Fine and Performing Arts


The Department of Fine and Performing Arts exists to provide the aesthetic stimulation so necessary to human existence. Students are given the opportunity to excel within the contexts of artistic expression and public performance.


Requirements for graduation

MSMS requires students to complete one credit of fine arts during grades 9-12. Courses such as chorus, band or art taken during the 9th and/or 10th grades will meet this requirement. If you have never had one of these courses, MSMS has a broad selection from which you may choose. Only one credit of fine arts taken at MSMS may be applied toward the required 13 MSMS credits.


After participation in the existing courses, the student will be able:

  1. To recognize different styles and genres of music.
  2. To define a body of musical terms and utilize them in performance;
  3. To apply knowledge to different performing situations.
  4. To work within an ensemble situation.
  5. To understand the cooperation needed to attain a common goal.
  6. To exhibit inner discipline in a rehearsal setting, applicable to other academic pursuits.
  7. To gain an understanding of aesthetic expression.
  8. To gain self-confidence through public performance and art exhibits.
  9. To use, understand, and appreciate various art mediums.
  10. To develop and explore artistic talents.
  11. To develop an individual artistic style through the use of various mediums.
  12. To use and appreciate the elements and principles of design.
  13. To appreciate all forms of art for their aesthetic value.

Courses offered

This course begins with the study of commercial song structure and writing methods.  Students will compose four assigned songs and one freestyle piece throughout the course.  The course also includes instruction in digital recording and midi.  The course culminates with students recording their original compositions utilizing their knowledge of music technology. Prior knowledge of music theory and the ability to play an instrument is not required but strongly suggested.  Course is offered during the spring.

This course is for those students playing string, electronic, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. A broad style of music will be explored and small ensembles may be used from within the group. The class will give at least two performances per semester in order to allow students to experience the creative process that is necessary to perform in a truly collective art.

This course is for vocalists from school, civic or community choral programs. *contact the instructor if you wish to be take the class and have no previous experience. Students will survey several styles of performance including classical four part singing, a cappella, jazz, and Broadway styles. Attention will be devoted to proper breathing and diction techniques, reading music, and professional performance styles. This class is activity based and will include at least two performances per semester. A solo voice is not necessary but a desire to participate in an artistic process for enjoyment is. 

This course is for beginning piano students. Through piano studies students will study the fundamentals of music theory. Various musical styles, melodic playing, choral accompaniment, solo and ensemble playing will be studied throughout the course. Class size is limited to 10 per semester. Students will play on keyboards in the piano studio. No prior knowledge of the piano is needed.

This course is for beginning guitar students.  Through guitar studies students will study the fundamentals of music theory.  Various musical styles, melodic playing, choral accompaniment, solo and ensemble playing will be studied throughout the course.  Class size is limited to 10 per semester.  Students are required to provide their own guitar. No prior knowledge of the guitar is needed.

This energetic class involves movement, teamwork, sharing and listening. Students will move, shake and shimmy to various styles of music.  CMM provides a safe, positive and enjoyable environment in which to study a rich variety of movement disciplines while advancing student’s knowledge, confidence, skills, and motivation to engage in a lifelong, healthy and physically active lifestyle. Students in the CMM class will set and achieve personally challenging fitness goals and apply higher-order thinking skills to the scientific principles of human movement. Students will gain physical strength and self-confidence while learning fun performing arts skills. Students will participate in a wide range of activities including yoga, folk and modern dance, creative movement and music exercises with the goal of improving cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and overall fitness. This course will satisfy PE credit but will not count towards the required MSMS 13 credits.

This course is based on individual student interest and may be offered on a rotating basis.

This course is an introduction to drawing. The course is designed to focus on developing observational skills and drawing techniques. Students will employ a wide range of drawing media and subject matter.   

Drawing II is a studio course with hands-on learning. The course objective is to further the study of dry media on an advanced level of training. The course will introduce students to color mediums. 

Painting I is a studio course with hands-on learning. This course contains an introduction to basic painting techniques using the mediums of watercolor, Acrylic, and fabric paint. All projects include the study of the elements and principles of design. The color wheel and various color schemes will be explored and used to create all works of art.


Painting II is a studio course with hands-on learning. This course is a continuation of study in painting techniques using acrylic paint. Students will begin to analyze their own unique styles. The final project will be tailored to the student’s strengths and preferences as a new artist. 

Sculpture I is a studio course with hands-on learning.  This is a course in the applied principles and practices in sculpture and constructive design. The student will learn the art of carving, modeling, and casting using a wide variety of materials, such as soap, wire, clay, and plaster of Paris.  Students will meet the challenges of working with three dimensions instead of only two.

Sculpture II is a studio course with hands-on learning.  This course continues the study of three-dimensional art, its design, and construction. The materials used will be clay with an emphasis on the modeling of a human face.  Learning to create pottery on the potter’s wheel along with learning how to create Pop Art will conclude the course.  This course encourages practice using the imagination to think outside the box.

This course is designed to explore the theatrical process as an art form. Students will concentrate on designing, creating, and performing original and published works.

This course is based on individual student interest and may be offered on a rotating basis.

Photography I is a studio course that will be an introduction to the techniques, fundamentals, and aesthetics of color digital photography. Students will become familiar with the characteristics of the digital camera and lens, metering and exposure techniques; digital image capture/editing in Photoshop CS Cloud and Adobe Camera Raw; as well as production of quality imagery via the inkjet printing process. Students will explore various subject matter and conceptual themes with a goal of displaying work that demonstrates proper camera operation.

Photography II is a studio course built upon the foundation of photographic seeing and the advanced uses of digital techniques. The primary focus of this course is the development of a personal photographic vision through the utilization of photographic aesthetics and employment of an improved sense of technical craft.