Toledo School for the Arts | Departments
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Academics at Toledo School for the Arts

The Toledo School for the Arts (TSA) school community believes that parents, teachers, administrators, and students are partners in the educational process. The school and home must form an alliance to provide quality educational programs for youth. A quality educational program works in partnership with families and community and ensures that students gain optimal academic experiences to prepare them for post-secondary pursuits.

Academic excellence blends with an emphasis on art instruction as the two become one for the overall growth and achievement of the TSA student. Discipline and excellence in academics correspond with discipline and excellence in arts.
The student who works at molding a piece of clay for 50 minutes each day perfecting their exercises builds an ability to focus on the study of History or English with the same intensity. When that student learns to work on a dance sequence until they get it right, they are also learning to perfect the self-discipline to work on a math problem until they get it right.

Throughout each grade and each major, TSA strives for the highest caliber of academic standards to not only serve as a model for other schools throughout the country, but to also connect excellence in academics and the arts with relevance in the real world and preparation for ongoing post-secondary success.
Using a curriculum consistent with the Ohio content standards, TSA promotes consistently high standards to help students excel to high levels and maximize their personal potential.

Students change classes each period, giving them not only the advantage of learning from someone with a love and passion for the subject, but also exposing students to a variety of teaching styles and approaches that share one common element: a focus on excellence.

Exceptional academic performance within TSA requires both dedication and effort from each student. Parental involvement in the educational process is a critical part of each student’s success.

TSA’s teaching staff not only has a personal interest in the subjects they teach, but also have a passion for sharing that enthusiasm and love for learning with each student. Many come from art-focused backgrounds themselves and understand how to inspire creative minds. Both TSA teachers and students are regularly recognized for their achievements.

Dance at Toledo School for the Arts

In any other area of high school, it would be rare to hear a student dancer say he or she has performed multiple times for sold out audiences in the 900+ seat historic Valentine Theatre. Here? It’s the norm. The TSA dance program provides daily instruction in ballet, ethnic, hip-hop, modern and stage styles. Our dance program has helped students advance to such renowned programs as Pacific Northwest Ballet, Joffrey Ballet and The Juilliard School. For students seeking professional training sans performance, TSA offers yoga, dance conditioning and a highly reputable martial arts program.

Under the direction of faculty members Talina Tolson, Kerri Wilde, Alison Reny, Miranda Calhoun and Veronica Chapp, TSA students dance for up to several hours each day, focusing their interests in individual styles or learning a wide breadth. TSA dancers perform frequently; the several dance companies which TSA presents include Hajera, a modern company, the Ethnic Dance and Drum troupe, which performs dances from Africa, the Caribbean and Bali, and Limitless. TSA dancers can be found in almost every dance studio in the area including the Toledo Ballet, Ballet Theatre of Toledo, and Company C Dance Club. TSA dancers have performed for the Toledo Opera and Toledo Repertoire Theater, and have won national awards and attention from Broadway to LA.

Music at Toledo School for the Arts

It would be an understatement to call TSA’s music program merely “comprehensive.” Here, musically curious students can study voice, piano, jazz, commercial music, percussion, guitar, band, orchestra, and even recording technology.  In addition to daily classroom instruction, a robust Private Lesson program brings more than 20 professional artists into the school each week to work one-on-one developing student skill sets.Our dedicated music faculty, ample professional and community support, and diverse musical programming make TSA a dynamic and exciting destination for musicians of all levels.

Band and Orchestra

The TSA String Orchestra and Studio Winds (Woodwinds & Brass) perform the finest repertoire as well as current popular favorites. They have, separately and together, received consistent Superior ratings at OMEA Adjudicated Events, and numerous Superior ratings and top awards and music festivals. The ensembles have shared the stage with professional groups including The Toledo Symphony Orchestra, The Air Force Band of the Great Lakes, and Barrage.

The String Orchestra, Studio Winds, and Percussion Studio combine to perform as our impressive TSA Studio Orchestra. This-award-winning ensemble enjoys performing a wide variety of music, and travels to a growing list of American cities; it is the largest music ensemble in the music program.

Our Band and Orchestra students gain hands-on work experience performing all across the Toledo area in our small ensembles- Strings Quartets, Chamber Winds, Holiday Chamber Orchestra, and Electric Strings.

