Arts New Hampshire - Tilton School

The Arts

While creativity permeates all areas of study at Tilton, in the Arts, creative passions are ignited. We believe that there is a creative side within each of us, so we guide our students to find those interests and discover new skills. Artistic opportunities are available within the academic schedule and also as extracurriculars. 

Regardless of skill level, students who explore the Arts at Tilton do so in a supportive environment that provides opportunities to be creative, take chances, and learn new things.

Arts Department Enduring Understandings:

  • Art helps create innovators and free thinkers with real world skills.
  • Art includes skills that can be learned and practiced—and don’t require natural “talent.”
  • Critical thinking and problem solving are essential practices in the arts. 

Arts Course Offerings

*Note: course offerings are responsive to enrollment and student interests, and in any given year, some courses may not be offered. Students wishing to pursue advanced studies in these areas are encouraged to pursue Independent Learning Experiences.

This is an introductory course that will allow students to learn the process of glass fusing and create colorful works of art. The curriculum will provide students a greater understanding of the elements of art and basic design principles that will strengthen their compositions and creations. Students will engage in firing techniques such as slumping, tack fusing, and fully fusing, students will have the opportunity to create their own ceramic molds to further develop their forms and create unique sculptural and functional glasswork. Students will leave the course with a vocabulary and scientific knowledge representative of a greater understanding of the process of fusing glass. Projects may include mosaics, slumped bowls, glass trays, hangings, and pendants or other small jewelry. Enrollment is capped at 6 students. A materials fee applies for this course.

In this course, students explore what makes up quality entertainment in Hollywood movies, independent films, and social media through hands-on demonstrations.  Students learn the art of visual storytelling as well as how to write and format a screenplay through writing exercises and screening movies in class. Students learn how to use broadcast video camcorders, DSLR cameras, and cellphones to produce engaging video content. Essential practices taught include composition and framing, fundamentals of exposure, frame rates,  studio and location lighting techniques, audio recording, sound mixing, camera movement, and video editing. Students produce a variety of short films throughout the school year. Student-written and produced short films premiere to a Tilton School community audience at the Spring Art Show! A materials fee applies for this course.

This is a basic course in ceramics with an emphasis on wheel throwing and hand construction techniques, design, aesthetic and the creative development of clay objects, examining cultural, historical and personal models of expression. Students are expected to develop skills in various forming methods. Sensitivity to the materials, to aesthetic design and to the individual and imaginative use of the materials is expected. Students will learn technical skills and develop an artist’s vocabulary. Class time will include: demonstrations, videos and personal practice. A materials fee applies for this course.

For students with a background in basic ceramics, this course provides opportunities for continued explorations in clay media and techniques. Wheel-throwing and hand building methods will be used in ceramic sculpture, tile making, stoneware pottery, and collaborative forms. Students develop ideas based on contemporary culture as well as traditional clay forms and methods. The sculpture process will include: pinch and coil building, extrusion and slab construction methods. Firing will take place primarily in an electric kiln, with opportunities to participate in group raku firings during the fall and spring. A materials fee applies for this course.

The primary goal of this course is to teach students the foundation of good design skills and provide a glimpse of what it’s like to use those skills as a Graphic Designer.   Students are introduced to Adobe software used by design professionals including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. We begin by learning basic design tools, elements of art, and principles of design.  Students build from these design fundamentals throughout the year to create a wide variety of design products including logo designs, posters, book covers, business cards, vehicle wraps, magazine covers, product packaging and more!  Students are encouraged to evaluate their own work, the work of their peers, and the work of professionals. Assessment is based on class participation, review of complete assignments, peer feedback, and increasingly challenging work.  At the completion of the course the students will select their best work for the spring art show. A materials fee applies for this course.

This course empowers students with confidence in creating beautiful images using DSLR cameras in full Manual mode. The course allows students to work with school cameras or their own camera, natural and available light, and studio lighting. Students learn the history of photography and how it has evolved into the digital realm. This course has regular hands-on shooting assignments to get students thinking critically, learning how to create images that tell a story and express emotion. Explore alternative processes in the digital dark room. Learn fundamentals of Photoshop and Lightroom in photo editing and digital collage. This is a course for the emerging digital photo artist. A materials fee applies for this course.

