An MVCDS Education

Explore Our Curriculum

Fine Arts


The mission of the Fine Arts program is to provide educational experiences that foster creativity, explore the artistic process, and help develop knowledge of and respect for the arts throughout history and in our global society.  The program enables students to produce or share well-crafted works of art that intensify and clarify the human experience.
  • FA-2D Paint/Draw I

    In the Painting and Drawing course, students will be investigating various forms of 2-dimensional art within drawing and painting methods. Units and projects will combine inspiration from historical, cultural, and contemporary artworks with the development of technical skills and concepts. The basic elements of art, design and color theory will be emphasized in classroom lectures, written assignments, discussions and critiques. Lessons will include a strong foundation of observational skills including: perspective, landscapes, still life, and portraiture. Artworks will be created in a variety of mediums to explore and advance the students’ drawing and painting skills.
  • FA-3D Modeling I

    From simple presentations to big-budget blockbusters like Avatar, the world of visual representation is leaning sharply toward 3D.  As students move on to college and into their professional lives, basic skills in 3D modeling and manipulation will prepare them for an increasingly digital world and give them a more marketable skill in many career fields.  This course will cover the basics of 3D object creation, texturing, lighting and rendering with some basic animation concepts.  This is NOT an animation course, nor a course in creating anthropomorphic models (though students may choose to attempt it).    You’ll spend much of your time learning mesh modeling techniques (using Blender, but the techniques are transferable to any 3D software), including how to create good topology, how to model from blueprints or technical drawings, some basic physics simulations, and how to prepare a model to 3D print correctly.  Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll move on to learning about materials and shaders, lighting and composition - focusing primarily on how to create photorealistic materials for use in artistic renders, architectural previsualization, video game environments or compositing with photography.  The course is project-based, and you’ll complete four separate 3D projects moving from basic to more complex (including sculpting and physics simulation), and along the way, we’ll do a short unit on 3D printing where you’ll get to print something you’ve modeled. Students may receive Fine Arts Credit for this course

     
  • FA-3D Modeling II

     If you’ve ever been interested in making video games or photorealistic architectural renderings, this course will give you the foundation to do just that. 3D Modeling II is more self-directed than 3D Modeling I, but will still have additional guidance, periodic homework and four foundation units that will advance your skills in mesh topology, lighting, materials, and compositing.  These units will apply to any of the topics you choose for your final project, and lessons will be tailored to your needs (with specific resources designed to help you apply them to your work).  You will be responsible for directing your own independent project, but that doesn’t mean this is a free-for-all, or that you can simply set a low bar and step over it.  My evaluation of your progress in the course will be based on concrete evidence of progress and learning, your ability to follow a structured learning plan, to dive deeply into your subject-area, and demonstrate proficiency by meeting established learning goals.  To that end, you’ll produce a proposal and a detailed learning plan for how you’ll achieve the project you intend to create - with guidance and direction. Some examples of areas you could choose to focus on are:

    • Interior modeling (following blueprints, interior design, architecture, environment - focus on design principles)
    • Landscape modeling (modeling from life, particle instancing, environment, advanced lighting with HDRIs, topographic modeling, landscape design, micro-displacements, the potential for photo scanning or photogrammetry)
    • Character design (may be human - see above) - (for animation or game to be rigged, for logo, expressive traits and physiognomy, sculpt-retopo workflow, possible print)
    • Animation (keyframe) - (illustrative visuals like charts and graphs, learning design, process illustration, herd/swarm simulation, lattice deforms)
    • Animation (character) - (rigging or using pre-rigged model, expressive action, environment interaction, using animation cycles for game design, animating for speech (using dope sheet), shape keys, camera tracking driving animation)
    • Physics Simulation - (Hard-body sim, using the game engine, destructive environments, may include soft-body simulation, cloth simulation, and fluid simulation.  Can be used to simulate tsunamis, water-flow, building collapse, etc.)
    Sculpt and retopo - (game assets, artistic renders, will include advanced materials and topology)  
  • FA-Actor at Work

    The student explores creating a role for the stage. Specific focus on the challenges of Musical Theatre: understanding your voice, choosing the right audition material, and acting through song. They apply the tools of an actor (mind, body, voice) to a variety of performances. An actor then learns how to critique their own performance and that of others. They will examine the three major rehearsal systems of the last one hundred and fifty years: Stanislavski’s Method, The Meisner Technique, and Viewpoints. The application of these systems of research, vocal skills, and physical techniques will guide the creation of a solo performance. The student will then navigate the rehearsal process of a two person scene. In the end, the student will create a demo reel and audition set (monologues and a song) so they are prepared to connect to the professional world of the stage and screen.
  • FA-Adv.Color/Design

