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  • Much more than a summer camp

    Summer Arts Academy

  • Much more pportunity

    Summer Arts Academy

  • Much more personal

    Summer Arts Academy

MSU Home :: Academics :: Music, Theatre and Dance :: About the Academy


The Morehead State University Summer Arts Academy exists to nurture students' development in the arts in a setting which allows interaction with expert faculty and the opportunity to work with other students who share specific interests in music, theatre, dance, art & design, and creative writing.  All students will select a course of study appropriate to their individual medium , but all will receive the same opportunities. 

The Academy consists of six full days of activities, including individual and group instruction  in your chosen area (music, theatre, dance, art & design and creative writing).  Recreational activities will include an "Art Hop" night, movie night, bowling night and performances /presentations by Morehead State University Summer Art Academy faculty.  


Students will receive intensive individual and group instruction in their medium; private lessons and opportunities for chamber ensemble experience; (clarinet choir, trombone choir, etc. for example).  Students will have the opportunity to listen to faculty perform and will work closely with faculty to learn specific techniques that will assist them in becoming a better musician.   All students will take a music theory class, sign up for 2 electives during registration, *see below, and will have the opportunity to perform in the SAA Final Celebration Festival on Saturday, 1 p.m. 

Taught by Octavia Fleck-Biggs, this program uses a variety of art forms – writing, craft making, photography, movement and dance, and performance and language arts – to help students develop a strong sense of self-awareness and navigate the terrain of their minds, hearts and surroundings. “Ms. Octavia” accepts, encourages and then cultivates multiple forms of perception and expression in young adults. 

Ms. Octavia begins the residency with a writing project that includes: 

  • Voice, body, and imagination warm-ups and exercises
  • A journal-making craft activity
  • Studying, building and writing narratives through an array of activities: an action verb writing exercise; word scrambles; metaphorical expressions; “Question and Answer Finish-the-Thought exercises; journal writing; a “Poetry in a Box” exercise to help the girls develop detailed narratives; photograph analysis; and “Hand Discovery” and performance activities.

The students then study texts from the following four Shakespeare plays – Hamlet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Tempest.  They choose a character from one of the plays and merge the language of their chosen character into their narrative, and from there, they migrate their writings into a performance piece. There are a variety of activities that complement this part of the artistic process, including:

  • A paper mache’ mask making craft activity
  • Body movement and dance  
  • Using and learning photography while they document their experiences. 

Using their narratives and photographs, the students design a performance emphasizing both their singularity as young artists with differing experiences and backgrounds, and the power of community, teamwork and collective expression.

Art & Design
Graphic Design - 
Instructor:  Christopher Field –
In this area, students will look at a range of styles, methods and techniques that can be used to visually communicate an idea or feeling in graphic design.  Using one or more of these techniques, each student will create their own digital illustration of a self-portrait using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

Ceramics - Professor Seth Green –
In this class, participants will learn how to construct functional pottery using clay slabs.  Pots are made during the classed will be glazed, fired in the kiln, and ready to take home at the end of the week.  There will also be time to experience making pottery on the potter’s wheel.

Photography - Maria Lind Blevins
In this class, participants will learn the magic of darkroom photography.  Images will be made using the Photogram method, where objects are placed directly onto light sensitive paper.   They will experiment with composition and layering, creating their own unique work to take with them after the class.

Painting / Character Animation - Frederic Pissaro
Students will be taught the proven techniques used by professionals in the advertising and animation world. They will do thumbnail sketches, color renderings and produce character sheets for the purpose of animation.  These hands-on methods are still used today in the creation of animation characters and advertising mascots or animated spokespersons. These techniques are simple and can be learned at any skill level giving the art student the tools to improve on their own.

Creative Writing
Students will receive a broad but intense introduction to the art, craft and business of creative writing.  Academy students will work both individually and as groups with faculty members who are published authors.  Students will emerge from this experience better writers and better readers, prepared to create, revise and refine a wide array of creative work.      


Students signed up for music will have the the opportunity to select 2 electives during registration.
Music Electives include:
Music Technology
Class Piano
Jazz Improvisation
Choir for the instrumentalist
History of Rock 'n' Roll

Daily Schedule per area

Art and Design
Creative Writing


Check in/registration will take place on Sunday, June 5, 2016, 3 p.m., Baird Music Hall


"I loved the music! I liked all the private instruction time."

"I liked the fact that we had free time filled with electives, especially music technology because I love composing. Furthermore, I loved the music we played in all aspects. The Academy really got me motivated to practice.  I loved it!  I liked the concepts covered in the higher level theory class. I can’t wait until next year…I hope I get to come back."

"I liked everything about the Academy!  The counselors were great, the professors were wonderful. Everyone was nice and friendly. I can’t wait to go to school in the fall."

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