guitar's historical roots in the medieval, baroque, classical, and romantic era arts. While the course is primarily open to all students who have successfully completed the Acoustic Guitar class, openings may be available by audition.  Note: Students are asked to provide their own guitar, clip-on tuner, guitar picks, and 3 sets of guitar strings.  The anticipated expense is about $140 per student for all needed items including the instrument.

Band
Mr. Gabbart
Mr. Keenley

In band, students will apply lower school music theory to learn the essential elements of playing a brass or woodwind instrument.  Instruction will focus on developing good tone quality, pitch, and the ability to play music in an ensemble. The band will perform at various points during the school year, including the Christmas Concert in December and the Spring Concert in May.  Note: Students will be required to rent or buy their instruments from an outside source and take lessons outside of school as well.  A list of possible rental places and lesson opportunities will be provided upon acceptance to the class.

Silent Study
Mr. Thomas (6th Grade)
Mr. Inglish (7th Grade)
Mr. Murphy (8th Grade)

The Silent Study period is designed for students who would benefit from a period of intense work that is proctored by a teacher.  Students may do homework, study for tests, work on projects, or perform any other school related activity during this period.  The Silent Study period is split into three different grade level classrooms with a teacher available in each room to answer questions about school work. (20 students per grade)

Speech & Debate
Mr. Thompson

Speech and Debate affords students the opportunity to hone their speaking and critical thinking skills. For the speech portion of the course, students will select, interpret, and perform prose, poetry, drama, biblical passages, historical speeches, Libertas Selectives 2017-18 and Reader’s Theater with constructive criticism from their teacher and peers. For the debate component, students will learn the fundamentals of logic, research, case writing, flowing, cross-examination, and rebuttals within the context of the Public Forum Debate model. Students will be encouraged, but not required, to put their talents to the test in a few local middle school speech and debate tournaments. (20 students)

Theater
Mr. Janeiro

Building upon the bard tradition of Western Academy's festival days, Theater offers students a rich immersion in the history of theater as they mature in their acting craft and hone their public speaking skills.  In this class, students will learn various acting techniques and perform them through different scenes on stage.  They will put these skills on display during a live performance for their families and peers.  Students in the theater class will also increase their chances of landing a role in the annual Spring Show at the end of the year.

 

2 Day Selectives

Acoustic Guitar
Mr. Whitebread

In this introductory course to acoustic guitar, students will learn to read, play, and perform on their instrument from a Western perspective. While drawing from the traditional roots of European harmony and African rhythm, the students will learn guitar basics in the context of American musical styles uniquely born in this country. Within the scope of a class designed for beginners, lessons will cover styles that span the blues, jazz, folk, sacred, classical and rock genres. Course content is aimed at achieving a basic proficiency on the instrument while fostering the skills of group performance, ear training, and reading standard notation.  Note: Students are asked to provide their own guitar, clip-on tuner, guitar picks, and 3 sets of guitar strings.  The anticipated expense is about $140 per student for all needed items including the instrument.

Advanced Art & Craftsmanship (7th and 8th Grade)
Mr. Collins

In Advanced Art & Craftsmanship, students continue to refine their artistic skills while expanding their horizons.  Although drawing still forms the heart of this class, students will also begin to explore other mediums such as ceramics, clay, and glass.  Different techniques will be explored as students attempt to define their own styles and discover their creative sensibilities.

Advanced Band (7th and 8th Grade)
Mr. Gabbart
Mr. Keenley

Building upon the fundamentals of ensemble music learned in the previous year, students in Advanced Band will continue to perfect their instrumental capabilities while playing at various events during the school year.  The Advanced Band will strive to reach a level of cohesion and professional demeanor through hard work and attention to detail, while at the same time having fun playing music together.  The two key performances for the Advanced Band during the year are the Christmas and Spring Concerts.  Note: Students will be required to rent or buy their instruments from an outside source and take lessons outside of school as well.  A list of possible rental places and lesson opportunities will be provided upon acceptance to the class.

Adventures in Fantasy Literature (6th and 7th Grade)
Mr. Janeiro

In this class students will explore the history and development of Fantasy Literature.  They will read through many stories, myths, fairy tales, and full length works, as well critical essays written by some masters of the field, namely: J.R.R. Tolkien, George MacDonald, and G.K. Chesterton.  Class discussions will be fueled by the readings, exploring such themes as the “Roots of the Fantastic Imagination”, the “Ethics of Elfland”, “Subcreation” vs “Suspension of Disbelief”, and the possibilities of Fantasy literature in our own time, including its relation to film, drama and art.  Finally, students will venture to write some stories themselves, exploring their discoveries in the “Perilous Realm”.

Chess & Logic (7th and 8th Grade)
Mr. Creech

Whether a general in battle, a lawyer in courtroom, a quarterback on the field, or a statesmen in the assembly, success in action or persuasion depends on clear and logical thinking.  In Chess & Logic, students will develop and hone the logical and strategic thinking necessary to navigate the many complex and fluid situations of life.  Along with grammar and rhetoric, logic is also a pillar of the liberal arts trivium.  Strengthening logical thinking will improve one’s writing and communication skills immensely.  In this class, students will also have fun solving logical puzzles, playing challenging strategy games, and learning the art of chess.

Choir
Mr. Hoff

Choir class continues the study of choral music developed in the lower school grades. The focus is on developing a healthy vocal technique, choral score reading and ensemble performance. The students will learn to sing a variety of music (sacred, classical, folk, show tunes, etc.) and will also learn to sing in harmony with each other.  The Choir will perform in various shows throughout the year, including the Christmas Concert, the Spring Show, and the Spring Concert.  They will also make a few special field trips during the year to sing.  Note: Auditions may be required when school begins.

Silent Study
Mr. Thomas (6th Grade)
Mr. Inglish (7th Grade)
Mr. Power (8th Grade)

The Silent Study period is designed for students who would benefit from a period of intense work that is proctored by a teacher. Students may do homework, study for tests, work on projects, or perform any other school related activity during this period. The Silent Study period is split into three different grade level classrooms with a teacher available in each room to answer questions about school work. (20 students per grade)

Theater
Mr. Callahan

Building upon the bard tradition of Western Academy's festival days, Theater offers students a rich immersion in the history of theater as they mature in their acting craft and hone their public speaking skills.  In this class, students will learn various acting techniques and perform them through different scenes on stage.  They will put these skills on display during a live performance for their families and peers.  Students in the theater class will also increase their chances of landing a role in the annual Spring Show at the end of the year.

Woodworking (7th and 8th Grade)
Mr. Rodrigues
Mr. D'Andrea

Woodworking is both an art and a craft which requires an incredible attention to detail.  When done well, woodworking is truly a marvel to behold.  In Woodworking class, students will carefully hand-craft a variety of wooden objects.  With prudence, diligence, and precision, both wood and virtue will be carved out in this hands-on selective.

Yearbook (8th Grade)
Mr. Thompson

From start to finish, Western Academy 8th grade students will complete the production of the 2018-19 yearbook.  Although it requires a lot of effort, this is an extremely rewarding endeavor that will result in a finished product for the entire school community.  In the Yearbook class, students can expect to get a lot of hands-on technological training.  They will gain a greater proficiency with typing, become fluent with the Balfour software we use to create the yearbook, improve their writing and editing skills, and learn the fundamentals of photography and videography.