Self-expression is essential to a student’s well-rounded growth. At MHS self-expression through the arts is encouraged in and out of class.

In their freshman and sophomore years, students survey the arts. They take three of the four offered arts over the course of four semesters. Students can explore theatre, dance, visual art, or music.

During junior and senior year, students focus on an art of their choice. This provides the opportunity to delve deeply into an area of self-expression, to hone their skills, and to deepen their knowledge.

In addition to formal performances and gallery showings, students share their art in informal ways throughout the year. The MHS community gathers occasionally for coffeehouse performances. Coffeehouses provide a venue for students—and sometimes staff—to share original songs or sing covers, read poems, and perform theatrical or dance pieces.


Visual Arts

In 9th and 10th grade, students study Western art history and characteristic styles and techniques of certain eras. Students work in various media and employ a variety of techniques. They also research, critique, and reflect on art in essays, group discussions, and presentations. Students often visit museums and galleries in University Circle.

During junior and senior year, students continue to work in various media and develop an understanding of their own work in personal, cultural, historical, and artistic contexts. Over time, they choose a path of visual arts to study and practice in great depth. In recent years, students have pursued mediums such as oil painting, photography, and ceramics. During their senior year, students plan, organize, advertise, set up, host, and present for their final exhibit.



In 9th and 10th grade, students are introduced to theatre terminology, production, and performance. The course explores the origin-theories of theatre as well as movement and text-based approaches to theatrical work. Topics covered include 5th-century B.C.E. Greek theatre, the Elizabethan stage, and contemporary theatre. Students attend at least one live theatre production as an opportunity for critical evaluation.

During junior and senior year, students expand their studies to include works from nineteenth- and twentieth-century playwrights, practitioners, and theorists and non-western theatre practices. Students participate in acting, directing, and production exercises and engage in research and comparative analysis. Students are also asked to produce original, creative work.

All students have the opportunity to become involved in performances as performers or as part of the production process.



Students are introduced to ballet, modern, and cultural dance. They explore the historical context for each as well as the transition of the art form to current times. Students are introduced to choreography theory, and choreograph their own pieces for performance. The semester culminates in a dance production.

As students progress in their junior and senior years, they spend time in master classes with experts from various dance genres such as tap, hula, modern, and hip hop. Students complete the course by choreographing a piece to be publically performed by other students in the class.



As part of a special partnership with The Music Settlement, students in 9th and 10th grade take part in the Rock & Blues Academy. Rock & Blues Academy gives all students, regardless of experience or ability, an opportunity to learn an instrument, rehearse, and perform in a small rock, pop, or blues ensemble. Students choose to pursue either guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, or voice. They receive individual and small group lessons, study theory and history, and practice in the ensemble.

In Music, Rock & Blues Academy students’ semester culminates with a public performance at The Music Settlement.

During junior and senior year, students study music from 1900 to the present as well as music from several different cultures. Case studies are drawn from a variety of different historical periods and cultures. Students have the opportunity to create music, either through technology or with an instrument. They examine the scientific aspects of music, including the foundations of music theory and its application to composition projects. Students demonstrate their knowledge through performances and score analysis. In their senior year, students focus on auditory analysis, analysis of written music, and the comparing and contrasting of musical pieces, styles, and genres. In their final semester, students focus on performances and composition.