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Pre-AP Arts courses include Pre-AP Dance, Pre-AP Music, Pre-AP Theatre, and Pre-AP Visual Arts.

These four courses share one set of themes, underlying unit foundations, and instructional shifts. Their frameworks, instructional resources, and performance assessments are specific to each course, and are designed to be incorporated into a range of existing arts courses in each of these disciplines. 

The framework is structured around skills associated with ideation, experimentation, creation, revision, reflection, and analysis—the processes and activities that artists engage in while producing their work. 

How to Use the Resources in Specific Courses

Pre-AP offers two discipline-specific instructional modules per arts course. These modules address the specific knowledge and skills needed for dance, music, theatre, and visual art courses while sharing themes of artistic investigation related to structures and sources. They give focus, shape, and coherence to the skills and practices that are most important for students to develop, and support students across levels of proficiency from emerging to advanced.

Pre-AP resources are adaptable to a range of arts courses within each discipline and level; for example, in music, the units can be used with a range of performance ensemble types.

Areas of Focus

Pre-AP Arts courses emphasize the following instructional priorities:

  • Analysis and interpretation: Students observe, investigate, and discuss a limited number of anchor works and relate these examples to their own creative work.
  • Peer-to-peer dialogue: Students engage in structured conversations with peers to share ideas, respond to and offer advice on works in progress, critique final works, and discuss next steps.
  • Experimentation: Students generate and consider a range of options for both the technical and expressive content of their work and make purposeful decisions about which options to incorporate in the work.
  • Reflective writing: Students communicate and clarify ideas in writing throughout the creative process: as a component of research and idea generation, in describing works-in-progress, and in reflecting on final works. 

Course at a Glance

District Curriculum/Units of Study

The Pre-AP materials in dance, music, theatre, and visual art are designed to be incorporated into existing arts courses in each of these disciplines; in music, they are made to be adaptable for use with a range of performance ensemble types.

Underlying Unit Foundations

These big ideas are addressed across units:

  • Observe and interpret
  • Practice and experiment
  • Research and make
  • Reflect and evaluate
  • Revise and share

Instructional Resources

  • Pre-AP offers 2 discipline-specific instructional modules per arts course on the themes of structures and sources.
  • Each unit includes 5 weeks of lesson sets that provide support and scaffolding for implementing the shared routines and considering the anchor works related to the topic of investigation.

In addition to using the provided units, teachers will continue to infuse the areas of focus in their curricula throughout the rest of the course. 

Assessments and Feedback

The courses include performance assessments embedded within the modules. These are the final created or performed works (or portfolio of process work) along with a student reflective writing product. They are scored by the teacher using a provided rubric.