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)

 

 

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 1, 2017.


— A Day Electives
3:30-5pm

 

Anne Bogart's Viewpoints Training

THEATRE

Instructor: Whitney Russell-Ice

"You cannot hide; your growth as an artist is not separate from your growth as a human being: it is all visible." — Anne Bogart

This course will introduce students to the theories and practical application of Viewpoints training. Viewpoints are a physical and vocal training meant to encourage more risk-taking and bolder choices in acting. The training encourages both self-development and ensemble building. Come prepared to move, to explore, and to grow. Yes and!

Cartooning

VISUAL ART

Instructor: Chris Mostyn

Cartooning is an art form that can be used to address issues that are funny, serious and everything in between. Develop your own original comic strip while learning about timing, characters, setting as well as a host of techniques and skills needed to create comics, comic books and other graphic storytelling forms.

Constructive Rest

ALL DISCIPLINES

Instructor: Ruth Barnes

Carrying unnecessary tension prevents us, as artists and as people, from doing the things that we want and need to do. The practice of constructive rest, developed in the last century, has proven to be useful in managing stress and facilitating relaxation.

Fiction in a Flash: Stories from Six to 1,500 Words

CREATIVE WRITING

Instructor: Jason Schaefer

Across the globe, literature is in an era of brevity — writers seeking out methods to create an exquisite story in the fewest words possible. The drabble, Twitterature, six-word-stories, flash fiction, micro fiction… Whatever the latest name, very short literature has been around a long time, but it seems to be enjoying a resurgence of popularity in our increasingly fast-paced society. Using anthologized examples from around the world, we’ll investigate how contemporary writers shrink novel-sized narratives down to a handful of words using the powers of suggestion and exact language. Think it’s impossible to express character, setting, conflict, and resolution in such a small space? Consider the most famous six-word story ever written: Baby shoes. For sale. Never worn.

Futurism and Beyond

ALL DISCIPLINES

Instructor: Tom Polett

This course will examine historic movements of "Performance Art" by reading and observing followed by the creation of live art pieces in many genres. Special attention will be placed on works that forced audiences to re-evaluate the definition of art. Three historically significant performance art movements that will be studied are Futurismo, Bauhaus, and Fluxus Art, as well as more recent trends. All students will be involved in the creation of visual, kinetic, musical, and theatrical pieces that will be shared with the campus community. No previous experience with creating or performing art is necessary.

I'm over here! Where are you?

VISUAL ART

Instructor: Andy Corbett

This course teaches the students to reflect on their surroundings and how we navigate through them by developing an installation in small groups that focuses on the physicality of experiencing a space or the lack there of. These installations will change the way we move through an environment or create a new one to inhabit. The students will use campus architecture, natural/unnatural environments, and non-visual information to influence their installations.

Improvisation

MUSIC PERFORMANCE (VOCAL AND INSTRUMENTAL)

Instructor: Jacob Hiser

"Music is the universal language." That phrase may seem cliché, but current music education tends to focus solely on being able to read written music. When it comes to spoken languages, reading is an important skill, but the majority of our communication is through listening and speaking. We originally learn to speak by listening to what we hear and imitating it, eventually internalizing the words until we can communicate our own thoughts. To be strong improvisers, musicians must build their vocabulary of "words" by critically listening to and internalizing a wide variety of music. Once a vocabulary is established, the improvisers then work to "speak" their own ideas in a clear, coherent way in any musical situation they find themselves in. In this course, we will listen closely to excerpts from classical, jazz, rock, and folk traditions, and learn them by ear, building our musical vocabulary. Using that vocabulary, we will improvise as a group, arrange some tunes, and possibly do some composing. Knowledge of music theory is helpful, but not necessary. All instrumentalists and vocalists are welcome. Be willing to open your ears to new sounds.

Mysterious Beasts

VISUAL ART

Instructor: Bethany Kelly

Imagination and inspiration are mysterious beasts and in this class, we will unearth ways in which we can poke these beasts to try and make them come to life. Our ability to innovate and improvise in visual art will be explored through the use of materials. Unusual media restrictions and unconventional forms of mark making will serve as the basis for this exploration.

