Fill the Gap at Idyllwild Arts Academy!

Not quite ready to start college or an arts program during these difficult times? Make the most of your Gap Year at Idyllwild Arts Academy by studying with professional artists.

Among respondents to a recent Gap Year Association National Alumni Survey:

  • 98% said the experience allowed time for personal reflection
  • 98% said the experience promoted personal development
  • 97% said the experience promoted maturity
  • 96% said the experience increased self-confidence
  • What Makes an Idyllwild Arts Gap Year So Special?
  • Classes taught by working professional artists
  • International and multicultural student body
  • Individualized support and one-on-one mentorship

Course Offerings

Gap Year students choose courses of personal interest while enjoying mentorship in areas that build portfolios or resumes. They also learn how to promote their arts careers, and impact their communities with art, through social media, grant proposals, and crowdsourcing.

In addition to a foundational course that focuses on key components of choosing the arts for future study or a career, students can take two other courses.

Course offerings include:

  • Music History
  • Introduction to Songwriting
  • Interdisciplinary Technologies
  • Fashion Illustration and Photography
  • Stagecraft
  • Playwriting
  • Photography
  • Ink Illustration
  • Drawing for Animation
  • Dance Composition
  • Cinematography
  • Postproduction

Time commitment: 15 hours per week

Please contact for further information.

Complete List of Course Offerings

Creative Writing:

Playwriting elective
Multi-Genre Writing Workshop
Poetry and Fiction Workshop (audition required)
Literature and the Writer elective


Dance Composition
Dance History(First Semester)
Dance for Camera(Second Semester)

Fashion Design:

Fashion Illustration
Fashion History
Fashion Photography

Film & Digital Media:

Story Development
Creative Development
Post Production
Film History


Interdisciplinary Mind
Interdisciplinary Technologies (one semester)


Popular Music History
Jazz History
Western Art Music History
Introduction to Songwriting
Music Business and Marketing (1 semester)


Performance Practices
Musical Theatre

Visual Arts:

Art History
Drawing & Painting III-IV
Dynamic Marketing
Graphics I
Ink Illustration
Photography I
Drawing for Animation

Options for Expansion: (additional fees required)

Artist Residency:
Short term on-campus experiences / summer residency (add on fee)

College Counseling Sessions:
Individual appointments with college counseling staff (add on fee)

Individualized Arts Coaching:
Additional one-on-one time with private instructors, portfolio assessment, monologue coaching (add on fee)

Independent Study:
Students can propose and co-design an independent study course in the arts area of their choice. Course will be designed in collaboration with a faculty member with expertise in the course content area and instruction will be provided by this faculty member. (add on fee)

Gap students can also complete capstone projects with the support of an art department advisor and input from our faculty. Capstone projects may include the following:

  • Advocacy Action Plans: Generation of advocacy plans to support the arts and arts education in the student’s home community.
  • Community Engagement Opportunities: Development of arts engagement or education plans for the student’s home community and/or partnerships with Idyllwild Arts.
  • Individualized Arts Projects: Creation of artwork for public display or performance in the student’s home community.