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Arts on Tour

College of Southern Idaho

A cornerstone of the College of Southern Idaho’s mission statement is to provide cultural opportunities for the community. To that end, the Arts on Tour performing arts series was created in 1988. This series, which brings international touring performing artists to the Magic Valley, has a long history of artistic excellence. In partnership with the Magic Valley Arts Council and school districts, Arts on Tour brings a number of these performers to local students free of charge to them and their schools. During the 2016-17 Season, Arts on Tour brought four of their seven artists for the following outreaches that addressed the National Core Arts Standards.

  • A performance of Mowgli, the Jungle Book Ballet, for 5th graders by the Eugene Ballet with a study guide on the art form and theater etiquette
  • A master class and outreach performance for high school orchestra students by The Quebe Sisters
  • A master class on shadow dancing techniques for high school theater students
  • A lecture/demonstration by Piano Chameleons on the fusion of classical and jazz music for high school piano students

The Essential Question that guided our projects’ focus was:

Four Essential Questions – One Per Outreach – As Illustrated Below

The Essential Question that guided the focus of the Quebe Sisters outreach was “How do we discern the musical creators’ and performers’ expressive intent?”

Artistic process:  Responding

MU:Re8.1.H.5a Identify interpretations of the expressive intent and meaning of musical selections, referring to the elements of music, context (personal or social), and the setting of the text


The Essential Question that guided the focus of the Catapult outreach was “What happens when theatre artists use their imaginations and/or learned theatre skills while engaging in creative exploration and inquiry?”

Artistic Process:  Creating

TH:Cr1.1.I.b. Explore the impact of technology on design choices in a drama/theatre work.


The Essential Question that guided the focus of the Piano Chameleons outreach was “How to musicians improve the quality of their performance?”

Artistic Process:  Performing

Standard MU:Pr5.1.H.Ia Develop and apply criteria to critique individual and small group performances of a varied repertoire of music that includes melodies, repertoire pieces, improvisations, and chordal accompaniments in a variety of patterns (such as arpeggio, country and gallop strumming, finger picking patterns), and create rehearsal strategies to address performance challenges and refine the performances


The Essential Question that guided the focus of the Mowgli outreach was “How is dance understood?”

Artistic Process:  Responding

Standard DA:Re.7.1.5.b. Describe, using basic dance terminology, the qualities and characteristics of style used in a dance from one’s own cultural movement practice. Compare them to the qualities and characteristics of style found in a different dance genre, style, or cultural movement practice, also using basic dance terminology.

At the conclusion of the project, students responded to questions related to the identified Standards:

  • A sampling of 12 orchestra students were asked to write essays over the music and outreach topics of The Quebe Sisters
  • A sampling of 86 students were asked to write short essays over the music and outreach topics of the Mowgli
  • The students in the Catapult master class were observed and interviewed by the CSI Theater Department Instructor during and after the class
  • The students in the Piano Chameleons master class were observed and interviewed by the head of the CSI Piano program during and after the class


The student work went into a rubric from 1-4, with 4 being the highest score. Their teachers evaluated their work. The students demonstrated a strong understanding of the materials presented with the following results:

  • The average on the Quebe Sisters essays was 3.36
  • The average on the Mowgli essays was 3.02
  • The average on the shadow dancing skills learned during the Catapult outreach was 4. The head of the CSI Theater Department noted the students demonstrated knowledge of brand new skills that nobody else in the area knew that could be used for their productions
  • The head of the CSI Piano Program evaluated the students who took part in the Piano Chameleons master class. She noted the students’ understanding of jazz rhythms were markedly and observably stronger after their master class. The students felt more confident in their improvisational skills


I learned so much about the art of ballet.  I learned different hand movements for things, for example, you shake your hands with the fingers spread out to represent fire.  Another thing I learned is that you don’t have to talk In order to tell a story, you can dance.  – Gyansri, 6th grade

I learned a lot about Indian culture and ballet.  I learned Indian movements like a cup of water, river, fire, and apple.  I also learned ballet is very delicate and can take years to master.  After this ballet, I felt like Mel B on America’s Got Talent after a good  act.  “What just happened!”  I loved the ballet and it was amazing.  Andra – 5th grade

Mowgli, the main character, is very energetic, his dance informs the audience that he is very social.  In the play, we can tell that, Mowgli teases Shere Khan and the wolves save him.  By this point, the audience can tell Mowgli is a trouble-maker, including the reason Mowgli gets kidnapped by monkeys.  Danielle – 5th grade

Mowgli is a awesome dance because it teaches kids to beware of kidnappers like the monkeys.  It shows how many cultures dance by legends, myths, and many more.  Payton – 5th grade

It was inspiring to see the Quebe sisters play without stands and sing from the heart, also I loved how they made their own parts.  It inspired me to not be afraid in front of a crowd and to feel the music better.  Remington – 10th grade


Arts Education is vital. The arts make you smarter, they make you more empathetic (which creates a better world), and they make your soul sing. Young people who participate in the arts for at least three hours on three days each week through at least one full year are:
•4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
•3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
•4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
•3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
•4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem
The student outreaches we do in conjunction with the Arts on Tour performing arts series are truly a joy. Because Twin Falls is geographically isolated from other metropolitan areas and because the median household income is 22% lower than the national average and 15% of the population lives in poverty, many of these kids will never get the chance to see a live performance like we can offer them with Arts on Tour and the caliber of artists who perform. We have found that the artists feel as strongly as we do about arts education and absolutely LOVE doing outreach programs. They believe in their art, and they believe in sharing it with students. This comes through in the programs – we can feel it, the artists can feel it, the teachers can feel it, and most importantly, the students can feel it. In addition to providing free outreach programs that help students and teachers address the National Core Arts Standards and think about the Essential Questions, we hope these outreaches plant a seed of the love for the arts.