Arts at Ensworth
High School


The Visual/Performing Arts Department offers a broad range of courses to both musicians and non-musicians. 

Music Courses

List of 8 items.

  • Music 1

    In this course, students are introduced to the world of music. They learn the fundamentals of music through studying theory, music history, music technology, basic performance skills, and ear training. Students discuss major styles of music and the role of music in culture. The final project, which draws on each student's individual music experiences, allows each student to explore an area of personal interest in music. Students have the opportunity to tour the Ryman Auditorium or the Grand Ole’ Opry as a class.
  • Music 2

    In this course, a continuation of Music 1, students delve into a more advanced study of music in the areas of music theory, music history, music technology, performance skills, ear training and the anatomy of the orchestra. This course may also serve to prepare interested students to take the AP Music Theory course. Students have the opportunity to tour the Schermerhorn Symphony Center as a class.
  • Music 3

    This course provides a forum for students to cultivate and discover their artistic voice by investigating modern and traditional composition techniques and methodologies. All styles of composition including songwriting, beat-making, jazz, classical, and avant-garde are encouraged and studied as students apply knowledge gained in their previous coursework - theory, history, technology, and performance - in the pursuit of their own creative works. The course may include a multimedia-based project whereby students present their newly developed voices.
  • Music 4

    This course focuses on the art of audio engineering and the use of a recording studio as an instrument in the documentation and creation of sound. Accessing a wide array of digital, virtual, and analog equipment in Ensworth’s recording studio, students study fundamental audio principles including acoustics, phase correlation, microphone design, and electronics as well as modern production techniques such as bussing, parallel compression, and mastering. Developing the skill of capturing and sculpting sound, several projects throughout the semester provide hands-on learning experiences through live event sound engineering and stylistically diverse ensemble recording.
  • AP Music Theory

    AP Music Theory is a rigorous course designed as an equivalent to first-year college coursework in musicianship. Before taking the course, students should have basic performance skills in voice or on an instrument and some ability to read musical notation. During the course, students develop a thorough understanding of Western tonal music. Major areas of study include harmonic analysis, composition, dictation, and sight singing. By the end of this course, students have the theoretical and compositional ability necessary to succeed in any area of college music study. 
  • Acoustic Guitar 1

    This is a beginning acoustic guitar course for those who have had little or no previous experience on guitar. Students learn a variety of popular and traditional songs as well as basic music theory. Skills developed during the course include strumming patterns, playing duets, scales, and basic music reading.
  • Acoustic Guitar 2

    This course is designed for those who would like to expand their ability in acoustic guitar. The course explores in greater depth: musical notation, chords, scales, rhythmic studies, chart writing, and improvisation. Students spend time listening and transcribing songs, writing, and improving upon their guitar skills. 
  • Acoustic Guitar 3

    This course focuses on improving fretboard knowledge and playing technique with an emphasis on scales, arpeggios, advanced chord forms, and improvisational concepts. Musicians work through a variety of scale forms in all keys and modes. Etude studies improve speed and facility while theory concepts presented advance improvisational knowledge. Students perform pieces solo and as a class. The musicians are also required to transcribe a favorite guitar piece and present the music and short historical background regarding the piece selected to the class. 

Music Ensembles

List of 5 items.

  • Chamber Orchestra

    This is a non-auditioned intermediate ensemble for any string, woodwind, brass and percussion players. The ensemble works on reading music, ensemble performance, and musical blend as well as developing music theory concepts necessary for the understanding and excellent performance of the repertoire selected. The musicians build knowledge and technique through the performance of historical and current classical repertoire. Participation in dress rehearsals and performances outside the school day is required.
  • Chamber Singers

    This is a select choral ensemble open to students from beginning to intermediate musical experience. Students explore a wide variety of music from classical to contemporary with a special focus on a cappella classical repertoire. This course focuses on the development of healthy singing and the development of music literacy in sight singing, solfege, and theory. As student interest warrants, special projects such as recordings, tours, and competitions may also be included in the choir’s schedule. Participation in dress rehearsals and performances outside the school day is required.
  • Encore

    This is a select choral ensemble with a special focus on a cappella jazz and contemporary repertoire. Students explore music from a wide variety of styles, from classical to contemporary. Music literacy in sight singing, solfege, and theory are further developed in this course. As the high school’s premier singing group, Encore has a significant performance schedule throughout the year. As student interest warrants, special projects such as recordings, tours, and competitions may also be included. Participation in dress rehearsals and performances outside the school day is required.
  • Jazz Band

    This is a select instrumental ensemble comprised of up to 25 students who generally have at least 2-3 years of experience on the saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, electric guitar, bass guitar, or drums. Students delve into jazz improvisation and a variety of different styles such as swing, blues, shuffles, Latin, fusion, and rock/funk. Students get personal instruction primarily in aspects of tone, instrumental technique, and styles respective to their instruments. Participation in dress rehearsals and performances outside the school day is required.
  • Rock Band

    This is an instrumental ensemble comprised of guitars, bass, drums, pianos, and singers. It focuses on theory, ear training, music reading, and chart writing as well as playing aptitude. The group plays music from several current genres and may experiment with songwriting. Performance technique and improvisational skills are practiced and applied to the repertoire. Students receive hands-on instruction and may also learn the basics of studio recording. This group may also participate in such Ensworth events as football games, tailgates, picnics, grill-outs, and concerts.

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