Extensive Artistic Electives

Academy of Arts

Nurturing Creative Excellence

Welcome to the Academy of Arts: Where Creativity Takes Center Stage

At Northern Academy, we believe that the pursuit of artistic excellence goes hand in hand with the development of character and intellect. Our Academy of Arts is a place where students can immerse themselves in the world of dance, fine arts, and music, honing their skills and cultivating a sense of beauty, discipline, and cultural appreciation. With state-of-the-art facilities, dedicated instructors, and a commitment to fostering holistic growth, our Academy of Arts provides a unique platform for students to explore their artistic passions while nurturing their minds and hearts. Whether you're drawn to the graceful movements of dance, the expressive strokes of fine arts, or the harmonious melodies of music, our Academy of Arts offers a diverse range of programs that empower students to discover their true potential and embark on a journey of artistic and personal transformation.

Dance: Inner Beauty in Motion

Discover dance at Northern Academy's Arts Department. Our Dance program blends Classical Chinese Dance and Ballet techniques with principles of classical culture. Rigorous training fosters strength, grace, and discipline, while academic excellence is maintained.

We at the Northern Academy of the Arts Dance Department believe that while dance is an expression of physical beauty, the source of that beauty must originate inside the individual, for only with the existence of beauty within can there exist beauty without.

The vision of our dance department is to help students develop beauty of both the mind and body by providing students with a systematic and wholesome education in Classical Chinese Dance and Classical Ballet, in addition to also guiding and educating them in the principles of classical culture. Through learning the importance of kindness, respect, hard work, and perseverance through our systematic dance training, students can develop and maintain strong bodies and healthy minds.

Students who are enrolled in the dance department full-time are also held to a high academic standard and must meet or exceed all state and federal high school academic requirements.

“Dance, of all the arts, is the one that most influences the soul. Dancing is divine in its nature and is the gift of the gods,” Plato once said.

In a world of staring at screens, widespread obesity, and artistic perversion, Northern Academy of the Arts is part of an artistic renaissance that is returning to the classical model of a true scholar who is refined in both mind and body, like the Renaissance man, the Confucian gentleman, the ancient Greek scholar, or even the Japanese samurai.

Studies have proven that dance forms such as classical ballet and classical Chinese dance improve memory, self-esteem, coordination, balance, and of course health.

The technical precision and beauty of classical dance is the perfect setting for developing the kind of attentiveness to detail, dedication, and sense of propriety that lead to success in any field.

With state of the art dance studios and award-winning professional dance teachers, students have a unique opportunity to refine their technique, improve their flexibility, and learn how to perform.

Northern Academy’s students have a choice between Classical Ballet or Classical Chinese Dance. Once they choose their focus, how much time and dedication they wish to spend on dance is up to them. They can keep up their skills through taking daily technique classes while focusing the rest of their time on academics or they can choose to commit more time to dance by signing up for repertoire, where they will be placed in dance pieces and have evening rehearsals.

Originating from the royal courts of Europe, ballet is the hallmark classical dance of the Western world. It is known for its clean lines, technical precision, and precise footwork. Through this centuries-old art form, Northern instills students with sophistication, grace, and elegance. At Northern, students learn not only the superficial form of ballet but also the noble character that underlies its majestic beauty.

Originating over 3,000 years ago in imperial courts, classical Chinese dance developed to become a comprehensive dance system with systematic training in dance fundamentals, flexibility, bearing, movement forms, leaps, spins, aerial techniques, and inner expression. These elements combine to enable dancers to portray a wide spectrum of characters and situations, bringing them to life on stage through leaps, spins, and communicative movements performed not just via the body but also the spirit.

Along with the technical side of training, there is an emphasis on traditional values. Northern instills in students principles such as integrity, kindness, and perseverance. These principles are incorporated into training and daily life and are considered critical to a dancer’s overall artistic development. This combination of the physical and spiritual is what allows the dancer to connect with the audience through a sublime artistic experience.

Fine Arts: Nurturing Creativity

Explore traditional Chinese and Western art forms in our Fine Arts Department. Students develop skills and cultivate noble character. Courses cover Drawing, Color, and more, laying a foundation for arts and non-arts studies in college.

The Department of Fine Arts at Northern Academy of the Arts teaches the essence of traditional Chinese and Western art forms. Our Fine Arts Program seeks to help students develop noble character, proper aesthetics, solid artistic skills, and creative thinking, all of which lays the foundation in Fine Arts for college studies in both arts and non-arts majors.

