Missouri State University
Missouri Fine Arts Academy June 8-28, 2014

Categories of Study

2013 Curriculum

1. Interdisciplinary Artistic Studies

The Interdisciplinary (ID) course at Missouri Fine Arts Academy

  • Is facilitated by a team of teachers from different artistic disciplines
  • Is composed of a student group, including artists from various disciplines, that stay together throughout the duration of the class
  • Revolves around a broad theme that embraces all of the following disciplines: vocal music, instrumental music, visual arts, theatre, and dance
  • Provides all students with active participation experiences in each of these disciplines, facilitated by peers and by teachers with artistic expertise
  • Allows student to shape, in great measure, the course experiences
  • Recognizes the facilitators have valuable experience, insights, knowledge, and talents
  • Includes a concept-based interdisciplinary presentation that encompasses student participation in all the fine arts areas and addresses the broad theme
  • Culminates in an evaluation session that includes evaluation of the presentations themselves, group processes, and student learning

Each student will spend every class day morning working in an innovative course of an interdisciplinary nature.

Each interdisciplinary group is composed of about 25 students, including vocalists, instrumentalists, visual artists, dancers, and actors. Each group experience is facilitated by two faculty members with specialties in different artistic disciplines. Students and facilitators in each group work collaboratively to explore a single broad theme. The process of exploration naturally involves students’ participation in experiences that meet Missouri’s performance standards for students in its schools

  • Gather, analyze and apply information and ideas
  • Communicate effectively within and beyond the classroom
  • Recognize and solve problems
  • Make decision and act as responsible members of society

Each of the five interdisciplinary groups creates a unique presentation that illustrates the Academy theme and that incorporates all the artistic disciplines represented at the Academy. These presentations are shared with the rest of the Academy community. A reflection and evaluation session follows the presentations.

Course Objectives (.doc, 39K)
Rationale, Plan and Strategies (.doc, 46K)


2. Discipline-Specific Artistic Studies

All Academy students participate in applied lessons and/or classes;

Instrumental Music

Instructor: Tom Polett

Instrumental music study explores the musician's goals of technical mastery and effective expression. Class activities will include solo and ensemble presentations/performances, peer observance/criticism, lecture-demonstrations, and informal discussions. Topics will include interpretation, practice and performance strategies, and music history, literature, and theory. Please prepare two etudes or solo pieces to play for master class sessions.

Vocal Music

Instructors: Melinda Lein and Chris Thompson

This course is designed to allow students to explore the kinesthetic and psychological skills that contribute to success and confidence as a singer. A combination of class discussion, lecture, practical application, and master classes will serve to introduce students to pertinent topics such as the vocal mechanism, breath management, vocal health, and basics of diction, practice and discipline, and preparation of vocal literature.

Participating students should arrive at the Academy with two pieces (at least one in English) prepared and memorized for performance, and two other pieces to work on. Selections may come from art song or musical theater repertoire and may be in English, French, Italian, or German. During master classes, all students watch and listen as the instructor works with one student at a time. This gives students the benefit of learning from their peers as well as individual attention from the instructor. This class meets regularly on each academic day for the duration of the Academy.


Instructors: Kurt Heinlein, Angela Horshem, and Matt Walley

Actor training is sometimes defined as the "discovery and development of the actor's expressive behavior." This course will provide practical application of acting, voice, and movement techniques through a wide host of methodological approaches. Students will be exposed to a variety of different artists and teaching outlooks with the goal of developing self-confidence, improvisation and listening skills, moment to moment awareness, irreverence, and foundational work with text. The primary objective is to assist young artists in developing core performance skills for the stage through the presence of a trusting and collaborative classroom environment. Students should come to class prepared to move.

Visual Art

Instructors: Joey Borovicka, Rich Cline, Megan Frauenhoffer, and Nicholas Ward

POD is the required Core Curriculum for Visual Arts students at the Missouri Fine Arts Academy. In small groups and individually, students will explore the roles that artistic foundations such as context, intention, voice, materials, and content play in contemporary art making.

