Arts & Technology Brochure for AFS

Page 1

A snapshot of alumni pursuing their practice in college:

A snapshot of alumni currently working in art and technology:

Kate, stage management major, New York University Corey, technical theatre major, University of Maryland/Baltimore Raquel, acting/musical theatre major, Marymount Manhattan College Eli, theatre/history major, member of Hasty Pudding Theatricals, Harvard University Shoshi, music and theatre double major, Goucher University Nicole, acting/theatre double major, Muhlenberg University Saria, acting/theatre studies double major, Bryn Mawr College Patrick, voice performance major, University of Michigan Olivia, music/psychology major, University of Vermont Matt, music major, Berklee College of Music Monica, voice major, Westminster Choir College Josh, art major, Art Institute of Chicago Katie, art major, Moore College of Art Nicole, industrial design, Savannah College of Art & Design Jamir, audio production, Full Sail University Jonah, aerospace engineering, Syracuse University Anna, engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology

Jason, stage manager, Actor's Equity Association Laura, stage manager, Actor's Equity Association Alexis, casting director Mike, lighting/sound designer, entertainment technician Jon, lighting designer Adam, actor Lyle, writer/actor/producer Whitney, Deputy Director of Development, Theatre Development Fund Ben, actor Susanne, actor, activist Rachel, opera singer Gabe, creative director, Weathervane Music Max, actor Miles, musician, activist Michael, actor, educator Emily, props artisan Jess, professional photographer Jordan, professional drummer, Blue Man Group Emily, violinist with the Amaranth Quartet Russell, music teacher David, composer, engineer Dan, music producer

Arts & Technology Confidence and Ingenuity for Life

Read more about our alumni online at

575 Washington Lane Jenkintown, PA 19046 215.576.3950 AFS is a coeducational college-preparatory school for students from age 3 through Grade 12, deeply rooted in Quaker values.

Abington Friends School

Abington Friends School provides the creative freedom for students to flourish as artists, designers, programmers, innovators, writers, makers and whatever else they

dare to dream.



Excellence in the arts is a hallmark of the education program at Abington Friends School. AFS students are engaged in creativity throughout their experience. We hope not only to teach our students to create and perform at a high level, but also to begin a lifelong appreciation of the arts. The strength of the program stems from its clear and common vision, which is shared by the faculty and the School administration. Our program is constantly evolving, making room for advances in technology that have been woven into the classroom instruction — whether it is students exploring the science of music as they compose songs in Garageband on their iPads; using a laser cutter to create miniature stage designs or learning how to draw and animate characters for a video they create in art class.

" We are a school where the arts, in every discipline and for every age group, are seen as essential for integrating culture, critical thinking and imagination." Rich Nourie, Head of School

As in other parts of our academic program, Quaker principles of education are embedded in the arts disciplines. Our students learn through hands-on experience; they are taught to employ skills of critical observation, and they are encouraged to envision what may be possible as they constantly seek a deeper understanding. All of our arts and technology faculty are professionals who are actively practicing in their fields and understand first-hand the challenges and rewards of the creative process. Our faculty seek opportunities for our students to perform or show their work to a wider audience. They make sure that students can see themselves as artists in the outside world and serve as mentors to help students build skills, refine techniques and grow in confidence.



Arts Technology Robotics, Programming, Coding, Technical Theatre, Graphic Design and Digital Photography Lower School Technology is integrated into the curriculum from day one at AFS and it is not about screen time. Students in our preschool have the opportunity to visit an Upper School robotics class to feel, touch and see the robots. As part of the science curriculum, Kindergarten and first grade students are introduced to robots and programming through using Dash and Dot robots. Coding requires a lot of patience and attention and this opens opportunities for teachers to use techniques that encourage students to step away from the challenging task, take a breath, regroup, regain a positive perspective of the task and then try again. At AFS, it is not just about teaching how to code, it is about teaching how to work through problem solving.

Middle & Upper Schools Middle and Upper School students continue to build on new technology skills each year and learn how to utilize the tools as well as how to be a good digital citizen. In fifth and sixth grades, students use Minecraft in their history classes to recreate historical sites and interact in an online space. In seventh grade, students receive a Chromebook; they start to work with large amounts of data in science and learn how to manipulate and make sense of information. The maker spaces allow for students to utilize design thinking skills in a collaborative environment. Upper School students can take courses where they learn to code in Java, design models using AutoCad software, and build and program robots. In addition to these course offerings, students are able to join a highly competitive and engaging robotics team that has gone on to both regional and national world championship levels, or the always fun 3D printing club. Students attend programming competitions, tech meetups and learn from tech presenters on campus.


Last year, the second grade class completed


Lines of Code

"Robotics is such a comprehensive mental, physical, collaborative and creative undertaking. At a small school, with a small team, everybody can play a role, and each student gets to see a lot of roles. They get to be a part of the whole project coming together." Jillian, Upper School Math Teacher & Lead Coach of the Robotics Team


Examples of Technology Courses in Upper School

Computer-Aided Design with an​Introduction to Engineering Students are introduced to engineering and Computer-Aided Design (CAD) through the course’s practical, real-world connections and hands-on projects. Students have an opportunity to integrate science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) into the way they view their world with an enhanced understanding of the Design Process, Systems Analysis, Manufacturing Process and other engineering principles.

