Creative Arts

Discovering the Arts in the Liberal Arts


The Liberal Arts faculty features a number of professional teaching artists who offer studios in visual arts and social dance and workshops in poetry, creative writing, and drama.  These courses are designed to be supportive environments where students can apply the various skills in artistic expression that they have already developed in the course of their musical studies.  By attaining a deeper level of understanding of another art form, students often find that these studios and workshops can help them see their way back in to their musical studies with even greater insight.  At the end of the fall and spring semesters, the Liberal Arts department holds Creative Arts events that celebrate student work in theatre, visual arts, and poetry.  

Drama Workshop

Drama Workshop I and II are collaborative workshops in the elements of acting and directing: the creation of a “serious play” space where students can take risks and explore the dramatic art form in order to become better actors and better performers. No previous acting experience is required. In DW I, Students engage in various sense memory exercises and group improvisations and work together as a unit on a series of scenes from a play currently being rehearsed and performed by students in the Boston University acting program. DW II takes this training further by emphasizing what goes into the creation of a full theatrical production.

01. Scenes from Time Stands Still (Fall 2019)
02. Scenes from Time Stands Still (Fall 2019)
03. Scenes from Time Stands Still (Fall 2019)
04. Scenes from Time Stands Still (Fall 2019)
01. Pains of Youth by Ferdinand Bruckner (Spring 2018)
02. Pains of Youth by Ferdinand Bruckner (Spring 2018)
03. Pains of Youth by Ferdinand Bruckner (Spring 2018)
04. Pains of Youth by Ferdinand Bruckner (Spring 2018)
The Art of the Monologue and Storytelling

A monologue is a story, and musicians and composers must be good storytellers too—through both their musical art and through the personality they present on stage.  In this workshop-style course, students have the opportunity to gain confidence in their public speaking skills through the study and performance of monologues from plays, film, or narrative fiction, as well as from their own imaginations and experiences.  They learn the essentials of good storytelling, the various techniques of preparing a successful monologue, and specific ways to use emphasis and silence to improve their delivery.

Poetry Workshop

In the Poetry Workshop taught by NEC poet-in-residence Ruth Lepson, students read and write poetry, and discuss the poetry of classmates both in the workshop itself and in small groups outside class.  They concentrate on the techniques of poetry, such as rhythm, repetition of many kinds, line breaks, pace, point of view, figurative language, imagery, juxtaposition, fixed forms & organic form. At the end of the term the class give a poetry reading and produce a class booklet.

View our Fall 2019 Poetry Workshop book here.

Visual Arts Studio

Visual Arts Studio is a studio course introducing the fundamentals of visual art, with a focus on freehand drawing techniques and watercolor painting, in both realistic approaches as well as more expressionistic attitudes.

Students first learn the basic techniques of working from observation: from fast gesture sketches and blind contour drawing to using 2D perspective to create an illusion of three-dimensional space and form using line and value.  Students are then introduced to the basic tech­niques of working with watercolor, from “a la prima” (wet on wet) to “layering,” from fast sketches to long term pieces.  At the end of the term, students create their own installation of work.

 InterArts, "Terabac", 2018

Sculpture Studio, "Brown Hall Mechanics", 2017 

Zack Fuller during his guest appearance during the Visual Arts Studio class, 2019

The Tyranny of Kindness, solo dance by Zack Fuller with music by Grace Ward and Kebra-Seyoun Charles. New England Conservatory Plimpton Shattuck Black Box Theatre, Boston MA, October 11, 2019. Video by Lani Asuncion




Fundamentals of Graphic Design

In this introductory course to Graphic Design, students study the basic elements of Visual Language: shape, image, color, typography, and layout. Using successful examples from the history of Graphic Design, they learn how to clearly communicate a message by creating work in different design genres, including logotype, posters, book/brochure, and websites.

Enter Fall 2020 Exhibit

Social Dance

Social dance can be defined as movement arts where sociability and socializing are a primary focus of the dance. In this workshop style class, students receive an introduction to partnering dances including Argentine tango, waltz, swing, and North American/English folk dances. To be an excellent social dancer, one must master five connections: to music, to self, to partner, to floor, and to community. Students in Social Dance focus on the deep connection between music and dance and reflect on their own musicianship through dance.

01. Professor Duveneck's Social Dance Course
02. Professor Duveneck's Social Dance Course
03. Professor Duveneck's Social Dance Course