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Oakland School for the Arts

Oakland School for the Arts


OSA students all specialize in a single artistic discipline for which they 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.

The eleven 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.
PATHWAYS- By creating student run businesses on campus, we give our students hands-on exposure that complements academic classroom learning and offers invaluable insights to leadership, learning the importance of teamwork, time management, networking, problem-solving, critical thinking, innovation, self-discipline, and confidence. 
AUDIO PRODUCTION AND ENGINEERING - Also known as AP&E, Audio Production and Engineering is the amalgamation of recording engineering, sound design, music production and live sound.  Students taking these courses should have a desire to develop their technical skill-set, musical training and take control of any Audio Engineering project.

DANCE - Students are trained in Ballet, Contemporary, and Body Conditioning techniques with an emphasis on understanding and embodying the roles technical expertise, strength, flexibility, and artistic expression play in building the professional dancer, and preventing/minimizing the risk injury. Students are pushed daily with an emphasis on work ethic, grit, self-discipline, training, and etiquette--a process that is intended to make visible to the students the connection between dance and life, and life and dance. 
FASHION DESIGN - A diverse 6th-12th grade curriculum that focuses on project-based and collaborative learning. In addition to classwork, Fashion Design students produce a Spring Fashion Week runway show and are responsible for costuming up to three OSA productions a year. Design students are responsible for costuming at least two to five OSA productions a year and can also add an elective of theatrical make-up design and application.  Classes will include lessons in clothing construction, draping, millinery, FX makeup, costume history & fashion illustration
INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC - Students study Music Theory and History, as well as performance technique and ensemble protocol in both Instrumental and Audio Production & Engineering 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.
MEDIA ARTS - 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.

PRODUCTION DESIGN - This creative technical program for Middle and High School students is focused on Set, Light, Sound, Video, and Stage Management in a hands on environment supporting most OSA productions. Student also have access to internships with industry partners, such as the Fox Theatre.

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.
VOCAL MUSIC - Courses are offered for students in grades 6th - 12th in ensemble and solo singing as well as Music Theory. Students are trained in a variety of musical genres including jazz, classical, musical theatre, spirituals, and contemporary. There is a strong emphasis on music literacy and aural skills in the School of Vocal Music.