Symposium Master Classes

  • Master Class

On January 22nd, the first day of Intersession Symposium, students selected two of the following Master Classes taught by APH faculty and staff. These classes are designed for students to gain exposure to diverse topics and also to see how intellectual curiosity and passion for learning are important qualities they can develop throughout their lives. The full course descriptions highlight the range of subjects that will be taught.

Master Class Descriptions

Baking Scones: The Original Scottish Quick Bread
Let’s make scones! And! Why not whip up a batch of homemade butter to go with them? We’ll make our own butter, using the same ingredients that they used as far as the 12th century!

Camping & Hiking: Even in Winter! 
Feel like you are stuck indoors during the long winter months in New England? Join us in evaluating gear and a walk around campus as we discuss how to be comfortable and safe in the outdoors all year long. You will need to bring warm clothes and sturdy shoes to be outside. Look forward to a tasty outdoor treat as well!

Early Music: The Fun, Fascinating, Silly Music of the 1600s
While most people associate classical music with the music of the 19th century—symphonies, concerti, boredom, etc.—there is another, significantly more exciting, branch of pre-19th century music known as “Early Music.” After Europe got the Middle Ages out of its system, people—and especially musicians—were looking for some fun. Breaking away from church music and chant, composers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries started to loosen up: they created new instruments, new rhythms, new tunes, and new dances. This masterclass explores the fun, fascinating, pleasing, silly music of 1600s, which has been experiencing a revival over the last 30 years. Students will learn some Renaissance dances, encounter new and different Renaissance sounds, and train their ears to listen to music in a deep, meaningful way.

Edna St. Vincent Millay: The Life & Work of a Forgotten Poet
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) was one of the most famous American poets of the 20th century. Her writing captures the social and artistic liberation of women happening in the early 20th century, and explores themes of nature, love, aging, and the lyric. Unfortunately, over the past fifty years, Millay’s poetry has been largely removed from school curricula. This masterclass explores the life and work of this forgotten poet. By exploring Millay’s childhood, education, and poetic influences, students will learn more about 20th century feminist poetry, as well as enjoy the work of one of America’s most accessible and articulate poets.

Experiential Workshop into Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga
This workshop provides an introduction to yoga and mindful strategies as well as the history and science of meditation. Learn practical strategies and tools to help you develop and maintain a sense of calm and resilience within yourself in order to meet the many challenges presented in school life and beyond.Participants will examine foundations found in the practices of the Buddhists, Brahmans, and other religious traditions.
Identify the science behind Mindfulness today and the need for stress reduction and the brain -body connection to positively engage with our environment.Using research-supported mind-body techniques, participants will explore : physical poses (asanas) breath and body awareness (pranayama), guided imagery, and mindfulness practices. Resources will be provided to enable you to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday experience as a path of enriched learning.

Electronics Soldering and Making Stuff 🙂
In this class you’ll learn how to build a simple circuit and use a soldering iron to permanently attach it to a circuit board. You’ll get to do it yourself and maybe even take away your finished product!

How to Build a Blog
Ever thought about becoming a blogger? In this hands-on class, every student will build their own blog using WordPress and learn the in’s and out’s of blog management. We will also look at some of the top blogs in the world, learn about how people monetize their blogs, and discuss how blogs can be used in conjunction with other social media platforms.

Intro to French Language
Intro to French Language: For students who are brand new to the language and want a jump start, this interactive intro lesson will teach you your first survival phrases for the classroom or for travel. We’ll work on introducing ourselves, learn about basic etiquette rules for traveling in the French-speaking world, and have a crash course in French pronunciation. Expect to participate in games and songs, no verb charts here!

Introduction to Guitar
During this class, students will learn how to put on guitar strings, tune a guitar, to play the major and minor chords, and play through a few songs together.  If students have a guitar (acoustic or electric) they must bring it with them.  Guitars will be on hand as well for those who would like to take the class but who don’t have a guitar.

Lake Baikal: Soul of Siberia
Deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site, Lake Baikal holds 20% of the world’s freshwater and is home to thousands of endemic species (species only found at this site) including the world’s only freshwater seal, the nerpa. A paper mill, a proposed oil pipeline, increasing tourism, as well as the myriad of effects of climate change all threaten this unique and biologically diverse ecosystem. Take a journey across the steppe of Russia as we explore the ecology, cultural significance, and political controversy surrounding the world’s largest lake, Lake Baikal.

