Arts Area Classes

AA001   Exploring the Aural 1 

Beginning with music fundamentals, (pitch, rhythm, meter, themes, harmony, consonance, dissonance, etc.,) and moving to more advanced concepts of sound and semiotics, students will examine music of various genres, time periods, and cultures through the lenses of western aesthetics and their own subjective responses, building and developing their understanding of what music is, its language, and its purpose.


AA002    Exploring the Aural 2 

Building on concepts learned and explored in Aural 1, this course examines the environment of sound, its purpose, its meaning, and our perceptions. Through assigned readings and listening experiences, students will examine specific sound effects and aspects of music in such terms as musical aesthetics, acoustics, urbanism, sociology, and textual and media expressions, as they deepen and expand their understanding of the language of music within the culture of sound.

Prerequisite: successful completion of Exploring the Aural 1  |  This course is not offered every session. Please check with Admissions prior to enrolling.


AA003    Exploring the Visual 1 

In this course students will examine visual arts, their nature, function, and relationship in painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, and graphics. Through course readings, written assignments, and live artwork visits, students will explore visual perception while considering elements of design including but not limited to composition, medium, line, shape, scale, contrast, movement, texture, color, style.


AA004    Exploring the Visual 2 

Continuing the exploration of the visual arts begun in Visual 1, students will focus more closely on the language of the visual arts as it pertains to perception and design. Through readings, writing assignments, and in-person artwork visits, students will explore various aspects of perception, the artists’ mediums, how we make meaning through the visual arts, our  interrelationship with the natural and built environments and the arts and how they impact our experience of the visual arts. Students will consider these relationships and the multiple layers of conversation between artist, medium, artwork, and audience.

Prerequisite: successful completion of Exploring the Visual 1  |  This course is not offered every session. Please check with Admissions prior to enrolling.


AA005    The Work of the Writer 1

In this creative wrting course students will explore various elements of craft. Through the lens of different genres, we will focus on creative writing craft areas including authentic voice, symbolism, characters and characterization, narrative structure, and point of view. Engaging with assigned creative reading texts, assigned listening/sound experientials, assigned videos, and through their own writing, students will explore how different techniques are used to construct narratives, make meaning, and relate and interrelate with the world around them in such genres as creative nonfiction, poetry, short story, myths & fairy tales, detective fiction, children’s literature, memoir, film, and sound. Students will be given weekly writing assignments and be provided with opportunities to workshop their creative writing output.


AA007    Detective Fiction

This course examines detective fiction, its history, the Golden Age, and some of its most influential authors. Assigned readings may include such authors as Wilkie Collins, E.C. Bentley, Josephine Tey, Arthur W. Upfield, Gervase Fen, Dorothy L. Sayers, Rex Stout, Ngaio Marsh, Arthur Conan Doyle, P.D. James. Students will explore predominant types of detective fiction, main formats, and the characteristics of the genre with special attention to conventions, culture, rule breakers, how authors’ lived experiences influence their work, stylistic components, and the writer’s process.

Prerequisite: successful completion of AA005 Work of the Writer: Elements of Craft 1  This course is not offered every session. Please check with Admissions prior to enrolling.


AA999    Arts Area: Independent Study

Working with a CELA mentor, students design their own syllabus of creative work in their arts area, academic readings, and writing assignments. Mentors meet regularly with their students to provide ongoing support and to evaluate student work. If you would like to pursue an independent study for any arts area course requirement, contact CELA Admissions to begin the process and receive the appropriate forms to complete.

Prerequisite: departmental approval



CELA courses support each student’s personal, academic, and professional growth through individualized mentoring and positive student-instructor relationships.i