Mariners Academy for the Arts

Mariners Academy for the Arts (MAA) has been a distinguishing feature of MCS for over two decades. MAA exists to nurture and expand student artistic gifts and passions for the purpose of communicating the Gospel through creative expression. Focused on building a firm foundation through Christ-centered, artistic education, MAA encourages students to explore their God-given talents by providing a standards based, structured environment to safely explore aspects of the arts within a biblical worldview and to the glory of God. 

MAA Core Values

  • We display a Love for Christ by growing and cultivating our gifts "according to the grace given to us" (Romans 12:6) and using these gifts as acts of worship.
  • We uphold Exemplary Academics through rigorous artistic instruction, encouraging high achievement, and promoting intrinsic motivation and individuality, as we "work at it with our whole heart as working for the Lord, not for man" (Colossians 3:23).
  • We focus on Whole Child development through opportunities in musical arts, performing arts, visual arts, and digital arts disciplines in conjunction with other academic and extracurricular enrichments, "for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).
  • We are a Connected Community collaborating across disciplines, building relationships, encouraging family partnership, and displaying these talents in service to the MCS and broader community as we “use whatever gift received to serve as stewards of God’s grace in various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).
  • MIA inspires a Culture of Innovation through its commitment to continual advancement of program offerings, state of the art facilities, and instructional approach all aimed at encouraging freedom of creativity within our students who are “God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for [them] to do” (Ephesians 2:10).


TK – 3rd Grade:

  • Explore creating and performing music through improvisation, collaboration, and composition vocally and with percussion instruments

4th/5th Grade:

  • Ensemble tracts promote instruction in music literacy, playing technique, and ensemble skills.
  • Develop confidence in using musical talents to glorify
  • Instilling confidence within the child through age appropriate projects that encourage self-expression, self-direction, multiple outcomes, and risk taking. Projects are sequential so students can build upon what has been taught, while they also continue to develop new skills and ideas. 
  • Introducing an appreciation for the arts both in their own work and that of others so they can recognize that their creativity is a gift. 
  • Becoming visually literate. Learning an artistic vernacular that includes the elements of art, which will help our students express and discuss works of art and/or personal decisions when creating art. Providing projects that discuss various master artists and styles. Students will begin to see a common “thread” throughout art history, which also reminds us that we have all been created in his image to create. 
  • Acquainting students to new techniques and the ability to work with a variety of media. Through a wide exposure, students can recognize their preferences and hone their strengths, while they are also challenged in new areas. 
  • Helping students discover the joy and wonder of creative expression, as well as to fully embrace the process and not just the product.

TK – 5th Grade:

  • Students grow in skills and confidence as they practice and perform in our Annual Christmas Concert and winter musical with other grade levels.

Middle School

ART I: This 6th grade elective expands on art fundamentals taught through elementary with an introduction to the world of visual art. The class will look at the history of art through master artists of the past. The students will learn elements of art and will explore different styles, techniques and medium. Students will also learn to critique their own and other work. Create masterpieces and explore the world of art and artists in this elective.

ART II: This course expands on art fundamentals taught through the 6th grade art course with an introduction to the world of visual art. The class will look at the history of art through master artists of the past. The students will learn elements of art and will explore different styles, techniques and medium. Students will also learn to critique their own and other work.

CULINARY ARTS AND NUTRITION: This course will introduce students to various forms of cooking, food cultures, and culinary techniques. Students will learn about various ingredients, equipment, principles and techniques of cooking, and how to prepare delicious and creative meals. Class instruction will include cooking demonstrations, and hands-on practice by students. Students will enjoy classroom instruction as well as time in the kitchen lab.

DIGITAL DESIGN MEDIA I and II: In this elective, students will be a part of the creative team that will design MCS videos from start to finish as well as collaborate on video topics and features that are part of social media for MCS. Students create media stories, posts, and videos for all of MCS as well as creating various highlight, recap, and announcement videos for the middle school specifically. Through the creation of these artistic pieces, students will learn and practice the basics of video creation and editing, voice over work, and iMovie skills. Digital Design Media will expand these skills and incorporate the elements of storyboarding and script writing.

PHOTOGRAPHY: In this elective, students will learn, develop, and practice basic digital photography skills. Topics will include exposure and lighting, composition and technique and photo editing. Students will explore their own photography style and gain experience with taking great photos. Students will contribute photography works to the yearbook, school events, and MCS communications team to be utilized in school promotions.