Making Homemade Pasta
So, not all pasta comes from a box. Have you ever wondered how it’s made? This class will show you the fine art of crafting pasta from scratch.

Our National Parks
In this master course, we will begin by discussing the history of the National Park Service and how the National Parks came to be.  We will talk about the purpose and goals of the National Park Service and the expectations and responsibilities of visitors to the National Parks.  We will discuss the effects of the current government shutdown on the National Parks. We will look at pictures of various National Parks around the country and talk about the attractions one might see at some of the National Parks.  Lastly, each person will pick a “dream park” to research and make a plan to visit in the future.

Perspective: Theory, History, and Practice of Projecting the World From Your Own Eyeball
We will move from the origins of perspective in medieval Arab optical theory to early examples in Renaissance Art, to drawing your own perspective. We will conclude by looking at the positive and potentially negative consequences of centering vision in the self.

Sports and Society
In this session, we’ll take a fun and thought-provoking look at how the world of sports intersects with other aspects of society such as gender, race, politics, genetics, education, and more.

Stage Combat
During this class, students will learn hand to hand (unarmed) stage combat.   Some of the moves covered: knapping (creating the sound of impact), slapping, kneeing, falling to the ground from an upright position, etc.  Students will learn a variety of moves and work in pairs to present a full fight at the conclusion of the course. You must wear clothes that you can move in.  Clothes that you would wear working out.

Susannah, George, and Me–Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love History
We will look in depth at the lives of two Essex County forerunners: Susannah Martin, hanged as a witch in Salem on July 19, 1692–what did she do to deserve this?–and George Peabody, the father of American philanthropy, born in 1795 of modest means in South Danvers and offered the honor of burial in Westminster Abbey–what did he do to deserve this? What is their legacy? What did they accomplish? How are Susannah and George remembered today?

We will read and examine some primary sources and see some images of places connected with Susannah and George. During this session, Ms. Richards will share reflections on how she overcame her hangup with History and has gone on to explore more and more historical figures and historical topics, willingly, and with enjoyment!

Swing & Latin Dancing
Have you ever watched Dancing With The Stars or So You Think You Can Dance and wanted to learn the steps to the amazing ballroom dances that they do?  Did you see the Choreography class at the Winter Concert this year with their amazing salsa moves?  You can learn these steps and more in the Swing & Latin Dancing Masterclass! Learn the basic footwork you need that will allow you to dance to any style of music that you want.  It’s the most fun you’ll ever have exercising!

Vocal Jazz
Some of the most important and influential American music from the early 20th century is from The Great American Songbook, a vocalist’s dream to sing. In this masterclass, we’ll learn about singing these songs, also called jazz standards.  We’ll learn about singing as a soloist, singing harmonies, improvising, and about phrasing, tone, color, and how singing jazz is often an extension of your own unique natural speaking voice. We’ll start with “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” and then we’ll choose an upbeat song from Postmodern Jukebox.

Urban Design: Reading & Transforming Cities, from Ancient Greece and Renaissance Italy to Modern Manhattan, LA, Boston, and your own home town
We will look at how towns and cities change over time, how these changes foster or thwart the economic and cultural needs of communities, and how actively to shape cities through design. We will look at historical models from ancient Greece through modern Chicago, Manhattan, Boston, and LA, and come up with proposals for enhancing the designs of local communities, whether Beverly, Salem, or your own home towns.

WWII Codebreakers: The Pioneering Women of Bletchley Park
By the end of World War II, almost 10,000 people were working at Bletchley Park, the top secret British base, trying to break the German Enigma codes and decipher their messages. Over 75% of these workers were women, who served as cryptanalysts, dispatch riders, translators, administrators, and in many other capacities. In this class, we will learn about these remarkable women, what their daily lives at Bletchley were like, and how they helped save thousands of lives. We will also explore how they were recruited and try some of these puzzles ourselves, learn about the bombe and other high tech machines they worked on, and the complex code system they helped break.