CHS Course Options that You May Not Have Heard Of: Arts

CHS Course Options that You May Not Have Heard Of: Arts

CHS registration for the 2022-2023 school year is fast approaching, leading students to make difficult choices regarding how they will spend their days at school. Students are constantly told about rigorous courses, mainly centered on core subjects like English, mathematics, science and social studies, and often miss out of some of the less known and more interesting classes that are offered.  

CHS has many great, but often unexplored, courses to offer, many of which have increased in class size since their inception. Some of these courses, listed below, are great opportunities to gain new perspectives on society, the country, or the globe. 

Percussion Ensemble  

Percussion Ensemble is a new course at CHS for all different levels of percussionists, experienced or not. Different types of percussion instruments will be explored, including drums, mallet instruments, accessory instruments, marching percussion, and more. This course is offered to all students with no prerequisites, regardless of ability, and will be a fun way to receive a fine arts credit and learn a new skill. 

For one period per day, students taking this course will be able to relax and “jam out” with friends, in addition to being involved in an activity that is not academically based. This will be a non-traditional band class that will explore creativity by encouraging freestyle and different genres of musical percussion. Students will be able to leave the class with fundamental percussion skills and a positive experience.  

“Percussion is the only place in the school where you will be able to do things you can’t do anywhere else. Have you ever wanted to make trash can beats by playing on bucket drums? You can do it here. Does learning how to play music from places like Africa, India, and Japan sound fun to you? We will be doing that right here. Are you looking for an outlet to channel some creativity and make music you can’t make anywhere else in school? This is the spot,” said the teacher of the course, Mr. Derek Dillman. “Involvement in music utilizes knowledge from every core subject- Math, English, Social Studies, you name it! You get to express YOURSELF in an authentic way without any judgement here and see how it all ties into the larger world around us.” 

Improvisational Theatre 

Improvisational Theatre is a semester course, with no prerequisites, where students learn about and hone interpersonal skills through the practice of improvisation. Students will be encouraged to make connections with their identities in an environment that contains trust, interaction, agreement, and active listening and participation.  

Improvisational theatre is a form of theatre where the plot, characters, dialogue, and setting are made up in the moment, sometimes taking suggestions from outside sources. 

This course gives students a chance during their day to be creative, have fun, interact with peers, and take risks in a safe environment. It can broaden students’ perspectives on their capabilities and those of their peers.  

“The course really allows for all students – introverted or extroverted – to grow, learn and find a place to shine without judgement,” said teacher of the course, Ms. Costello.  

AP Music Theory 

AP music theory is a course for students who want to dive deep into the world of music and explore how music works on a technical level. AP Music Theory is offered to all students who are AP eligible and have an interest in music. There are no prerequisites or musical experience necessary. 

This course will allow students to understand how modern music functions, and what kind of underlying factors contribute to a piece. This course can be helpful to anybody, especially those who have an interest in composing their own music.  

“Taking this class can give you the knowledge to be a deeper, more careful listener which can make listening to the music that you like even more enjoyable,” said Mr. Dillman, who also teaches this course. “It is a very cool feeling to be able to listen to something and understand what is happening and why it is happening!” 

If this class sounds interesting, but the “AP” is daunting, there is a non-AP course for music theory where similar concepts are explored. 



There are also some options that are not currently offered at CHS but could also be options during registration for the next school year if there is enough interest. One of these classes is Russian, which would be taught virtually and concurrently while being taught by another high school teacher in the county.  

There is also a possibility of a piano course being offered, in addition to the other arts courses. 

There are many course options for those who are selecting classes to fill their schedules, some of which are intended to be interesting and more focused to students’ interests. As students are filling out their registration forms, they should consider taking new classes that interest them or could introduce a new perspective. All course descriptions are listed in the course booklet that was distributed during the first high school registration and see guidance with any further questions.