Students at OSA specialize in a single artistic discipline for which they auditioned and were accepted. This is the national model of arts schools at the secondary level. As a member of the nationwide consortium, The Arts Schools Network, OSA is part of a dynamic and unique educational movement that values creativity, innovation and self-expression to a degree not present in the more traditional educational models. OSA students are inspired and inspiring; they contribute the community through their artistic output and creative spirit.
The OSA arts areas are organized into specific schools, each of which has developed a curriculum that emphasizes history, theory, technique and performance within their given area. Students who leave OSA after a seven year arts experience are prepared to enter universities and conservatories in their chosen art form. Our arts schools are described below:
DANCE – The dance program modern technique to prepare the student for the contemporary dance world. There is a ballet component in the dance curriculum. Guest teachers lead classes in world cultures, choreography and other dance forms.
DIGITAL MEDIA - Students learn current digital art skills including digital image creation and manipulation, computer art, filmmaking, animation, digital graphic design, and web design with an emphasis on portfolio preparation.
INSTRUMENTAL AND VOCAL MUSIC – Students study Music Theory and History, as well as performance technique and ensemble protocol in both Instrumental and Vocal Music, which operate as separate but collaborative departments.
LITERARY ARTS – Students explore the rich world of creative writing and journalism. There is coursework in fiction, poetry and non-fiction to give writing students a wide range of abilities and experiences.
PRODUCTION DESIGN – Production Design students study set building, lighting design, sound design and all aspects of production management. The PD department supports many of OSA's shows with technical assistance.
THEATER – Students study the history of theatre across world cultures in addition to theatre technique, including character development, movement, voice and speech. The theater curriculum is rich with performance opportunities as well as playwriting and directing training for advanced students.
VISUAL ART – Students study painting, drawing, 3D work and installation techniques. Advanced students receive college credit for their portfolios. OSA Visual Art maintains its own gallery that is part of the Oakland First Friday Art Murmur event.