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

Each student is placed in a class focusing on the discipline in which they were accepted to the Academy:

  • Dance
  • Creative Writing
  • Theatre Studies
  • Instrumental Music
  • Visual Art: Principles Of Design
  • Vocal Music


3. Elective Classes (2019)

Each student takes two elective classes; one "A" Day elective, one "B" Day elective. Students may use the course selection form to submit their top three course choices for each elective period.

— "A" Day Electives

Tuesday (6/4) and Monday (6/10)


Science Fiction/Fantasy Writing

Creative Writing

Instructor: Lanette Cadle

Poetry, prose poems, flash fiction, short stories, and the world-building needed to construct a novel.

Open to any student.

Dance is Everywhere


Instructor: Azaria Hogans

In this workshop participates will learn how to create Site Specific dance.  Participates will learn how to make dances and perform in non-traditional venues such as on benches, in parks, or in hallways.  Let’s broaden our horizons and see that dance is everywhere!

Open to any student.

Body of Work: Understanding the Whole Person in the Practice of Art

Vocal Music

Instructor: Heather Nelson

All artists use the mind, heart, and body in the creation and execution of their artwork. This course will explore the anatomical, physiological, and neurological aspects of creating art, and strategies for maintaining good health and avoiding injury. Topics will include neural pathways of musicians and artists, body alignment, repetitive stress injuries, mental health, and more. Participants will be given ample opportunities to ask questions, try new techniques, and learn where to find reliable and accurate information for future questions. Participants from all disciplines are invited to attend.

Open to any student.

Street Art Strategies

Visual Art

Instructor: Meganne Rosen

Learn the history and how to’s of stenciling, wheat pasting, graffiti, tagging, yarn bombing, guerrilla gardening, and more in this crash course on all things street art.

Open to any student.

The Art of Listening through Improv


Instructor: Michele Guidry

Listening, truly listening, is a desired skill not only in the performing arts, but in everyday life. Responding truthfully to what we are given, and doing away with preconceived notions strengthens our relationships on and off the stage. Through the practice of Improvisational games and movement, and trust exercises, we will explore ways to build support as a group, react in the moment, and move towards creating improvisational ensemble scene work in class. No previous theatre experience required. Say yes and join us!

Open to any student.

— "B" Day Electives —

  Friday (6/7) and Wednesday (6/12)


Walk a Mile in My Shoes

Visual Art

Instructor: J.D. McGuire

To walk a mile in my shoes means to spend time trying to consider or understand another person's perspectives, experiences, or motivations before making a judgment about them. In this course each student will use cardboard and paper to reproduce a hyper realistic shoe. The shoes will be exhibited together as if they are walking together to form a path.

Open to any student.

Writing to Perform

Creative Writing

Instructor: Amanda Hadlock

In this class, students will have the opportunity to explore techniques in spoken monologue, stylized monologue, poetry/spoken word, scene writing/drama, and/or short form fiction or nonfiction. Students will work both individually and collaboratively. Class activities and lessons will focus on developing voice, and students' work will culminate in a reading/performance during the last class session.

Open to any student.

Musical Improvisation

Instrumental Music

Instructor: Jacob Hiser

"Music is the universal language." That phrase may seem cliché, but much of 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 learned to speak by listening to what we heard and imitating it, eventually internalizing the words until we could 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. We will also experiment with free/structured improvisation, independent of any genre. Knowledge of music theory is helpful, but not necessary. All instrumentalists and vocalists are welcome. Be willing to open your ears to new sounds.

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

Dramatic Expression


Instructor: Michael Butcher

Students will participate in a workshop exploring various acting techniques through improvisation exercises. The focus of the exercises will be on voice and pantomime. Through these two dramatic forms of expression, students will produce characters that make real and meaningful connections with the audience.

Open to any student.

Developing Your Artistic Process

Visual Art

Instructor: Erin Tyler

How do I make art? What is my art about? “Developing Your Artistic Process” is a class focused on identifying and strengthening your artistic process while learning new ways of making art. You will get to choose your subject matter and will learn to test and stretch ideas through in-class exercises using a wide range of materials and techniques.

Open to any student.