The Roeper Visual Arts Department is an open, creative environment where students in Grades 6 – 12 have opportunities to explore traditional and untraditional methods of artmaking.Learning about the motivations, processes, and ideas explored by professional artists is an important aspect of studying the visual arts at Roeper.

Courses offered include Painting, Ceramics, Figure Study, Art History, Experimental Sculpture, Drawing, and Printmaking. Independent Studies in Visual arts are also available.

Students’ ever-evolving abilities to contribute creative solutions, collaborate with their peers, and assess their own efforts are a critical part of the program’s goals.



Photography at The Roeper School encourages students to learn and explore an entirely different type of creative expression. Like all the arts at Roeper, photography instruction strives to create a classroom environment where creative expression though risk-taking is embraced on every level. Whether in the darkroom or the Technology Lab, students learn how to hone their creative interests and use their extensive problem solving skills to produce the finest images possible. In both the darkroom and computer lab, students work independently and come together for group discussions and critiques. The darkroom classes place an emphasis on chemistry and process; the digital classes place an emphasis on navigating challenging computer skills.

The middle school photography class gives students an understanding of the concepts of basic black and white photography. Students construct pinhole cameras and use their cameras outside to expose 8 x10 photographic paper producing a negative image. The students confront the issues of subject matter, depth of field, and exposure time. Once they master these technical aspects, they focus on the aesthetics of photography. There is an emphasis on darkroom techniques, working with chemicals, learning how the enlargers work and how to make positives from their paper negatives. The skills acquired in this class give each student a good foundation for future photography classes.

The middle school digital photography class encourages students to explore a type of photographic process different from the existing middle school “wet lab” photographic offering. This class takes students out of the darkroom and places them in a situation where they are obligated to incorporate technology with image-making. There is an emphasis on aesthetics as well as computer skills. Students shoot Nikon digital cameras and alter their images using the most current Photoshop program.

Upper school photography is geared toward teaching the student the techniques of standard black-and-white photography. Students are instructed in the fundamentals of camera operation, black-and-white film processing and black-and white enlarging. A portion of the semester is devoted to alternative processes. Students are encouraged to develop their own personal vision within the medium. Class time involves darkroom work, group and individual critiques, demonstrations of new techniques and discussions of prominent issues in the medium. Once the student completes two semesters of regular photography, there is an advanced photography option.  The advanced upper school photography class is designed for students who have exhibited the need to be challenged intellectually and creatively by a more rigorous and demanding course. The students in this class are given much freer reign in terms of setting assignments, choosing what they photograph, and determining how they complete coursework. The students are compelled to take the initiative and the ensuing control of their work; and while there is an emphasis placed on manual camera techniques and darkroom proficiency, the greater goal is for students to see themselves as photographers. There are set projects that include some of the following processes: toning of black and white prints, solarizing, emulsion and image transfers, use of Kodalith film, negative sandwiching, distortion, and the use of liquid emulsion.

The digital photography class has a shared emphasis between creativity and computer expertise. Students use digital cameras to take  photographs and the most current Adobe Photoshop program to work with the images they have taken. The digital photography class teaches photographic concepts as they apply to digital technology and the use of and ethical considerations when using digital imaging software. After one semester of regular digital photography, students are able to take the skills they have mastered to a new level. The Advanced Upper School Digital Photography class begins with a continuation of the Digital Photography class and then branches out to the creation of self-directed projects. Each semester a new syllabus is created by the students and the instructor. The created syllabus is predicated on the knowledge that the skills necessary to produce advanced work have been mastered, and there is an expectation that the students in this class will draw upon both their creativity and their personal vision as they approach their work.


The study of music develops both the mind and the body, and stimulates creative thinking- linking the intellectual, emotional, and physical realms of being. By actively exploring the musical sounds in the world around them, students exercise their capacity of learning while developing expressiveness to the music they hear, perform, and create. Students gain personal values and awareness to respond with sensitivity to many types of music, as it is a fundamental means of expression in all cultures around the world. In addition, participation in these collective musical activities encourage young musicians to value co-operation, respect for others, and personal responsibility.


In the instrumental ensembles of the middle and upper schools, students develop an understanding of the elements of music: melody, harmony, rhythm, tone color, texture, and form. On their instruments, students are lead to discover how interpretive controls (tempo, articulation, balance, and dynamics) in conjunction with these musical elements give expressive qualities to the studied pieces of music, and then apply the same knowledge to unfamiliar music.

Repertoire for the different ensembles is chosen based on the instrumentation within the group, as well as to highlight individual strengths. These performance-based ensembles participate at scheduled concerts and MSBOA festivals throughout the year, as well as observe musical performances given by professional performers in the community.


6th Grade Concert Band
Middle School Concert Band (7/8)
Upper School Concert Band
Intermediate and Advanced String Orchestra
Middle School Jazz Band
Upper School Jazz Band


In the vocal music ensembles of the middle and upper schools, students grow in all aspects of musicianship. Areas of study include dynamics, music terminology, good choral tone and balance, sight-reading, breath support, vocal technique for period-style singing, vowel placement, range extension, enunciation and diction. Students work to develop the ability to sing more than “just the notes on the page”.

Choral repertoire includes songs from the earliest recorded times to present day, and songs from all over the world. Languages sung include English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swahili, and more! Many of our selections are chosen in a collaborative atmosphere and include classical, music theatre, jazz and pop selections. Middle and Upper school choral ensembles perform at seasonal concerts in and around the Roeper community.


Middle School Vocal Ensemble
Upper School Concert Choir 
TrebleMaker Ladies MS Ensemble 
Women of Harmony US Ensemble



As music is a fundamental means of expression, and is a significant and powerful part of any culture, Roeper students have many opportunities to experience and explore music in a variety of non-performance electives. Listening and comparing, arranging and composing, studying and analyzing- engaging students in cognitive, affective, and even psychomotor processes. For any student at Roeper, music is a wholly absorbing and rewarding experience.


Music Theory
Basic Harmony
Advanced Music Theory
Orchestration and Arranging
The Music of Opera and Broadway
The Roots of Rock and Roll
Vocal Techniques and Pedagogy
Music History:

  • Medieval/Renaissance                        
  • Baroque/Classical                        
  • Romantic                        
  • Twentieth Century

What's on Your Playlist?


Lower School [map] 41190 Woodward Avenue
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
Upper & Middle Schools [map]
1051 Oakland Avenue
Birmingham, MI 48009