    The Advanced Color and Design course is designed to explore and build techniques, skills, theories, and principles related to color theory and design. Students will have the opportunity to fully explore, expand, and master their talents and abilities in drawing, painting and design. The elements of art, design and color theory will be emphasized in classroom lectures, written assignments, discussions and critiques. Lessons will focus on the combination of color theory and two-dimensional design elements. Using a wide variety of traditional and nontraditional materials and methods, students are encouraged to develop their own design vocabulary and repertoire of practical techniques. In addition to introducing formal design strategies, the course emphasizes content from historical, cultural, and contemporary artworks.
  • FA-AP 2D**

    The AP 2-D Design Course is designed to explore and master techniques, skills, theories, and principles related to color theory and design. Students will have the opportunity to fully explore, expand, and master their talents and abilities in drawing, painting and design. The elements of art, design and color theory will be emphasized in classroom lectures, written assignments, discussions and critiques. Lessons will focus on the combination of color theory and two-dimensional design elements. Using a wide variety of traditional and nontraditional materials and methods, students are encouraged to develop their own design vocabulary and repertoire of practical techniques. In addition to introducing formal design strategies, the course emphasizes content from historical, cultural, and contemporary artworks.
     
    Students will work toward the development of a comprehensive portfolio that may meet the requirements for entry into college-level classes. Students learn to seek out creative problems that are interesting and challenging and use goal setting, informed decision making and problem solving skills to pursue their own artistic interest in an informed way. Students are responsible for demonstrating mastery at using the elements of art to organize the principles of design in their work. A minimum of 24 works will be completed for the College Board’s exam.
     Estimated Portfolio cost: $95
     
  • FA-AP 3D Design**

    AP 3-D Design is the exploration of three-dimensional forms through a variety of media that emphasizes individual expression, deepening artistic practice and development of mastery in specific areas of art-making, including concept, composition, drawing and design. Students enrolled in this course will build on existing art-making skills as they further develop their personal artistic voice, problem solving skills and understanding of the elements of art and principles of design. Students will engage in individual and peer critiques and write reflectively about their art-making experiences in order to expand their visual thinking, develop skills and participate in critical analysis.

    Students will investigate all three components of the AP College Board portfolio, which include Quality, Concentration and Breadth. Students will be experimenting with different media and processes, along with developing mastery in multiple concepts, compositions, and execution of ideas. Students will choose their work from projects that promote individuality and diversity within their portfolio. Their portfolio will be submitted to the College Board for assessment.  Estimated Portfolio cost: $95
    

  • FA-AP Music Theory**

    AP Music Theory is a two semester course. Students with advanced skills in the rudiments of music are encouraged to take this course. The prerequisite for AP Music Theory is at least one semester of either Music Theory I or Music Theory II. Students will study materials beyond the scope of basic scales and key signatures, and will begin to learn about four-part harmony and the analysis of musical scores. The students will also broaden their vocabulary with regard to musical forms and compositional styles. Additionally, the students will continue to develop individual skills in ear training and sight singing which are a portion of the AP Music Theory Exam. Estimated Exam cost: $95
  • FA-Art of Film

    The student will learn the history, techniques, and creative talents of filmmakers. The course uses the disciplines of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to examine the diverse talents of filmmakers. Using examples throughout film history, the student will explore major trends in the art of film: Screenplays, Cinematography, Direction, Music and Sound, Acting, and direction.  Specific study of the Oscar winning films in each category throughout film history will demonstrate best practices. 
     