Creative Writing

Instructor: Julie Bloodworth

The concept of "nota bene," a Latin phrase meaning "note well," will guide this writing workshop. The phrase is a directive to pay special attention. In the unique environment of the Missouri Fine Arts Academy, we'll have great opportunity to pay special attention: to ourselves, to the artists and the art in the MFAA community, to relationships, to conversations, to appearances, to experiences, to our physical surroundings, to literature in its myriad forms. Because the Academy is a compressed experience, our workshop will, too.

We'll move quickly in our fourteen class meetings, exploring a variety of writing concepts, forms, and tones, but not expecting polished work. Because the Academy encourages individual expression, our workshop will, too. Responses to what we "note well" may take the form of poetry, lyrics, short stories, character sketches, essays, email exchanges, tweets, dialogue, prayers, letters, Facebook posts, editorials, reports, speeches... you name it. Because the Academy is interactive and supportive, our workshop will be, too. We'll share our writing and our ideas daily.


Instructor: Susan Rieger

This course is a dancer's workshop emphasizing modern technique with supplemental ballet technique. Students will develop a structural understanding of how the body initiates and performs movement and will discover static and dynamic body alignment. They will also develop physical stamina, strength, flexibility, articulation, coordination, musicality, and phrasing. Through this training, dancers will find themselves grounded, centered, and secure.

In conjunction with these physical and intellectual pursuits, they will explore the performance energy that goes beyond the body; call it “stage presence”, or “projection”. Modern dance technique may be less familiar to most students than is ballet. In modern dance, strengthening the core and lengthening through the spine and appendages are primary. Based in the concept of Fall and Recovery, this athletic style of dance emphasizes grounding and gaining energy from the earth into full-out momentum and locomotion. Musicality and phrasing will also be emphasized to assist in capturing the largest dynamic range.

Dancers must dress in tights and a leotard, a unitard, or close fitting sweat pants and t-shirt. Hair must be secured. Bare feet for class with ballet shoes available.

3. Elective Classes

Each Academy student takes three elective classes, one each from "A" Day, "B" Day, and "C" Evening courses. Students may use the course selection form to submit their top three course choices for each elective period. The deadline for the course selection form is May 2014.


Beginning Ballet

Instructor: David Ollington

This class will introduce the student to the art of ballet. We’ll learn basic ballet movements and steps at the barre and away from the barre. With a strong emphasis on musicality, proper execution, and alignment, the class will cover many of ballet’s basic building blocks.

Attire required: Women: black camisole leotard, pink tights, ballet shoes with the elastic sewn on, over the ankle. Hair must be up and secured. Student may also dance in a unitard. Men: black tights, white t-shirt, and a dance belt. An elastic waistband belt should be worn outside of the tights to hold them up. Ballet shoes with the elastic sewn on, over the ankle. Student may also dance in a unitard.

You may also (either gender) wear close-fitting sweatpants or jazz pants, a close fitting t-shirt, and socks instead of ballet shoes. Socks must be 100% cotton, crew length or longer, no ankle socks. No hoodies, shorts, watches, necklaces or bracelets.

Open to any student.

In My Room

Instructor: Joey Borovicka

Artists are collectors. We gather inspiration from things we see in the world around us, and we become a mash-up of these things we love. In this course students will develop a “swipe file,” a collection of visual images that inspire, intrigue, and excite them. Students will populate their swipe files by drawing, photographing, or collecting things observed during walks on campus, visits to the library, or anytime during their daily routines. Each student will then use the images gathered in his or her swipe file to create a composite drawing of an imaginary room—a creative and inspirational space unique to his or her artistic personality. Students will be introduced to artists whose work focuses on themes of inhabiting personal spaces.

Open to any student with experience in visual art.

Introduction to Stage Combat

Instructor: Kurt Heinlein

This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of unarmed stage violence, with focus upon an approach that emphasizes a solid methodology, sound technique, physical listening, and most importantly, safety. Students will be exposed to a broad range of skills, including kicks, punches, slaps, rolls, dives, throws, and grappling techniques.

