Category Archives: New Projects

Chicago Opera Theatre (multiple schools), Chicago, IL

View School Project Digital Portfolio: 2010

View Team Planning Process Digital Portfolio: 2010

Download School Project Report: 2010

Project Background:

Story: In the Fall of 2009, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education staff and the Chicago Opera Theater education coordinator, Linden Christ, met with the General Director of COT, Brian Hickie, the General Manager, Roger Weitz, and the COT board education committee. The COT team asked CAPE what COT’s education program needed to go to the next level both aesthetically and pedagogically, and how that growth might be shared with the opera company’s publics.

The program was structured as a 25-week residency in multiple Chicago public schools, with a script, score, costumes and props shared across schools. Each school double-cast their production, with different actors performing the lead roles in the culminating performances. The scripts were designed to give performance opportunities to as many students as possible. The instruction was provided by talented young singers who worked in collaboration with the classroom teachers at each school. Visiting artists from the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE) added composition and design elements during a total of two visits per each of the five schools.

Partnership Organizations:

Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education
Music-in-Education National Consortium (MIENC)

Key Elements:

Teaching opera as a multi-media art form. CAPE pointed out that as well received the Opera for All program has been by both teachers and students in participating schools, having singers as the only type of teaching artists fails to represent the richness and complexity of opera as an art form. As a result, CAPE identified artists of several different disciplines who could collaborate with the students, singers and the classroom teachers to present a more comprehensive and authentic encounter with opera. This team included a musician who would teach composing to the students, a theater artist who would teach blocking and characterization, a sculptor to design innovative props and costume pieces with the students, a videographer to design projections with the students, a 2-D visual artist to work on set design elements, and a photographer to work on documentation. Each of 5 participating schools worked with singers and one member of the CAPE team to create design elementsused across all 5 schools. During the 2009-2010 school year, the students created student versions of Giasone, the thrilling story of Jason and the Argonauts. The CAPE artists worked with the students to create monster projections, harpy wings, fire breathing bull costumes, and “hero” music.

Raising the bar for aesthetic daring As COT prides itself on being “opera less ordinary” – performing contemporary and overlooked works from the classical repertory–COT challenged CAPE to provide its most experienced, cutting-edge artists as partners in the COT/CAPE collaboration.

Raising public awareness about innovations in opera education As COT provides a wide range of public forums, lectures, and seminars exploring its main-stage productions, COT sought to create an equally compelling series of public forums, lectures, and seminars exploring its education programs. This required rich and rigorous documentation of the COT/CAPE collaboration, professional development for teacher and artist presenters, and planning and collaboration with opera and education experts in designing an exemplary lecture/demonstration workshop for the public as a model for future programming.

Hickory Hills Elementary Arts Academy (Marietta, GA)

View School Project Digital Portfolio: 2010

Download School Project Report: 2010

Project Background:

A neighborhood school for 50 years that has recently been remodeled to serve as an Integrated Arts School for the Marietta School System.   The school provides Kindergarten through fifth grade students a comprehensive, standards-based academic program that incorporates the arts as a way to enhance students’ academic achievement; and likewise, the entire staff provides integrated arts instruction on a weekly basis.

The transition from a traditional elementary school to an arts academy initially fueled interest in arts integration teaching and learning. The dramatic change in the student population prompted by the changing community demographics and the change to a charter school provided strong incentive for instructional change. The transition to an arts academy also prompted personnel changes as faculty and instructional leaders decided about appropriate “fit” for faculty members in this new instructional environment. Traditional instructional approaches were not effective or appropriate for the changing student population; thus, arts integration was explored as a best practice that might effectively meet the needs of a “new” Hickory Hills.

Partnership Organizations:

ArtsNOW
Auburn Elementary School
Music-in-Education National Consortium (MIENC)

Key Research Considerations:

  1. Continuing to insure that all teachers are using best practices consistently;
  2. Encouraging and facilitating increased collaboration between all teachers (including music specialist, other arts specialists, and classroom teachers);
  3. Addressing the needs of, and providing engaging instruction for, all student populations (particularly ELL);
  4. Moving school culture beyond “status quo” to one that embraces continuous improvement; and
  5. Invigorating teacher comfort with and commitment to investigation, research, and authentic assessment.

Auburn Elementary School (Auburn, GA)

View School Project Digital Portfolio: 2010

View Music Learning Leadership Team Planning Process Digital Portfolio: 2010

Download School Project Report: 2010

Project Background:

The partnership between ArtsNOW and Auburn Elementary began in 2008 as Auburn sought to utilize the arts as a way to improve instruction cross-curricularly. Additionally, Auburn was seeking to establish meaningful, consistent collaboration between teachers and to improve student behavior. Central to this change was the belief that arts integration throughout the curriculum would engage and motivate students and teachers, thereby enhancing instruction, improving student achievement, and improving student and teacher attitudes.

While the focus of the ArtsNOW/Auburn partnership has been (and continues to be) multi-arts integration in grades K-5 across the curriculum, the intent of the MIENC project is to discern, define, design, and assess specific instructional strategies that focus on music plus music integration as a way of positively impacting language arts literacy in grade 1.

Partnership Organizations:

ArtsNOW
Barrow County Public Schools
Hickory Hills Elementary School
Music-in-Education National Consortium (MIENC)

Key Research Considerations:

  1. Reinvigorating the professional culture, thereby allowing more communication, collaboration, engagement and respect among teachers;
  2. Developing increased understanding of and respect for music specialists (and other arts specialists);
  3. Developing increased understanding of and commitment to the power of Music PLUS Music Integration (M+MI) instruction throughout the school;
  4. Addressing the needs of, and providing engaging instruction for, all students consistently;
  5. Moving school culture beyond “status quo” to one that embraces continuous improvement; and
  6. Invigorating teacher comfort with and commitment to investigation, research, and authentic assessment.

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