  • FA-Art Wars

    This course will be constructed similar to “Project Runway” with specific challenges that address different skills with each lesson and project. This class will offer students a comprehensive art experience that will introduce the students to a variety of artistic media. Students will explore many diverse art techniques and approaches, as ways of communicating their ideas. This will be accomplished through the process of art production, the study of art history, and the exploration of critical thinking. Students will engage in lessons in drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, mixed media and ceramics as part of each challenge. In each area, students will apply the elements and principles of design, art criticism, and make connections to historical and contemporary cultures.  Students will explore conventional and unconventional artistic processes to complete challenges. Works will be critiqued and analyzed in class and by the community.
  • FA-Audio Production

    Prerequisite:  None 
    This course will cover basic audio production techniques, with emphasis on the technical and practical aspects of audio production in the studio, as well as developing the organizational and technical skills necessary to record live audio and produce audio for various media. This course will focus on developing proficiency in the following broad areas:
    • understanding microphones and audio recording hardware uses / capabilities
    • recording techniques – microphone placement, setting levels, equalizing
    • audio post-production (editing, filtering, equalizing)
    • live audio production
    Because any production is content-driven, we will also spend some time developing skills in crafting interview questions and developing effective interviewing techniques, as well as story-development, script-writing, and story editing. Ultimately, students will produce several standalone audio projects (audio postcards, commercials) as early skill-building exercises, and move on to producing more complex projects (live audio, and some music). Students will have creative freedom in developing the overall theme(s) for their projects, and creative post production while observing copyright law and ethical guidelines.
  • FA-Bach/Beethoven

    This course is a study of Western Art Music beginning with writers and music from the Middle Ages through the nineteenth century.  Students will have multiple listening assignments beginning with Gregorian Chant through excerpts from major symphonic and vocal works.  Emphasis will also be placed on the lives and writings of several prominent composers whose music is still played today.  Another component of the course is the advancement of music literacy through the practice and performance on the alto recorder and the ukulele.  The students may be able to perform at the end of the semester with the entire class as an instrumental ensemble.
  • FA-Blues/Beatles

    This course is a study of American music history and appreciation from the beginning of the twentieth century through contemporary times. Students will survey the introduction of folk music, country, blues and jazz into popular American culture. Emphasis is placed on listening and analyzing excerpts of various styles of contemporary music, and on learning information about key artists and performers in different musical genres. The second component of the course is the advancement of music literacy through the practice and performance on such instruments as the ukulele, the guitar, and/or on the piano. Eventually students will perform in various ensemble combinations, and then offer a public performance at the end of the semester.
  • FA-Chem of Art

    We will explore the relationships between Chemistry and Art by describing the interaction of light and matter to produce color, understanding the physical and chemical properties of the materials that artists use (including: paint, pigments and binders; fibers and dyes; glass; ceramics; and the special case of frescoes), and exploring some of the scientific and aesthetic techniques used to explore the authenticity of certain works of art or artifacts.
    The course will be a combination of lecture, discussion, demonstration, and projects/experiments performed by small groups.  The laboratory/studio portion of the course is designed to extend and enhance the lecture topics as both chemists and artists highly value personal interaction and experimentation with materials.  The projects will be selected to give students a broad exposure to the particular chemical substances used in the creation of art, as well as an opportunity to create artistic works with them. The course will culminate in a project developed by each of the groups with findings presented to the other members of the class.
    This course can fulfill ½ credit of Physical Science OR Fine Arts elective credit
     
     
  • FA-Chorus

    Students in chorus will learn the principles of choral singing through rehearsing and performing a variety of musical selections from classical to popular styles.  Emphasis is placed upon the development of correct vocal technique, music literacy and ear training to improve overall musicianship.  Chorus meets twice in a five day rotation.  The chorus will perform two or three times per year.
  • FA-Costume:Design

    Prerequisite:  None 
    The student will delve into the process of designing and building costumes for the stage. Each student will receive an overview of the tools of costume design. They will then take two costumes from concept to reality. Students will travel the steps of the design process to pull a costume from stock elements to reveal character. Then the students will create a costume from scratch using patterns, fabric, and machines to build their unique vision of a character.
  • FA-Designer at Work

    The student will delve into the process of design for the stage. Each student will receive an overview of all the design disciplines; costumes, sets, lights, and props. They will then be able to dive deeper into the discipline of their choice. Students will travel the steps of the design process. The class emphasizes the opportunity for designers to conceptualize and bring those ideas into reality on the stage. The students will be responsible for collaborating in creating the world of the Spring Play. 

  • FA-Digital Photo

    In this course students learn the basic principles of digital photography and explore the photographic process from pre-visualization, to taking images, to adjusting and manipulation of digital images. Students will be investigating how to use photography to tell a story and will explore narrative both through individual images, series and incorporation of text. This course will emphasize learning the design principles, composition, and fundamental history and theory of photographic media. Students will approach various subjects and narratives to create images and projects that are personal and expressive.

