Fine Arts Department

Philosophy

Our Fine Arts Department encourages an appreciation of visual and performing arts and nurtures the skills necessary to pursue the arts beyond high school. We endeavor to spark the imaginations of our students by teaching in a manner that heightens aesthetic awareness and provides unique opportunities for the application of skills. The foundation course, Introduction to the Arts, allows students to discover an interest in a particular artistic discipline. From there, we offer a wide variety of classes and activities in film, drama, dance, music, and the visual arts. We place value on self-expression and mastery of technique in an atmosphere that strengthens self-confidence. St. Michael’s boasts an active and acclaimed theater arts program. Performances have earned students district and statewide recognition. Our faculty members have won awards and studied under nationally recognized directors and educators. Our music director is a music professional who offers classes in various genres from drumline to the more traditional symphonic ensemble and the garage band-oriented guitar class. Visual Arts students explore both two-dimensional and three-dimensional media and pursue their areas of interest in depth. Fine and performing arts students at St. Michael’s thrive, because our programs are designed to focus on students as individuals and help them reach their greatest potential as student-artists!

Graduation Requirement: One credit.

A Sampling of Classes Offered at SMCA

List of 9 items.

  • Introduction to the Arts - 2601

    Credit Earned: 1.0
    First Semester - Fall
    This course is designed for incoming freshmen students who are not pursuing a specific area of the arts. The course immerses students in several different areas. During the fall semester, students are provided with a basic foundation in each area of the arts--on a rotating basis and in three- to four-week segments. This survey approach presents topics and activities as introductory material and helps to identify a student's affinity toward a particular discipline. At the conclusion of the first semester, the instructors will recommend an area for further study during the spring semester. Based on those recommendations, availability, and interest, students may be placed in one of the following spring semester segments of Dance, Film, Music, Visual Arts, or Theatre. Students may also have the option of transferring into another Fine Arts class with instructor approval and if their schedules allow.

    Second Semester - Spring
    Intro to Dance
    This is a foundation level course in the fundamentals, appreciation, and application of dance. This course, an extension of the  fall segment of Introduction to the  Arts, will give students  a greater understanding and appreciation of dance as a performing art, while gaining greater strength, flexibility, and poise. A performance
    opportunity will be provided during the semester.
    Prerequisite: Intro to the Arts
     
    Intro to Film
    This is a foundation level course in the fundamentals, appreciation, and application of film. This is an extension of the fall segment of Introduction to the Arts. Students will explore the basics of film studies, screenwriting, and film production. This is an ideal course for students who have little or no experience with film and who are interested in developing skills in motion picture study and production.
    Prerequisite: Intro to the Arts 

    Intro to Music 
    This course is offered only in the Spring semester and focuses on basic music perception, performance, and theory skills as an extension of the fall segment of Introduction to the Arts. The goal is to advance the student’s musical skills and knowledge. Elements of the course will expose the student to historical/cultural music literature and appreciation.
    Prerequisite: Intro to the Arts 

    Intro to Theatre                                                                                                   This course gives students a deeper understanding of the integrated nature of a theatrical event. Students will build upon the foundation established in the fall segment of Introduction to the Arts. The study and application of performance, production, history and theory are braided together to illustrate theater’s rich tradition and collaborative  nature.  Among  the  many  activities  in  class,  students  will  have  an  opportunity  to  practice improvisation and theater warm-ups, participate in theater games, compose and perform a monologue, create
    a puppet show, and perform an acting scene.
    Prerequisite: Intro to the Arts
     
    Intro to Visual Arts 
    This is a foundation level course in the fundamentals, appreciation, and application of art. Students will learn to express themselves and communicate through a wide variety of art media to include drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, and mixed media. Students study the concepts of color theory, art history, aesthetics and art criticism from a multicultural perspective and learn how to critique their own work.
    Prerequisite: Intro to the Arts



     
  • Advanced Dance

    Credit Earned: 1.0
    Advanced  Dance  is  an  intermediate/advanced  course  in  dance  and  performance  technique  and  choreography. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the choreography process while working toward mastering greater technique, gaining knowledge of various dance genres, and finding his/her own personal style through the use of musicality. In addition to learning and performing instructor-choreographed pieces, students will also choreograph small group, and possibly individual, routines.

