As the 2022-2023 school year is wrapping up, the opportunity to pick next year’s arts classes has come to a close for the whole school, but you can still change your courses if you need. When school starts in the fall, there will be a chance to add/drop so it’s important to understand all your options. Northwest offers over 50 different art classes for students ranging from computer based classes to visual arts. To graduate, students must have a minimum of six arts credits and must take a course in each of the four departments: dance, theater, music, and visual arts. You can see what arts credits you have left on your requirements page in Blackbaud. Because the process of picking arts classes has come to a close, you can start your summer by looking forward to the amazing classes you chose or start to think about changing if you have doubts!
Theater classes at Northwest are a unique experience compared to other schools. Northwest has an extensive theater program that has many different opportunities, including cross middle and high school productions. Theater can be a good way to raise your confidence, practice public speaking, and work on different design elements such as set and costume. Stage tech and design has been praised by an anonymous middle schooler for being a class that “grows slowly but steadily as you work and is full of passionate people”. Next year, the theater department will be putting on Romeo and Juliet, so if that interests you, next year would be a good one to get your theater credit.
VISUAL ARTS CLASSES
Visual arts classes span from classics like drawing to more unique courses such as building sculptures using recycled materials. There are so many options when it comes to visual arts classes so it’s important to understand which ones might be the best for you. Drawing has been described as relaxing and fun whereas ceramics is a less structured class with a lot of creativity. Film and Video art was highly recommended by many students. During an interview, Angelica L. 25’ replied, “Molly is incredibly understanding. If you film a video you get to explore different techniques and use programs to explore different techniques and video art.” Similar to Angelica, students said this class helped them improve their presentation skills and offered an in-depth understanding of contemporary music and its origins. If you are interested in learning more about film and video, this class is definitely worth considering.
Music is not only fun to listen to but is also great for the brain. Northwest is a great space for musical creativity, with pianos everywhere and guitars lining the halls. On top of this, Northwest offers a plethora of music classes and there is an overwhelming amount of love for orchestra. Not only does it have a friendly rivalry with the band classes but it’s another great place to be with other talented people like yourself. If you are looking for a music class without auditions you should check out Concert Band.
Dance classes at Northwest are a great way to move your body during the day and fun for people who love to perform. Tina C. ‘26, a creative dancer, said “dance classes are collaborative and if you have a lot of friends in your class, it’s like dancing with your friends”. On May 12th, during Arts Fest, you saw many performances from different dance classes. If you enjoyed any of these performances, you could consider taking some of the classes! Northwest offers a lot of different genres of dance too, from creative dance to PDE. There’s also culture specific dance classes such as Black social dance and Latin social dance.
Elective classes are taken during the arts block but do not count towards a specific arts credit, however these are great classes if you want a class that is less artsy. Computer Science principles, programming I, Journalism, and Peer Mentoring are the main electives that anyone can take. International seniors can take English Composition and Advanced Grammar as well. A highly recommended elective course is Computer Science because of how useful and unique the skills taught there are. And of course, consider joining Journalism, if you want to write amazing articles like the ones on publishing.haus.
As we wrap up this school year, it’s clear that selecting the right classes for the next year is critical to a student’s success and wellbeing. With this in mind, it’s essential for students to prioritize their passions while reaching out of their comfort zone to fulfill the credit requirement. Try new things, explore different interests and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. However, remember to also be thoughtful and kind to your future self as well as balance your schedule with extracurriculars and other personal responsibilities. Good luck next year and have a great summer!
Written by: Collin C ’26 and Selome G ’25