    Supplies: Camera 
  • FA-Director at Work


    The student will learn the process of direction from first encounters with the script through performance notes. Beginning with script analysis, the student follows how the blueprints for the production are provided by the playwright. Attention will be paid to the conducting of auditions and casting, table work, blocking, and polishing rehearsals. The student will become familiar with the role of the director in production meetings and as the consultant on design decisions. They will create a research and prompt book ready for producing.
  • FA-Drum Line

    Drumline is an activity that fosters teamwork, self-discipline, problem-solving, and the desire to set and achieve challenging goals. In this intensive we will create a drumline and percussion ensemble that composes, practices, and performs original music tailored to the strengths, skills, and personalities of the class. Along the way, we will learn warmups and exercises designed to establish listening skills and ensemble cohesion across a range of percussion instruments. Students will learn how to match one’s playing with a group; how to use dynamics, meter, rhythm, and tempo in musical performance; and how to play in a range of indoor and outdoor settings, including a final performance on stage. Depending on the size and background of the group, we may include mallet percussion, auxiliary handheld percussion, and drum set in the ensemble. All levels of musical ability are welcome, but no previous experience is required for this course.
  • FA-History of Painting

    Prerequisite:  None
    This course is designed to give students the opportunity to discover, appreciate and acquire knowledge of the history of painting from the Paleolithic era to contemporary works. Students will be creating artworks that parallel the time periods they are studying. They will explore historical and contemporary processes from, Italian frescos and egg tempera to impressionism and mixed media. Students will better understand how the process of painting has evolved over centuries by creating the painting processes of the time.




  • FA-Improvisation

    The student will develop as an actor using improvisational games. Starting from the exercises of Viola Spolin and Augusto Boal, the participants will learn the skills of improvisation and the key concept of “yes, and?” Other topics will include comedic improv, rehearsal exercises to develop characters, long form improv, and Commedia Dell'arte. The intensive will conclude with a public performance demonstrating these improvisation forms.
  • FA-Mixed Media

    This course will allow students the opportunity to experiment and combine artistic mediums to enhance their abilities to develop a personal visual language. This course will use traditional and nontraditional materials for artistic projects. Collage, photography techniques, printmaking, encaustic, assemblage, and sculpture will be explored. Students will be encouraged to use their unique talents and interest to explore the boundaries between drawing, painting, and sculpture. This course will also address contemporary and conceptual artists for inspiration and to guide their art making practices.
  • FA-Music Theory I

    This course will survey the actual mechanics behind music.  The course will begin with clef signs, note names, scales and modes, key signatures, intervals and triads.  From there students will move to four-part harmony, two-part counterpoint, and basic musical forms.  Students will complete listening assignments, dictate melodies and rhythms, aurally recognize scales and chords, and be able to perform singing exercises at first sight.  An aural and a written exam will be given at the end of the semester.  There is no prerequisite for this course.
  • FA-Music Theory II

    This course will survey the actual mechanics behind music.  The course will begin with scales and modes, key signatures, diatonic and chromatic harmony and chord analysis.  From there students will move to four-part harmony, two-part counterpoint, and basic musical forms.  Emphasis will be placed on students’ abilities to create and to compose small selections, complete listening assignments, dictate melodies and rhythms, and aurally recognize scales and chords.  An aural and a written exam will be given at the end of the semester.  Students should have either taken the first semester Music Theory course, or should have a basic knowledge of elementary Music Theory.
  • FA-Music, no boundaries

    Prerequisite:  None 
    The mission of the Music Has No Boundaries intensive is to provide learning opportunities that foster an appreciation of musical composition and develop individual musical skills.  The course presents students with activities to learn about selected composers, listen to various styles of music, and develop skills in ukulele playing.  Lastly, students are given opportunities to perform individually and collectively in class and on stage and to learn proper stage presence and concert etiquette.
  • FA-Percussion

    The Percussion Ensemble course is an opportunity for students to explore the history of rock and roll drummers, and to learn rhythm, drumming and performance techniques. The students will form a percussion ensemble which will learn to play music by reading rhythmic parts to selected songs. Students will also be given assignments in composition, creating selections that will only involve percussion instruments. Additionally, each student will be assigned short and long research assignments on artists, music, and/or drum history to be presented to the class. A performance by the students will conclude the intensive.
  • FA-Percussion Ensemble