Open to any student who is prepared for the demands of a physically intensive class.

Jazz Improvisation: An Historical Approach

Instructor: Tom Polett

The study of jazz improvisation is often treated as an extension of harmonic and melodic musical theory. Because of this, many people are intimidated by the task of learning the seemingly endless combinations of chords, scales, and harmonic progressions. By studying improvisation from an historical perspective, much of the mystery is lifted, and a more melodic approach to finding one's creative voice emerges. This course is designed to introduce any musician (yes, string players, woodwinds, pianists, and vocalists are welcome!) to this melodic/historical approach to jazz improvisation. Beginning with the early pre-cursors of jazz through Dixieland, the Blues, Swing, Bebop, Cool, Spanish, Latin, Fusion, Rock, and Free Jazz, we'll use examples as models to enable each student to understand more and to create unique melodic jazz solos in many styles.

Open to any student with a background in instrumental and/or vocal music.

Mask Making

Instructor: Angela Horchem

Learn how to make your own papier mâché masks! Start with just a lump of clay and turn it into modern-day example of an ancient performance art form. In this class, we will work with clay, papier mâché (glue!), spackling, sandpaper, and paint ... so you have to be willing to get your hands (and maybe your clothes) dirty.

This class is open to any student, and it’s especially good to get a blend of performance and visual arts students: part of making a great mask is the collaboration between good sculptural and visual techniques, and understanding how the mask will be used in performance so the mask can truly come alive.

Some work required outside of class. Must be willing to “wear & share” in mask at the end of the course.

Open to any student.

Music and Drama: The Great Experiment

Instructor: Melinda Lein

Designed to give a practical and historical foundation to musicians and dramatists alike, this course will allow us to examine how music and drama interact to enhance the artistic experience. Genres ranging from ballet, melodrama, musical theater and film will be considered but special focus will be placed on the development of the unique and often strange concept of opera. In a workshop setting in which we will create our own opera, classes will also include discussion, lecture, viewing, listening, and writing to explore the various ways music and drama are linked. Students should come to class with an inquisitive mind and a desire to be challenged. While helpful, no musical background is necessary, although willingness to sing/make music in class is expected (instrumentalists, you may be asked to “sing” with your instrument). Enter at your own risk!

Open to any student.

The Mutable Flow

Instructor: Rich Cline

Every day is a work of art. A mutable flow exists in objects and routines that often go unnoticed. Prepare to step out of your comfort zone and explore these everyday items and daily undertakings as a revolutionary works of art. We will explore the Fluxus phenomenon, Arte Povera and the works of Allen Kaprow in an effort to develop a conceptual vocabulary in relation to art. Students will be expected to create “scores,” construct flux boxes, games and symphonies that serve to interpret the world using metaphors based upon the power and sensual density of new, unorthodox and often clashing materials.

Open to any student.

A New Day, a New Dawn

Instructor: Chris Thompson

You want me to do what with my voice? This class will address the challenges singers face in learning and performing contemporary music. We will take a quick tour of the twentieth century and discover compositional styles that challenged present thinking (use of the voice) and proceed to the present, learning about current trends and composers on the rise. Participants should be prepared to sing and engage in lively discussions.

Open to any student with vocal music experience.

On Beyond Aesthetics

Instructor: Nicholas Ward

Referencing Dr. Seuss’s similarly titled and very peculiar alphabet book “On Beyond Zebra” (a story in which new and unusual letters must be invented to describe things that otherwise cannot be expressed through the alphabet) this course explores and challenges how we experience, value, and create visual art. In this course students will use non-traditional methods and techniques of drawing-based image making in an effort to a experience a new and meaningful conception and value of art beyond aesthetics. Students will be challenged to view, create, and assess works of art with expanded notions of visual language.

This class welcomes students of all skill levels.

