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Education Program

Caldwell Fine Arts Series

For the 2016-2017 season, Caldwell Fine Arts’ Educational Outreach programming was able to bring in world class artists and performers with funding provided by the Idaho Commission on the Arts. While Caldwell Fine Arts Educational Outreach primarily serves students in the Caldwell School District, the programs are made available to students throughout Idaho.

Five of our 10 programs were specifically funded by the Idaho Commission on the Arts. They were: Mystical Arts of Tibet, which featured eleven monks performing traditional Tibetan music and dance; Molly in the Mineshaft, a group of young, enthusiastic and talented bluegrass musicians from Provo, Utah; Rachel Barton Pine, a celebrated professional violinist; The Young Irelanders, a group of singers, dancers and entertainers who visited Idaho all the way from Galway, Ireland; and Women of the World, an all-female choir.

In total, the five programs funded by the Idaho Commission on the Arts serviced one thousand, nine hundred one students. Of those students, one hundred three were special needs students as well. Students were treated to performances either at Jewett Auditorium on the campus of The College of Idaho, or at their own school site for an in-school workshop or performance.

The Essential Question that guided our projects’ focus was:

How do we judge the quality of musical works and performances?

We enjoyed allowing students to make their own grading rubric for the performances they saw. Students enjoyed giving adults a letter grade, and it helped them be more attentive and observant audience members. In addition, while all programs offered were very unique, they also met additional education standards. The students were able to develop that area of instructional content that allowed them to make the connection between what they saw and what they were learning.

Essential Question: How do we judge the quality of musical work(s) and performance(s)?
MU:Re9.1.4.a Evaluate musical works and performances, applying established criteria, and explain appropriateness to the context.

Essential Question: How does context and the manner in which musical work is presented influence audience response?
MU:Pr6.1.4b Demonstrate performance decorum and audience etiquette appropriate for the context, venue, and genre.

Essential Question: How do the arts, other disciplines, contexts and daily life inform creating, performing, and responding to music?
MU:Cn11.1.5 Demonstrate understanding of relationships between music and the other arts, other disciplines, varied contexts, and daily life.

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

Mystical Arts of Tibet: Christian, a 3rd grader, was able to evaluate music that was unfamiliar to him with his own rubric. He thought the most important things were having good costumes, playing fast, and being fun. He scored the monks with an A in all those categories.

Molly in the Mineshaft: One 5th grade girl evaluated the performance by saying, “My favorite part was the whole thing. I love the way you guys play. It is like I’m dreaming.”

Rachel Barton Pine: Emma, 13, was able to notice the relationship between music and her daily life. She said, “It was cool that through all that she suffered, she still put a lot of work into her music. Because she kept practicing, she became so good at the violin. She helped me see that I can get good at whatever I want and nothing can stop me if I’m determined.”

Young Irelanders: One elementary school student learned that, “You can scream and shout at a basketball game but you are good and don’t yell at a concert.”

Women of the World: Many students were able to learn performance decorum during our season. Tyler mentioned that it is more important to “listen to the sounds instead of watching people run and play.” Jeanisha learned that “You have to be quite (quiet) at a concert.”

Impact

Overall, we were delighted with the enjoyment and the learning that the children expressed, both on reflection forms and through our observations and conversations. A particularly special moment was during the Women of the World concert, was when the special needs students-who were all female-declared to us that they were having a “Girl Party” and that it was “Girl’s Night Out!” I also enjoyed the student who gave Molly in the Mineshaft a letter grade of an “F” simply because he said he was having so much fun, that he didn’t want the concert to end! Another sweet moment came when the students in attendance at Jewett Auditorium on the campus of the College of Idaho said that they were excited to practice more in their choir because they too wanted to learn to sing in more than one language just like the Women of the World. The Young Irelanders concert provided a learning experience when a student in attendance at Jewett was so excited to see the dancing because the performance was near St. Patrick’s Day. She shared that it helped her feel connected to her Irish heritage, and that for the first time she understood the importance and meaning of the holiday. It’s moments like this that leave lifetime impressions.

Reflection

Our Educational Outreach programming was very successful this season. We were delighted with the caliber of performers we welcomed to Caldwell, Idaho this year. Their educational programs were genuinely entertaining, and made lasting impressions on each guest and student who participated in the programming. That is the goal of Educational Programming at Caldwell Fine Arts; to leave lasting lifetime impressions on their patrons so that they continue to support and seek out the arts in their communities.
We loved using our new online reservation form. It made everything much more organized.

It worked well to have some programs offered in schools as outreach workshops, and others presented as a live theater theater experience inside Jewett Auditorium. Our goal for next season is to offer even more in-school programs to allow for more student participation.

The sensory-friendly/special needs concert were wonderful events, and the students enjoyed the performances and musical “petting zoos” before hand. Dorsey Music, a local music supply store in Nampa, provided the instruments for the musical “petting zoo;” students were allowed to see, touch, hear, play and take pictures with the instruments at their leisure. For many special needs or sensory sensitive students, this was their first experience with musical instruments. You could see the immediate impact on their faces when they had smiles from ear to ear as they posed with their new instruments. The special needs/sensory-friendly concerts were also a huge success as well because the behavior expectation for a live production was relaxed so that all in attendance could be comfortable and enjoy themselves. The lighting was dimmed as well so as to not disturb those with sensitive vision. For many, this was their first concert!

Overall the presentations delivered this year far exceeded the expectations and we look forward to this year’s season.

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