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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 2015-16 Season, Arts on Tour brought four of their seven artists for the following outreaches that addressed the National Core Arts Standards.
• A monologue master class for high school theater students by L.A. Theatre Works
• A performance for 5th graders by Black Violin with a study guide on string instruments and theater etiquette
• A performance for students at Lighthouse School AND a master class on African drumming and polyrhythms for Twin Falls High School music students by Saakumu
• A performance for 5th graders with a demonstration and lecture on the ukulele, pedal steel, and brass instruments as well as the history of Hawaiian Swing Music by Kahulanui

The Essential Question that guided our projects’ focus was:

How do individuals choose music to experience?

The Essential Question that guided the focus of the Black Violin, Saakumu, and Kahulanui Outreaches was “How do individuals choose music to experience?”
Artistic Process: Responding
Standard: MU:Re7.2.5 (Black Violin and Kahulanui)
Demonstrate and explain, citing evidence, how responses to music are informed by the structure, the use of the elements of music, and context (such as social, cultural, and and historical).
Standard: MU:Re7.2.4 (Saakumu)
Demonstrate and explain how responses to music are informed by the structure, the use of the elements of music, and context (such as social and cultural).

The Essential Question that guided the focus of the L.A. Theatre Works Monologue Master Class was “Why are strong choices essential to interpreting a drama or theatre piece?”
Artistic Process: Performing
Standard: TH:Pr4.1.HSII
Identify essential text information, research from various sources, and the director’s concept that influence character choices in a drama/theatre work.

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

• A sampling of 40 students from Harrison Elementary were asked to write short essays over the music and outreach topics of Kahulanui
• A sampling of 163 students from across Twin Falls were asked to write short essays over the music and outreach topics of Black Violin
• A sampling of 85 students from Lighthouse School were asked to write short essays over the music and outreach topics of Saakumu
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 Kahulanui essays was 3.1
• The average on the Black Violin essays was 2.98
• The average on the Saakumu essays was 3.53
The head of the CSI Theater Department evaluated the students who performed monologues in the L.A. Theatre Works master class. He noted the students’ performances were markedly and observably stronger after the pieces had been work-shopped by the actors. The attention to strong choices and intent of the piece based on textual analysis of the script were practiced and applied, making a much stronger final product. The students demonstrated an understanding of the content of the workshop, and applied that understanding

Impact

“The combination of hip hop and classical made it fun for kids. The differences added touches to each type of music like the classical adding flair to the hip hop and the hip hop made the classical fill the room.” Kate, 5th grade

“Sometimes I’m very serious because it’s hard to communicate in a foreign language well. I learned from this performance we don’t need language to tell emotions. The most important thing to understand what we think each other is showing emotions such as joyful or sadness. Music has a power. One more thing I felt today’s performance was to respect their tradition. Every country around the world has peculiar songs, dance, or instruments. This is a good opportunity to know other cultures and to reconsider our own country” – Emily Oi, 6th grade

“I learned a lot when we went to the Kahulanui performance. I had always wondered what made the sound the steel guitar makes. Learning about where all the instruments came from and how they got to Hawaii. I also learned about how they got the jazz sound into the traditional Hawaiian music. I loved all the songs they played. I had not been feeling very happy, but that music made me happy” – Sam, 5th grade

Reflection

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 15% lower than the national average and 15% of the population lives in poverties, 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.

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