SEWING DESIGN: This elective will introduce students to sewing by learning basic techniques from handstitching to using a sewing machine, pattern layout, cutting, essential construction skills and finishing techniques. Students will have the opportunity to choose their own sewing projects and, by the end of the semester, complete a sewing project from start to finish independently.

THEATRE PRODUCTION AND DESIGN: This hands on course brings the school theater productions to a whole new level as it provides the opportunity for student involvement in every area of theater. In this course, students will walk through the process of reading and interpreting the scripts for school the productions. Following this process, students will then design and create the costumes, sets, props, make-up, lighting and sound for the middle school theater productions. Students will not only design, build, and create, but will learn how to install these technical elements of the show.

WOODWORKING: In this electives, students will explore building and creating wood projects as they develop skills and knowledge of shop organization, power tools, safety, and project construction. Through this hands-on class experience students learn basic woodworking skills while constructing simple woodworking projects. Other components of this class include guest speakers and visits to local woodworking labs.

ADVANCED BAND: The MCS Advanced Band rehearses and performs various genres of music throughout the school year including jazz, march, praise & worship, and classical. The MCS Advanced Band performs for events both on campus and in our surrounding community. On campus events include, but are not limited to Veterans Day, Morning Chapels, Grandparents Day, and Music Concerts. Community events include, but are not limited to the Forum Festival, Solo and Ensemble Festival, ACSI Music Festival, Disney Workshop, MCS Graduation, and collaborative performances with other schools. Eligibility for the band requires 2 years experience playing a wind or percussion instrument. Students with one year of experience may join by audition and/or with director’s approval.

CHAMBER STRING ORCHESTRA: Students will progress through advanced techniques designed to challenge each student at his or her level. Literature for this ensemble will include pieces from all musical genres such as classical, jazz, worship and contemporary. Students have the opportunity to pursue solo opportunities and leadership positions as well. Students will participate in performances including school concerts, and events, community concerts in senior living homes, the Forum Music Festival at Disneyland, ACSI Music Festival, and more. Requirements: 2 years of school orchestra experience or director approval.

THEATRE ACTING FOR THE STAGE I and II: In this course, students will develop their acting skills and stage technique. The course will focus on a variety of acting genres including comedic and dramatic pieces, monologues, and songs. Students will learn and practice, monologues, choreography, dialogues, scenes and more! Act in scenes, learn basic directing and choreography, staging and blocking and become a seasoned stage performer from Shakespeare to poetry to Broadway.

WORSHIP: The intention of this elective is to develop a heart for leading others in worship while growing in individual musical abilities. This includes so much more than just performing on stage. This elective will explore many aspects of worship and provide opportunities to lead worship in chapel. The main goal will be to prepare and equip students as worshipers first and foremost. An additional goal will be to equip students to lead in worship whether as a musician, worshiper or in the community as followers of Jesus. In addition to the worship elective, MCS has a student led worship team. Students interested in participating on the worship team will be required to audition at the beginning of the school year. It is important to note that all students selected for the worship team are required to enroll in the worship elective. However, students do not need to be on the worship team to participate in the elective.

BEGINNING GUITAR: This class is for BEGINNERS only. Students will begin by learning the basic chords and strums that will allow them to play many of the current praise and worship songs. No previous experience is necessary, but a guitar and capo are required. After just one semester, and a little practice, students will have learned enough skills to participate on worship teams at school or in their home churches.

Through Mariners Academy of the Arts, students can participate in two annual productions including a Fall play and Spring musical. Students develop acting, singing, and choreography skills through these productions while growing in confidence and stage presence. Each year, these productions amaze the audience and demonstrate excellence beyond expectations. Students participating also develop strong relationships and community within the cast as they explore and use their God-given talents on the stage. In addition to stage performing, each production is supported by a student tech crew and stage crew as student leaders manage all the details behind the scenes. These student led, student performed productions are amazing experiences and amazing to watch!

Mariners Institute for the Arts Staff                              

Mr. Christopher Lucas - Director of Academy of Arts
Mr. Jiyoung Um - Orchestra Director 
Mr. Christian Lucas - Elementary General Music Teacher
Ms. Sara Lunsford - Musical Theater and Drama Teacher/Director 
Mrs. Angela Rogers - Visual Arts Teacher

300 Fischer Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Phone 714.437.1700 • Fax 714.437.7976
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