    The Percussion Ensemble course is an opportunity for students to explore the history of rock and roll drummers, and to learn rhythm, drumming and performance techniques. The students will form a percussion ensemble which will learn to play music by reading rhythmic parts to selected songs. Students will also be given assignments in composition, creating selections that will only involve percussion instruments. Additionally, each student will be assigned short and long research assignments on artists, music, and/or drum history to be presented to the class. A performance by the students could possibly be scheduled at the end of the semester.
  • FA-Rehearsal/Performance

    Prerequisite:  None 
    This class will focus on how a community of artists comes together to create theatre. Students will learn the design process, with special emphasis placed on communication to an audience. The students will design promotional and costume elements for a production targeting a specific style and audience. The class will then collaborate taking on one or more roles in the production process to plan, rehearse and execute a public performance.
  • FA-Sculpture & Ceramics

    This course will provide an opportunity for students to explore the fundamentals of three-dimensional design and develop an artistic appreciation of sculptural artworks. Lessons and projects will be tied to discussions of historical topics and art in modern societies. Students will explore a variety of methods including assemblage, casting, carving, and modeling with diverse sculpture mediums. 
  • FA-Show Choir

    The Show Choir intensive is designed for students to study and combine singing with synchronized movement.  Students will rehearse chosen vocal selections to be sung and memorized while learning techniques involved in basic movement.  The singing and the movement will initially be studied separately, and then combined to create a “show” modeled after performances that are given in show choir camps and competitions throughout the country.  Students will spend class time observing show choirs in high schools and universities to analyze various aspects of performance.  A performance by the students will be scheduled at the end of the intensive.
  • FA-Song Writing

    Prerequisite:  None 
    This course is a study of song types and song structures as musical compositions. The purpose of this course is to provide learning opportunities that foster both the appreciation of vocal music and the chance to explore creative elements of the art of composing.   Students will develop basic musical vocabulary and music literacy skills.  This course also presents students with activities to learn about selected composers and to listen to various styles of music.
  • FA-String Ensemble

    String Ensemble is a class designed for players who have experience on a stringed instrument and who are continuing to develop technical and musical proficiency. This is not a beginning class. Literature is carefully chosen from a variety of genres for its musical interest and technical value. Emphasis is placed on music literacy, independent musicianship, style, and expression as well as techniques of ensemble playing. Students perform in both large group and small group settings. Assessment includes periodic practice checks, comprehensive playing exams, and public performances. Class meets twice a week with an additional meeting for small group sectionals. Wednesday morning Chamber Strings serves as one of the class meetings.
  • FA-Student Play

    The student will participate in mounting a fully produced play for public performances. In addition to casting from within the class, students will receive individual responsibilities like costumes, set, props, sound effects, lighting, and publicity. By November 1 the students will choose which play they will produce. The play will cover a current social justice or global issue (i.e. immigration, teen suicide, or school violence) and foster connections to the greater Toledo community.
  • FA-The Film Experience

    Go from movie buff to critical viewer. The Film Experience will help you see the movies you already know and love in a whole new way. This course is designed to open your eyes to broader worlds of film, Past Present, and Future. It will break down the basics of film and help you to identify and decode the building blocks of film’s formal elements. Using the on-line resources provided by the textbook and our extensive film collection, we will investigate the larger cultural contexts that contribute to the power of film in our lives. Students will polish their critical writing skills with a series of critiques of past films and reviews of current cinema.
  • FA-Theater for Social Change

    Prerequisite:  None 
    Theatre is often created to entertain, sometimes it also seeks to examine and expose the culture. The student will read works of political theatre and analyze the effect of these works on the society. Authors should include: August Wilson, Augusto Boal, Luis Valdez, Caryl Churchill, Anna Deavere Smith, and Maria Irene Fornes. These playwrights specifically address issues of race, gender, and class in an effort to The thrust of the class will be an investigation of the question; Does theatre simply hold up a mirror to life or can it create change?
  • FA-Topics: Musicals

    The students will explore the history of the Broadway musical, where art and commerce combine in an American artform. Starting from the current Broadway season, the students will then trace the origins of musical theatre. From Showboat (1928), students will examine how text, music, and dance have combined to tell stories. They will see the pattern in musical history of how new and groundbreaking work emerges, then is imitated, refined, and then responded to in another new and groundbreaking work. This development, through the last 90 years, has created impressive works: Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, A Chorus Line, Rent, and Hamilton.
Maumee Valley Country Day School is the only age 3 - 12th grade accredited, co-educational, independent school in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.