Singing with Soul

VOCAL MUSIC

Instructor: Robert Battle

A course that will offer students a historic overview of the architects and pioneers of soul singing. Students will study performance and vocal techniques, as well as be assigned listening examples required to successfully sing and perform rhythmic phrasing and nuances indicative of soul, blues, R&B, gospel, and hip-hop. In addition, students will perform some music of great artists, such as Ray Charles, Minnie Ripperton, Fats Domino, Jean Carne, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, LaVern Baker, Peabo Bryson, Wilson Pickett, Mavis Staples, Donny Hathaway, Gladys Knight, Sylvester, Glen Jones, Shirley Caesar, Mahalia Jackson, the Clarke Sisters, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Tata Vega, Jeffrey Osborne, George Benson, Natalie Cole, Karen Wheeler, Lauryn Hill, Luther Vandross, Patti LaBelle, and a host of others.

Sociodrama and Drama Therapy

THEATRE PERFORMANCE

Instructor: Darci Burch

Students in this course will take a glimpse into the intentional use of active and experiential processes to facilitate change on personal and societal levels. By looking at the ways arts heal, social justice issues, recurring societal themes, entrenched cultural norms, and connection through creation, students will take a hands on approach to creating the change they wish to see in the world.

Voice for Visuals

VOCAL MUSIC

Instructor: Burcu Gulec

This course focuses on discovering and experimenting with vocal textures and colors by analyzing songs from different vocal traditions. Students will listen to songs from different vocal traditions, choose five ornaments from these recordings and learn how to sing them. Further, they will analyze the color and behavior of three different instruments by learning the solo tracks performed by each instrument, focusing on the phrasing of a musical sentence and the use of attack. Through this process, students will develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of music from other cultures.


— B Day Electives —
3:30-5pm

 

Cartooning

VISUAL ART

Instructor: Chris Mostyn

Cartooning is an art form that can be used to address issues that are funny, serious and everything in between. Develop your own original comic strip while learning about timing, characters, setting as well as a host of techniques and skills needed to create comics, comic books and other graphic storytelling forms.

Film Music

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC

Instructor: Tom Polett

This course will examine the practice of creating soundtracks for the motion picture industry. Examples of films will be studied that employ different types of collaboration between directors and composers. In some releases, the film is made before the soundtrack is creates, in others, the music is composed before the film is shot, and in some examples, the music is improvised during the creation of the film. We will look at how these processes affect the outcome of the film. We will also analyze common compositional devices used to portray particular characters, settings, and situations. Students will work in groups to set various film examples to music. In some cases, pre-existing music will be used, and in others the group will create the music to enhance the images provided. This course is open to any Academy student.

Inquiry: Process-based Art

VISUAL ART

Instructor: Andy Corbett

This course uses process of Visual Inquiry, where the students will collect, catalogue, and reflect on visual material based on the question of Inquiry: “Why are you here?” This question has as many interpretations as possible students, and will be refined by the students as they reflect on their findings, creating new avenues for exploration. This process of art-making encourages a developing clarification as to why/what our inspirations are as art makers, what are our motivations for doing so, and what are the different formats in which we can express our form of inquiry. This process will result in an artist’s journal that records the research, a well-developed question of inquiry expressing the individual student’s desires in making art, and a final piece of art utilizing their collected experiences.

Is it Good? Is it Fun? Is it Real?

ALL DISCIPLINES

Instructor: Ruth Barnes

Well, is it? What do you see when you go to a concert, a show, an art gallery or just on the street? How do you describe it and analyze it? This class about writing "about" art is open to all disciplines.

Motions of Music

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC

Instructor: David Curtman

Students will learn basic conducting skills and expressive gestures. Students will then relate motions into meaningful ensemble and solo performances. All students will perform as a conductor and ensemble musician.

Paper Sculptures

VISUAL ART

Instructor: Judge Bockman

In this course, students will explore the sculptural possibilities of the paper medium. We will learn about at the process of papermaking and the resulting artistic applications it can be used in. Students will be given the challenge to create sculptural and conceptual works, based off of the versatility of paper. Whether it’s origami, quilling, puppets or piñatas, this course will focus on the strengths and limitations we face when choosing our artistic mediums.