    Prerequisite: Dance II or placement by audition
  • Advanced Guitar

    Credit Earned: 1.0
    This class is designed for students with more than the beginning guitar (Guitar I/II) level of experience. Students will spend time learning more skills on the guitar, as well as learn to play the bass guitar, drums, and basic keyboard skills.
    This course has a tech component, and students will begin experimenting with recording and audio engineering software. Projects include semester performance, concert, songwriting/recording project.

    Prerequisite: Guitar I/II or Placement by Instructor
  • Creative Expressions

    Credit Earned: 1.0
    Creative Expressions is for the student who enjoys the act of creating but does not plan to pursue a career in the visual arts. It is art-making for personal growth, self-expression, and stress reduction. Students will gain experience working with various media. This course may be repeated, as topics change.
     
  • Directing & Acting Film

    Credit Earned: 1.0
    In this yearlong course, students will learn the unique art of acting for a film camera and what it takes to direct actors, using scenes from previously produced Hollywood films. Course may be repeated as topics change.

    Prerequisite: Film I or Instructor Approval; all grade levels eligible
  • Film Critique

    Credit Earned: 0.5 (limited class size) 
    Students will focus on the technique of watching movies academically. Themes, how society is reflected, roles of women, and political culture are among the topics that will be explored.

    Prerequisite: Film I or Instructor Approval
  • Improvisation and Sketch Comedy (fall only)

    Credit Earned: 0.5
    This semester-long course is designed to introduce interested incoming freshmen to the fundamental skills of improvisational theatre. During the semester, students will engage in tradition theatre activities such as warm-up exercises, theatre games, and improvisational scenes. The emphasis will be on creating a fun and safe performance environment where students will learn to build upon ideas that are introduced by their peers. Additionally, students will be introduced to the fundamentals of writing and performing sketch comedy for the stage. Through a series of writing and performance exercises, students will blend character, environment, and relationships to develop comedic sketches. Students will have an opportunity to showcase their work at the end of the semester.

    Prerequisite: None; offered to 9th grade only
  • Stagecraft I - 2646 (spring only)

    Credit Earned: 0.5
    Students enrolled in this course will learn the fundamentals of theater production and technical theater. Building upon the knowledge and skills that were gained in Drama I, students will learn and practice the basics of scenery, costume, and property design and construction. Students will also gain experience in basic stage lighting, sound design and operation. Additionally, students will practice elements of stage make-up design and application, stage management and  production  management.  Students  will  be  expected  to  participate  in  the  production  of  the  various  events presented in the Gloria Delgado Performing Arts Theatre.

    Prerequisite: Intro to the Arts
  • Varsity Symphony - 2623

    Credit Earned: 1.0
    This yearlong performance-based course combines string, wind, keyboard, and percussion instruments. This group is the premier performing instrumental music ensemble of the school. Students will enjoy diverse musical styles such as pop, jazz, and classical. Students will be expected to compete in TAPPS as a group and on an individual level per the evaluation of the instructor. Students will perform at pep rallies, home football games, and occasional school-related functions. Students may elect to earn 1.0 credit in Fine Arts, or may substitute 0.5 Physical Education credit during the fall semester and 0.5 Fine Arts credit during the spring.

    Prerequisite:  One year experience with an instrument or Instructor Approval

Fine Arts Department Faculty

List of 4 members.

  • James Dziedzic 

    Film Instructor
    The University of Texas at Austin - B.A.
    The University of Texas at Austin - B.S.
  • Ivan Klousia 

    Director of Theatre
    The University of Texas at Austin - M.F.A.
    Oklahoma State University - B.S.
  • Kami Land 

    Art Instructor
    School of Art Institute of Chicago - B.F.A.
  • Steve Moreland 

    Director of St. Michael's Arts: Music, Art, Dance, Film
    Stephen F. Austin State University - M.M.
    Stephen F. Austin State University - B.M.