About our program

Our Music Department faculty teach one of the most diverse and unique programs in the state, and we are the only school in Texas utilizing Popular Music Education as our primary curriculum. Complete with traditional and non-traditional music classes, students advance their musical skills and knowledge and develop an appreciation for a variety of music genres. Whether a student plans on pursuing a career in music or not, there is a place for everyone in the Music Department.

From Guitar 1 in which students study basic standard music notation and learn to read chord charts using the Nashville Number System, to Modern Band Lab, which incorporates recording and songwriting, student work culminates in themed shows at the end of fall and spring quarters. These performances have become some of the "must-see” shows of the year.

In addition to regular courses, students may also participate in our many extracurricular activities, such as Drumline, the heartbeat of St. Michael’s; CruBands that perform at home football games, pep rallies, and other school functions; Praise Band for those students who wish to use their musical and singing ability in chapel services; and Tech Crew, designed to give students the opportunity to learn about professional sound equipment using the industry’s latest technology.

Current Music Course Offerings

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  • Advanced Modern Band Lab

  • Drum Set Studies

    This course is designed for the beginner drum set player. Students will learn how to play the drum-set in a variety of musical settings while developing four-way independence, using both their hands and feet. Class topics include reading basic music notation and reading standard drum shorthand.
  • Guitar 1

    Designed for the beginning or intermediate guitar player, this class focuses on skills necessary for learning to play “contemporary” and “commercial” guitar. Students are introduced to popular music beginning with Elvis and The Beatles and continue their learning through modern day artists. Students learn how to read chord charts using the Nashville Number System and basic guitar tab in addition to being introduced to basic standard music notation. This course prepares students to enter the Modern Band Lab class and utilize the skills learned in a standard pop or rock band setting.
  • Modern Band Lab

    Modern Band Lab is one of the hallmarks of our music course offerings at St. Michael’s. Designed by our music teacher, Steve Moreland, this class combines guitar, bass, drums, piano, vocals and other common instruments. Based around Popular Music Education pedagogy, students form teams or “bands” which practice and perform together on a variety of projects. Fall semester is centered on learning the soft skills necessary for creating music in a group context. Spring semester incorporates recording and songwriting components as the students create a student-produced album. Students will leave the class with a portfolio of self-created videos and recordings and a basic understanding of all of the innovative tools available to the modern day musician.
  • CruBands (extracurricular)

    CruBands are Student-formed bands that meet after-school and perform at a variety of events.
  • Crusader Drumline (extracurricular)

  • Guitar Improvisation (Winter Term)

  • Recording Techniques (Winter Term)

  • Songwriting (Winter Term)

Music Department Fun Facts

  • Approximately 25% of St. Michael’s students are involved in the music program.
  • Only school in Texas with a Popular Music Education curriculum as its primary focus.
  • We will soon have a student-run record label.
  • Professional musicians interact with students in classes.
  • Music industry-aligned program.
  • Over 60 universities now offer popular music education and modern band courses.
  • Students have had internships at major recording studios and labels in Austin and Nashville.


Each semester the entire Music Department collaborates on a themed show at the end of fall and spring quarters. These performances have become some of the “must-see” shows of the year.
Previous shows have included:
  • Hits of the Decades (Spring 2023)
  • The Beatles vs The Rolling Stones (Fall 2022_
  • Into-the-Future (Spring 2022)
  • Back-to-the-Future (Fall 2021)
  • Mixtape (Spring 2021)
  • All My Favorite Colors (Spring 2021)
  • Rockin' Winter Showcase (Fall 2021)
  • A Quarantine Concert (Spring 2020)
  • SM-ACL (Fall 2019)
  • Legends, Vol. 1 (Spring 2019)
  • Magical Mystery Tour (Fall 2018)


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  • Steve Moreland 

    Director of Fine Arts & Music Instructor
Professional musician, educator, bandleader, and composer. Winner of "Yamaha's Top 40 Under 40 Music Educator" in the country.

List of 1 members.

  • Matt Read 

    Music Instructor
Professional guitarist, teacher, and composer. Undergraduate and graduate study at The University of North Texas and Berklee College of Music.

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