Scripting and Performing

THEATRE

Instructor: Whitney Russell-Ice

"Each person has a literature inside them." — Anna Deavere Smith

Calling all actors and non-actors alike! Students in this course will explore the elements of storytelling. What makes a great story? How is the story interpreted from page to stage? Through writing, acting, and sharing, students will examine their role as storyteller and how that applies to the theatrical world.

Shakespeare in Performance

THEATRE

Instructor: Sarah Wiggin

This class will focus on approaching Shakespeare’s text from an actor’s point of view. We will look at how Shakespeare uses language, aspects of iambic pentameter, parts of speech, and how all those components serve as clues for an actor to make bold and exciting choices when creating a character. We will explore Shakespeare’s language through in-class exercises and scene work.

Use What You Have, Where You Are

VISUAL ART

Instructor: Bethany Kelly

We create in order to communicate. Communication is more effective when context is considered, and in this class we will explore how to make use of our environments to connect with the audience. Knowledge about self, others, space, and time will be discussed as we learn to be observant and relevant as mark makers.

World Music Ensemble

VOCAL MUSIC

Instructor: Burcu Gulec

From the Balkans to the Near East, there is so much to discover! This course will examine folk songs from countries around the world, especially from the Mediterranean region. By singing and playing a variety of examples we will be immersed in odd rhythms, microtones, different languages and much more. This course will be part listening, part deconstructing — rearranging, and part performance.


— C Evening Electives —
7-9pm

 

Concrete Poetry: The Word as an Element of Visual Art

CREATIVE WRITING

Instructor: Jason Schaefer

It's not just poetry written in concrete, though it can be. Concrete poets see words as something akin to paint or clay — an element of fine visual art — but with the unique property of expression through semantics. We’ll take a look at work by concrete poets from the 1950s to the present, take a glance at the origins of the movement in Dadaism and post-modern linguistics, and make some art of our own. Is it writing? Is it painting? Is it sculpting? Is it calligraphy? It is found art? Is it poetry? Is it fiction? You be the judge. Maybe it's all of the above.

Earth Song: Dive into Choral Music

VOCAL MUSIC

Instructor: Robert Battle

The voice can be used as a paint brush to create visual textures that elicit a visual and emotional experience for the listener. This performance and recording ensemble is designed to help each participant explore the art of composed and improvised vocal expression, including instrumental singing and vocal improvisation. Students will learn how to use their entire body as a performance instrument; explore the art of vocal and body percussion; and discover a renewed sense of freedom to discover his or her own style of vocal expression and improvisation.

Graphic Novels

VISUAL ART

Instructor: Chris Mostyn

Graphic Novels. No, they’re not just collections of comic strips. Explore the world of the graphic novel, a genre that can explore topics as rich and complex as the Civil Rights Movement or as personal as a bad break up. Whether fiction or non-fiction, sequential art can take a reader places that other literature can’t. Work toward developing your own graphic novel concept while exploring the potential of this visual storytelling medium.

"...How do you know when you're done?"

VISUAL ART

Instructor: Judge Bockman

Is it done? Could it be pushed further, applied in a new way, broken down or worked up? This course will explore the concepts of finished work and sift through the near endless possibilities of where it could go from its completion. In this class we will learn to use Adobe Photoshop and Premiere to manipulate, animate, and regurgitate anything you might consider done.

Introduction to Stage Combat

PERFORMING ART

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.

Stylistics of Musical Periods

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC

Instructor: David Curtman

For solo or small ensemble. Students will explore different performance techniques associated with the musical time periods, including Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern periods. Techniques will include, "unwritten" accents, specific tone qualities for the period, ornamentation, and expressive elements appropriate to the music.

Theatre of the Oppressed

THEATRE

Instructor: Darci Burch

"Theatre is a form of knowledge; it should and can also be a means of transforming society. Theatre can help us build our future, rather than just waiting for it." — Augusto Boal

Calling all actors and non-actors alike! This course will introduce students to the theories and practical application of Theatre of the Oppressed. Through play, games, acting, sharing, laughing, and connection, students will examine power and privilege in their lives and how that plays out in the world at large. Come and play. All are welcome; all are needed!