The Arts at FCA
Our Philosophy: An Integrated Approach to Education
The arts are a cornerstone of the FCA education experience. Decades of research have shown that students who are exposed to the arts as part of an integrated curriculum do better in areas of problem-solving and critical-thinking, and have enhanced creativity and perceptual skills. Through active collaboration, FCA teachers integrate the arts into academic subjects, and academic subjects into the arts, allowing students to learn the importance of the arts both historically and in today’s fast-paced world.
By combining classroom and hands-on experience, FCA’s arts program encourages students to meaningfully participate in areas of the arts that most passionately speak to them. We begin with foundational training in Visual Art, Music, and Theatre, adding elements of Dance, Digital Media, and Production Support and Design (lighting, sound, video, costumes, etc.) as students progress through the program. Field trips and master classes offer interaction with industry professionals, who contribute unique perspectives and specialized training.
Working Together: Academics, Arts, Athletics, and Spiritual Life
Because FCA is a small school, our students have opportunities to simultaneously delve into academics, the arts, athletics, and student leadership/ministry. Educators work together when scheduling practices and events, to allow students’ participation in multiple areas. Academics are paramount of course, so our faculty and staff collaborate to give struggling students the support they need for success in the classroom, on the field, on stage, and in their spiritual growth.
Middle School – In grades 5-8, FCA students learn the foundations of music, theatre and visual art, and are additionally introduced, on a more limited basis, to various dance styles. The FCA middle school arts curriculum is designed so that each academic area is presented in a logical progression so that students achieve a solid knowledge base of music theory and ear-training, as well as art, music, and theatre history. Through our visual art classes, students learn a wide variety of media, from drawing and painting, to photography, sculpture, working with fabric, and more. With hands-on training, students learn and improve on music and theatre skills. Additionally, FCA middle school students are exposed to the technical side of the arts, through short education units that focus on making music videos, short films, newscasts, and more.
It all culminates in the FCA Middle School Showcase, which combines vocal and instrumental music, dance, short plays, and improvisation, giving every middle school student the opportunity to participate in a major performance.
High School – FCA high school students choose an area of focus each academic year, from the following: visual art, music, theatre, and media/technical arts. Building on what they learned in middle school, students are exposed in greater depth to areas of art, music, and theatre history. Music students learn modern music theory practices that enable them to write both traditional music charts, as well as Nashville Numbers System charts. They then put this knowledge to work in worship teams that lead worship at weekly chapel service, and special events. Visual art students develop their skills in a variety of media, culminating in an annual Art Exposition. Theatre students study improvisational techniques based on those developed by Second City and other professional improv groups, read and analyze plays ranging from the ancient Greeks to modern works, and write and perform short scenes, short film scripts, and commercials. Yearbook and Media/Arts Technology students use a variety of design and photographic techniques, integrating software and hardware specific to their project needs. Students interested in audio/video are tutored in running sound, lights, and video for productions, as well as recording and editing techniques.
The annual high school theatre production integrates every aspect of the arts at FCA in a collaborative effort which allows music and theatre students to perform in a full-length play or musical. Students not performing in the production utilize both STEM and arts knowledge through design and production of the set, costumes, lighting, sound, and video, as well as posters, programs, and social media components. Leadership skills are honed through team leadership roles in stage, house, props, ticket sales, publicity, etc., under the supervision of FCA faculty members.
Honoring the Ultimate Creator:
Performances at FCA
We believe God’s word is true and active. The arts program at FCA is inspired by Matthew 5:15, which declares, “No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.”
Visual and performing arts students participate in several performances, including Coffee House (our annual scholarship fundraiser), worship band, the middle school showcase, the high school theatre production, and a variety of smaller productions throughout the year. Whether onstage or in offstage supporting roles, FCA students are encouraged to honor the Father by contributing with excellence.
Real World Preparation for a Life of Servant Leadership
The FCA arts program prepares students for a lifetime of arts appreciation and support. It teaches practical skills needed for success in business, education, ministry, and other fields. Students who wish to pursue the arts professionally are supported and guided by the FCA arts faculty as they choose summer learning programs, seek internships, and go through the college application and audition process.
In honoring and sharpening our students’ artistic gifts, we follow the tradition of David, who joyfully used the arts in praise and service to God. It is our intention and hope that every student who passes through the doors of FCA becomes empowered for a lifelong journey, using his/her academic, athletic, artistic, and spiritual gifts in joyful service to our Creator.