Process / Play

Instructor: Megan Frauenhoffer

This elective will focus on using sketchbooks to explore the ideation process of art creation. Whether it is used for sketching, writing, or pasting inspiration such as photos or found objects, the sketchbook becomes a vital tool in the art production. Learn to avoid the creative blocks and enjoy the process as the class will explore and share different ways of thinking and recording ideas. Sketchbooks will become visual journals, investigating new methods as the student receives challenges or prompts at the beginning of class. Along the way, we will survey modern and historical artist examples that show off their artistic process. As a group, students will share their observations and themes found in their journals.

Open to any student with visual art experience.

T’ai Chi

Instructor: Matt Walley

T’ai Chi is sometimes called poetry in motion. We use T’ai Chi to study movement, awareness, and habit. The form itself is made of specific postures that flow gently from one to the next without stopping. During class, participants will follow a leader to continually practice the form. The instructor will provide one-on-one attention to help the participants develop the form and find the efficient use of the principles of T’ai Chi.

“Nothing can be disregarded: What you do everyday is what you teach yourself. What you do everyday is what you teach others.”

Open to any student.


The Abominable

Instructor: Rich Cline

You're not bored. You're boring. Isn't there something that can be taken away from any experience? Are you passively disengaged in life or are your antennae consistently up and alert, ready to grasp the creative potential in things often taken for granted. We will explore the creative possibilities of ordinary items, simple tasks, and articles of popular culture. We will engage in the acts of music composition, instrument construction, choreographed performance, collaborative installation and theatre. The works of Futurism, John Cage, Vito Acconci and Meredith Monk will serve as reference points for our creations. We will engage in exercises using deconstruction, reconstruction, structuralism, and isolation to reach our goal of developing a metaphysical tool box that can be used as a source of creativity for years to come. Bring nothing but an open mind, a writing utensil, and a notebook, as everything else that you will need to create already exists.

Open to any student.

Architecture and Bodies Meet

Instructor: Susan Rieger

The “Tuning Score,” developed by the Movement Lab of NYC, will be used in various indoor and outdoor sites. This will entail viewing/listening to a defined space architecturally, looking at how each artist (musician, actor, dancer or visual artist) follows his or her desires to place their body in stillness in the space. From there, brief periods of moving will be introduced. We will also play/experiment with positioning of the audience—far away, above, obscured, through a tunnel... Listening (or tuning into the space and others) is emphasized. No dance training or performance experience is necessary and can be an asset with this work. This project may culminate in a live or videotaped presentation for the MFAA community.

Open to any student.

Art and Music of Change

Instructor: Tom Polett

This course will examine the rich history of music and all of the arts; how they have responded to society and have been the catalyst for social change. Examples from the distant and recent past will be studied that demonstrate how artists have changed the world by raising public awareness of injustice, presented models of peaceful co-existence in times of war, and provided a mirror of ourselves in our best and worst moments. Students will work in groups to create new art of all forms that provides a commentary on the world we live in. What do you feel strongly about? Find that way to show the world through your art instead of saying it.  

Open to any student.

Broadway Babies

Instructor: Chris Thompson

Discover the roots of musical theatre and explore its history through the most current Broadway shows. Participants will learn about influential composers/writing teams, sing in a variety of musical theatre styles, and discover source materials/websites for inspiration. Participants should bring any musical theatre music they own, be prepared to sing, and engage in class discovery and discussions.

Open to any student with vocal music experience.

Cadavre Exquis

Instructor: Megan Frauenhoffer

Your art hides somewhere between dream and reality. Explore the creative methods influenced by the subconscious thought. This course will incorporate projects, collaborations, and creative prompts inspired by the techniques and games used during the Surrealism movement. This course will combine visual art, writing, and other media for multi-discipline experience. Students will also plan a MFAA event where they will invite their fellow peers to participate and produce collaborative works of art.

Open to any student.

Discovering Song

Instructor: Melinda Lein

More than pleasing melodies and catchy lyrics, song is a timeless and meaningful means of communication. Within this course, singers will delve deeply into both the textual and musical elements that make up this powerful genre. Emphasis will be placed on poetic expression, verbal and musical interpretation of text, and artistry of the singer in re-creating this text-music fusion. Participating students should bring at least one art song (no opera arias, musical theater songs, or pop songs, although arrangements of folksongs, hymns, or spirituals are acceptable), preferably in English, of which some musical preparation has already been accomplished. Expect to memorize and perform this piece in class.