The program offers two 3-year cycles of studies for students, one at the middle school level and one at the high school level. Courses offered include the following:

  1. Core Courses for two periods: Drawing I (Geometric Shapes, Still Life), Color (Still Life), Sketching, AP Studio Art
  2. Elective Courses: AP Art History, Ceramics or Sculpture(1-2 periods), Chinese Painting and Calligraphy (2 periods), Graphic Design (1-2 periods), Printmaking (1 period), Fashion Design (1 period), Fashion Club (extracurricular), Museums Visitations, and Plein Air Landscape Drawing

Courses offered in the following academic year will be an advanced level of previous year’s courses. Students must receive 75% in each core course to remain in the Fine Arts program each year and to meet the requirements for a Northern Fine Arts Track.

Because the price of painting tools and materials vary in cost and quality, we recommend that the students buy their own. Teachers can assist in purchasing upon parent and student request. Cost estimate: pencils and paint brushes: $150, sketch and Chinese painting paper: $100-$200, color pencils and media for watercolor, Acrylic, oil, and Chinese paintings: $200 and up, clay: $50, sculpture kit: $100, printmaking: $100, other tools: $50, and field trip fees for transportation and tickets.

Music: Path to Artistry

Join Northern Academy's Music Track for a strong foundation in classical music. From instrumental classes to music theory, our courses foster growth in academics and the arts. The Music Track empowers students to excel in both realms.

Northern Academy of the Arts’ music track seeks to help students attain a solid professional foundation in classical music. In combination with our outstanding academic program, our students will be well-equipped to become successful conservatory or college students as well as morally sound and well-rounded individuals.

The verdict is in and confirms what people have known for ages: studying classical music is good for you. From mastering memorization to scoring better on the SAT to developing spatial intelligence, the correlations between thriving young scholars and music are too numerous to deny. This program establishes a strong foundation in classical music for students who have serious musical aspirations. By joining the music track, students can learn to work well with others, build character, and develop discipline that can be applied to any path they may choose in life.

Instrumental Classes: Grade 6 to 12

  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Violoncello
  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Trumpet
  • Piano
  • Pipa

Music Theory: Grade 6 to 12

This course will enable students to build a solid foundation in music theory. The curriculum covers basic music notation, time values, scales, intervals, different times, and different kinds of chords, cadences, transposition, music analysis, and voice leading writing.

Basic Skill Training: Grade 6 to 12

This course will enable students to acquire basic musical skills such as dictation and sight singing. It will help build a strong foundation for further development of their musical and sight singing abilities as well as provide a solid base for more advanced musical studies.

Music Appreciation And History

Students will learn to appreciate classical music that focuses on the music history of the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Nationalism periods.

Orchestra Ensemble

Students will have the opportunity to perform as part of an ensemble. They will learn how to put their performance into practice and how to cooperate with other musicians in the ensemble group. This course is for all instrumental students regardless of which grade they are in. The students will learn standard repertoire from the chosen literature of great composers throughout the history of western classical music. The orchestra will perform two major concerts a year.


This is a required course for all freshmen. The students will receive instruction and training in choral singing. The techniques they will learn include: correct vowel formation, diction, articulation, sound blending, and so on. The students will also improve their sight singing skill while cultivating a strong sense of harmony as they learn to sing choral repertoire in different styles. The chorus will also be featured in the two major annual concerts.

Wind Orchestra

This course is open to woodwind, brass, and percussion major students who will be selected by the music faculty. During the two-year course, the students will learn to play the standard repertoire that is chosen from Winds literature according to their performance level. The Wind Orchestra will also be featured in the two major annual concerts.

Chamber Music

Chamber Music is open to advanced students who are selected by the music faculty. This course offers great experience in how to collaborate to create fine, delicate music by performing classic opuses with other musicians.

Concert Practice 

The weekly concert practice offers students a chance to accumulate valuable experience by performing publicly. On top of that, students will learn to give feedback on the performances of their fellow students. They will learn to accept and appreciate both positive and negative comments about their own performances as well as those of others.

Every afternoon and evening, music students liven up the school with the sounds of their instruments. Their mood tends to be playful and light, and their academic achievements are strong. After all, the musical environment encourages a joyful feeling and the music faculty place strong emphasis on cultivating moral character and achieving academic and artistic excellence.

Students have access to caring music advisors who are passionate about helping them excel. These advisors encourage students to develop self-discipline, leadership, organizational abilities, and teamwork by creating opportunities for them to mentor younger students and learn how to manage their independent practice time.

Courses are college preparatory in nature and include private lessons, ear training, music theory, orchestra, chorus, music appreciation, chamber music, and concert practice.

Students regularly perform with an orchestra that combines classical Western instruments and Chinese instruments, such as the pipa, erhu, and taiko drums.

Student Gallery – Sketching