The Music Department offers three levels of Band & Orchestra: Beginning, Intermediate, and String Orchestra/ Studio Winds. Students study at their own skill level and progress through the program as they gain skill and experience.

TSA Chorus has consistently performed well in the OMEA adjudications, and other competitions.
The Percussion courses at TSA allow students to explore various cultural styles and perform with a wide variety of percussion-based instruments. TSA percussion performances have commanded the attention of their audiences with both heart-pounding rhythmic sets and pleasant melodic percussion instrumentals. TSA Percussion also hosts an annual percussion festival and steel-drums from Trinidad in its collection of instruments.

The Pop Combo and Jazz Combo courses allow students to work in small groups to compose and perform contemporary music.
From initial training in guitar all the way up to live performances at Toledo establishments and in competitions, students enjoy these courses because they get to experience what it’s like to perform as a modern jazz or pop band on stage and in TSA’s recording studio. In 2005, the Brady Recording Room was added to the facility, which allows students to work with professional quality sound studio recording equipment.

Theatre at Toledo School for the Arts

TSA has become the hub for producing widely recognized talent with current students and alumni participating in events as the Ohio Theastre Educator’s State Confernece, American High School Theatre Festival, Final Draft Playwright Awards, and the ESU’s National Shakespeare Competition. The Theatre department at TSA offers a comprehensive, hands-on curriculum encompassing all aspects of the theatre. As one of few schools in the state with a department entirely dedicated to theatre, introductory theatre arts courses, acting and technical theatre courses are available to all grades, and advanced theatre students receive extensive instruction in acting, directing, writing, managing, and designing.

In addition to two productions each year in TSA’s own Attic Theater, students also perform three major theatre productions each year and the end-of-year variety show, Kaleidoscope, in local theater venues, giving students professional quality experiences on the stages and behind the scenes of the Toledo Rep, Owens Community College Center for Fine and Performing Arts, and the Valentine Theatre. Past TSA productions include Legally Blonde, Hairspray, Rent: School Edition, 13 The Musical, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Rumors, and Our Town.

Students can take advantage of many on-camera opportunities for local commercials and ἀlm work through WGTE, Buckeye Cable System, and the BGSU Film Department. TSA’s advanced acting students receive experience as mock patients assisting medical students at the University of Toledo Medical Center. TSA students have earned recognition at the American High School Theatre Festival, the English Speaking Union’s National Shakespeare Competition, Ohio Theatre Educators State Conference, Final Draft Playwright Awards, and Ohio Educational Theater Association State Awards.

Visual Art at Toledo School for the Arts

The Visual Arts department at TSA offers a rich, hands-on experience in multiple forms of visual media. The Introductory, Art Explorations, and Foundations of Art courses let beginning students create expressive work in drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and other traditional mediums, yet experimentation with unconventional materials is also encouraged. Along with technical skill, personal style, and creativity, the visual art classes also address topics of cultural significance and art history. As students advance through the Visual Arts program, they may choose to continue their training in traditional fine art mediums and/or pursue interests in photography or graphic design.

The Visual Arts Department displays student artwork at many TSA events as well as in TSA’s own Gallerie 333. TSA Visual Art students have received recognition in external venues as well, such as in the 9th District Congressional Art Exhibition, the FOCUS regional juried high school art show, and TRECA’s Ohio Youth Digital Arts Contest. Visual art students often have opportunities to work on commissions in the community, such as producing artwork for Toledo’s Seagate Convention Center, the Toledo Hospital, and BP’s Toledo headquarters.

TSA provides Visual Art majors with a variety of extracurricular art opportunities to supplement the instruction they receive during the school day. These include participating in trips to local and regional museums and galleries, Pageant Puppet club, and experiences working side-by-side with professional visiting artists. Students may also join the TSA Artisans’ Guild (TAG) in which they gain experience creating and selling artistic craft items. Gallery Intern positions are available for students with an interest in curatorial and display skills.

Guidance and Counseling Services

Guidance and Counseling services are an integral part of student life at TSA. Students are assigned to a counselor based on their status as a Junior Division or Senior Division student. The counselors provide academic, personal, social, and post-secondary planning services which includes career and college advising. These services are provided through group classroom experiences, parent informational sessions, as well as individual student meetings initiated by the counselor or the student. Parent/Guardian communication is always welcomed.

For more information, please visit the Guidance Department Page.