Open to any student with vocal music experience.

In the Process

Instructor: Joey Borovicka

Drawing is much more than a slow and antiquated means of manufacturing pictures; it is a way of thinking through mark-making. Each mark an artist makes is a physical action connected to a thought or an emotion, and drawings are the result of many of these actions over time. This course will allow students to focus on drawing as an open-ended process of discovery. When we treat a drawing as a journey to an unknown destination we allow new and unexpected things to happen and we learn things about ourselves we didn’t know before. Using various media such as charcoal, Conte crayon, and ink, students will engage in experimental drawing projects that focus on the act of drawing itself: the physicality of mark-making, the evolution of a drawing from beginning to end, and a drawing as a record of its own making. Students will also be introduced to artists whose works exemplify the ideas discussed over the duration of the course.

Open to any student.

Painting: Context and Meaning

Instructor: Kyle McKenzie

Through painting and mixed media, you will examine your unique life and explore its relationship to the lives of others. We will look around us for inspiration in our daily environments and we will react to contemporary events as we look to the broader world for stories that move, inspire, infuriate, or confuse us. We will explore the relationship between form and content in art, because how one creates an image is essential to what it communicates. A variety of painting media and techniques, focusing on safe and sustainable studio practices, will be used.

Open to students with experience in visual art.


Instructor: Kim Proctor

With constant access to cameras, it seems everyone who's anyone is taking pictures. Though you may have experience taking photos, what do you really know about the world of photography?

In this class, students will explore the art of photography while documenting MFAA 2013. You should expect to have your camera with you at all times and be on the lookout for the images that define the Academy experience. Your photos will be posted daily to the Academy website, as well as shown in other venues during the Academy. You will learn the basics of composing aesthetically pleasing photographs and be introduced to fundamentals of camera and Photoshop functions. With f/stops, white balances and Photoshop tools galore, there will be much to explore each day.

Open to any student with a digital camera (preferably DSLR).

Scripting and Performing

Instructor: Felicia Basanavicius

Scripting and Performing is an exploration class where the students will write, develop, and perform their own work using different writing exercises and performance techniques. The students will also study different performance artists in America who have made their own way in the performing arts through creating their own work. Students will be expected to share, respect, and trust each other as an ensemble. This class is aimed toward helping artists develop their writing/performing skills, one woman or one man shows, stand up comedy, monologue work, and ensemble building. This class will also help them discover and explore their individual style of performing as well as their unique writing voice. Students will need to bring a journal to write in and are expected to write AND perform every day. Come to class ready to move. (i.e. no jeans, skirts, or baggy clothing; come to class in sweat pants and a t-shirt).

Open to any student with an interest in writing and performing.


Instructor: Melissa Harper

This class will be a workshop for songwriters looking to sharpen their craft and expand their knowledge of musical structure. We will work in a workshop format on your songs, focusing on form, style, harmonic development, and music-lyric relationships. Throughout the class, we will also consult the work of prominent songwriters from the common (and not-so-common) repertoire. Bring your guitars, if you have them (we'll have a piano), your lyrics, your best work, and a humble willingness to get better.

Open to any student.


A Community Art Process

Instructor: Kyle McKenzie

In this course you will learn a basic process for creating collaborative murals. Through an ongoing dialogue, we will paint a mural that reflects the MFAA community. We will be collaborating with the entire Academy, and you will be the design team in charge of the project.

Many artists are accustomed to making art alone. When the creative process is opened to collaborators, it allows many unexpected and exciting things to develop. So often, contemporary art is something that happens in museums and in big cities, far away from everyday life in Missouri. This is a mural process that gathers people from diverse backgrounds to participate in a work of relevant contemporary art.  

When you return home, after the Academy, you will be empowered with a lot of new knowledge. This community art process can serve as a framework for you to develop projects in your communities.