Art Portfolio Review is a class for the advanced art student interested in preparing a portfolio for college and scholarship applications. Students learn techniques of formatting their art portfolio in a workshop environment with teacher-led tutorials and time in class and outside of class for producing their own body of work. Students have dedicated class time and work space to produce 10 personal art projects in their chosen medium. Students learn how to put together an art exhibit and produce their own solo art exhibition during the school year. Students complete this class with a solid body of work, art portfolio website, and artist statement. This class is offered all three trimesters. A minimum of two trimesters is recommended for full course benefits. A materials fee applies for this course. Instructor approval is required.

This course teaches fundamental skills of art making through drawing and painting from direct observation. Students learn how to work with graphite pencils, color pencils, charcoal, pen and ink, acrylic paint, watercolor paint, and printmaking. Students learn how to mix acrylic and watercolor hues to match color using only Red, Yellow, and Blue. Topics covered include shading, 1-point and 2-point perspective, landscapes, figure drawing, portraiture, abstract art, graffiti, and more! Students will be asked to communicate about their own work and  the work of others. They are pushed beyond their comfort zones, learning to take artistic risks. A materials fee applies for this course.

This course is designed to provide students with the journalism skills and the ability to apply those skills to the actual production of the yearbook. Units of study include teamwork, responsibility, brainstorming, content, coverage, concept, reporting, writing, headlines, captions, editing, photography, typography, design, graphics, finances, yearbook campaigns, advertising and distribution. This course is an introduction to the basic elements of visual communication and the print world. Fundamental skills such as learning how to use photography to document events, reporting, and writing and design will be the foundation of this course.  In partnership with Josten’s Yearbook Company, the course will cover all of the areas listed above which are in line with the Mastery Approach

Music Ensemble is open to all moderately to advanced student musicians, inclusive of vocalists, who have interest in performing music from a wide variety of contemporary music styles including but not limited to R&B, pop/rock, gospel, funk, and jazz.

Student musicians learn to improve their reading and performing abilities on their instruments while also developing improvisational skills through the study of some music theory.

Artistic expression through musical performance can be one of the most fulfilling activities in a person’s life. Through inspiration and motivation, coupled with musical instruction, the goal is to provide students with an opportunity for this expression with the hope of further developing a profound love of music!

Students participate regularly in rehearsal sessions and employ dedicated focus and practice to facilitate their musical development. Additionally, through exposure to music theory, they become familiar with the mechanics of music in order to explore and discover the joy of improvisation.

They learn scales, melodies, rhythms, chord structure and progressions and develop the ability to integrate this information into their performance.

They also develop an understanding and a consideration for how their musical contribution impacts the ensemble while learning to adjust that contribution for the best possible ensemble sound.


Theatre Arts is broken into three trimesters that work together to give students a full introduction to acting and theatre.

First trimester covers the foundations of acting: action, objective, emotions, motivation, movement, and voice. Through coursework focused on the history of drama and influential acting teachers and their methods, students will understand the context of this craft. Students will also develop essential skills such as focus, imagination, attention, observation, memorization, teamwork, and problem-solving through exercises, activities, and scene work. This course serves to strengthen students’ skills and confidence on stage.

Second trimester is designed to allow students to create advanced work in acting. Students acquire and develop advanced skills for acting while increasing their comfort level with performing on stage. Through monologues, scene work, and exercises, students will examine an actor’s techniques to develop a character. Activities include movement, sense memory, personalization, objective, beat work, and text analysis. This course will also provide opportunities to analyze, critique, a

Third trimester explores how a dramatic text transforms into a stage production. From audition to performance, this course takes the student through the creative process of staging a play. Depending on the season, the students serve as the production staff for the school play and are responsible for the significant aspects of the show. After participating in auditions, the students also build and design sets, costumes, and playbills. The students also study the fundamentals of acting, musical theater, and storytelling during the course.

Theatre Arts – this could be taken for the whole year or just trimesters.
Trimester 1: Introduction to Acting
Trimester 2: Acting 2
Trimester 3: Introduction to Theatre Tech

Intro to acting open to all students.
Prerequisite for Acting 2 would be Introduction to Acting (but could be bypassed with an audition)
Trimester 3: no prerequisites.

Fees for Materials and Supplies

There are generally no textbook expenses associated with Arts courses. However, expenses for supplies (paint, paper, toner, clay, photographic supplies) can vary depending on the course of study; students enrolled in arts classes will be assessed a materials and supplies fee. 

In addition, there may be occasional field trips or other outings to to museums and galleries.  Students in Independent Study programs in the arts, or those whose work require a significantly greater use of materials and supplies than the average student may incur additional charges or may be asked to provide their own materials.