Introduction to Technical Theatre Students explore all elements of stagecraft such as carpentry, rigging, lighting and sound engineering.

Photography II This intermediate course continues to build digital imaging skills and introduces students to black and white film photography. Emphasis is placed on developing a critical eye, learning to “read” photographs, communication and artistic self-expression.

Java Programming I This course provides an introduction to computer-programming language using Java. This course is aimed for students who have some computer-programming-language familiarity and are proficient in math.

Computer Graphics Students use design thinking and Adobe Creative Suite as powerful tools to tackle real-world, visual problems. Students learn how to import, create, edit, and export digital images for a variety of practical and expressive purposes.



Visual Arts

Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Sculpture, Photography Lower School In Lower School, students are able to make independent decisions about their artwork. By fourth grade, they can clearly articulate their artistic process and choices. It is also important for younger students to focus on improving their fine motor skills with art creation techniques.

Middle & Upper Schools Fifth and sixth graders work on drawing and construction skills. They’re making things with wire, working with wood and sculpting figures out of clay. Students learn Tinkercad, a computer design tool, so they can make 3-D designs and print them in art class. The older students are more involved in conceptual work. They come up with an idea and have to communicate it with their artwork. They learn to use complex application of art and technology together.

" When students arrive in Advanced Art class, they have practiced many painting, drawing, and printmaking techniques and are poised for self-directed

Examples of Visual Arts Courses in Upper School

art-making. Our focus then shifts from foundational, skill-building exercises to projects with deeper meaning - making and idiosyncratic approaches." Amy, Upper School Studio Art Instructor

Drawing Intensive

This is a full-year course designed for serious drawing students. Students create still life, self-portrait, figurative, surreal, and symbolic works.

Painting & Printmaking

Students begin to work in wet media. They learn about handling brushes and paint and create images using watercolors, tempera and acrylics.


Students explore the construction of expressive forms in clay, paper, plaster, and found objects.


In this course for the beginning ceramist, students learn the basic techniques of handbuilding in clay: pinch pots, coil pots and slab construction.




Movement, Vocals and Instrumental

Lower School Music class activities include speech, singing, creative movement, organized dance, drama, reading, writing, listening, instrumental experiences and techniques. By fourth grade, students are prepared to begin their introduction to strings or small group lessons conducted within the music program in Middle School. Each semester, the entire Lower School performs on stage in the Muller Auditorium to demonstrate their knowledge in a variety of the areas noted above.

Middle & Upper Schools Middle and Upper School music courses are intentionally small in size in order to provide the individualized attention that singers and musicians need to practice and receive coaching. Students have the opportunity to sing in choir for one year or for their entire Middle and Upper School experience. Students can choose an instrument to play based on experience or personal interest. They can also choose to be part of a string ensemble or the orchestra and jazz band.

"As they listen and soak up all the information, they soon make the knowledge

Examples of Music Courses

their own. After that, I watch, wait, guide, learn and see what magic unfolds."

in Upper School

Keisha Hirlinger, Lower School Music Teacher


In this course, an emphasis is placed on building skills, working with chord charts and improvisation. Performances occur both on and off campus.

How Music Works

In this course, students explore elements of music history, music theory, composition, performance, technology and exploration of global/cultural influences on music.



The amount of school performances a child could participate in from Early-childhood through Grade 12. 13


Acting, Improv, Theatre Design, Drama, Musical Theatre

“I think where the AFS program is superior to other programs is that I’ve been able to take acting classes nearly every day, and apply what I’ve learned in the shows.” Drew, Upper School Student

Lower School Lower School students in preschool through grade four perform twice a year in both a spring and winter school performance. The performances each season are filled with original music, choreography and story written and produced by the music faculty.

Middle & Upper Schools The theatre program provides students with practical skills such as textual analysis and effective communication. The nature of theatre work at AFS is to illuminate the essential importance of storytelling to empower students to engage in the creation of story as actors, designers, writers and technicians. The collaborative group process that goes into theatre work is a key value in Quaker principles of community and working together while developing one's individual voice, perspective and talent. Students have performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival at DeSales University, the Greater Philadelphia Cappies Awards and for the Independence Awards in High School Musical Theatre.

Examples of Theatre Courses in Upper School

Carpentry and Scenic Design

In this course, students explore the design, creation and implementation of various processes involved in theatre production. Students gain valuable hands-on experience with tools as well as carpentry skills and focus on the proper use and safety of the equipment used in the theatre.

Writing for Stage and Screen

Students study the principles of dialogue, character development and structure, and analyze the dramatic structure of these pieces. They create their own scripts for performance by generating original work and developing them through a workshop process, completing a one-act play and screenplay treatment by the end of the course.

Advanced Acting

This course focuses on the development of character. Units on long-form improvisation, solo performance and musical theatre are also examined.



Cappie nominations recognizing excellence in scholastic theatre. 15