Open to any student.

Cover to Cover: The Book as Art

Instructor: Joey Borovicka

In conjunction with the Springfield Art Museum’s exhibition “Storytellers,” students will create a unique artists’ book from scratch. Artists’ books are works of art realized in book form. They can come in any number of unconventional shapes and be made from many different materials, their form limited only by the imagination of the artist. In this course students will explore how every visual and tactile aspect of their book, in addition to the content of the book itself, affects the meaning of the work. Eschewing the logical narrative of conventional books, students will instead explore the interaction of word and image in order to create a more poetic “reading” experience.

Open to any student interested in visual art and/or creative writing.

Dive Into Choral Music

Instructor: Robert Battle

Dive into choral music will explore ensemble singing in a whole new way. Singers will perfect the art of singing pop, blues, and classical music while striving for tight harmonies and rich ensemble tone.

The ability to match pitch and willingness to sing with others is required. While previous choral experience is not necessary, musical ability and an understanding of singing is needed to be successful in this fast paced a cappella explosion. Dive into the vast ocean of choral singing and the many possibilities it offers.

Open to any student.

Flipbooks to Thaumatropes

Instructor: Nicholas Ward

Through hands on exploration students will discover anew the pivotal innovations that led to the early years of animation. Students will create their own turn of century animation devices, create an epic flipbook, and maybe even glimpse into the physiological workings of animation on the human brain (why animation works).

Open to any student wishing to make or learn about animation in a hands-on low-tech, collaborative setting.

Green Theatre

Instructor: Kurt Heinlein

This class is an exciting opportunity for a diverse body of students who hold an interest in the means by which theatre and the arts can address social issues, and more specifically, how it can impact socio-environmental concerns. It is aimed at utilizing investigative tools toward the development of new Green theatrical works in an ensemble environment.

Open to students with a variety of interests and backgrounds including writers, actors, directors, artists, musicians, and activists.

Movement Improvisation/Sound Improvisation

Instructor: David Ollington

In this workshop, we'll work on developing interdisciplinary performance work that incorporates vocalization, instrumental music, and physical movement. Using breath, rhythm, interactive exercises, and imagery, we'll develop methods of creating and expressing ideas with sound and motion. Theatre, vocal music, and instrumental music will be incorporated. Please be willing to step into another discipline, to try something new.

Open to any student with experience in dance, theatre, or music.

Rubber Biscuits and a Wish Sandwich: The Making of the Band

Instructor: Matt Walley

Spinal Tap, Scott Pilgrim, Leningrad Cowboys, Blues Brothers, maybe even GWAR. This summer we will be creating a character-band! As we develop eccentric characters and their relationships within the band, we will also be learning songs to play together. While looking at the time and timing, rhythm and structures involved in creating theatre with music, we will also look at the disharmonious ways these characters interact with each other but ultimately come together to do what they do best! I'm looking for those of you who can work quickly with a passion to perform. It is not required to have a virtuosic ability to play an instrument. The bands are unplugged and ready to move. Looking for brass, accordions, percussionists, woodwinds, banjo, violin, that kind of stuff. No electric guitars or bass, but if you have a trumpet and can play three notes kinda OK, you're in the band!

Open to any student.

Think Cartoons: Mask & Movement in Commedia Dell’Arte

Instructor: Angela Horchem

"Commedia dell’Arte," which translates to "Theatre of the Professional," marks the first time actors conceived of their work as a legitimate industry. It’s legacy includes the first incorporated (i.e. professional) theatre company, the first European actresses, and many of the themes and storylines still enjoyed by audiences today. The style of Commedia is characterized by its use of masks, improvisation, physical comedy, and recognizable character types (think cartoons); young lovers, wily servants, greedy old men, know-it-all professors, boasting heroes, and the like.

This workshop will explore full body gesture and the foundation necessary to support the mask. Participants will learn basic mask technique and apply these principles while playing in mask. Though we will start with the traditional stock characters, we will also consider the contemporary applications of the characters in this form.

Open to any student.