Kimberly Chin, COT Teaching Artist at Clinton & Hampton Elementary Schools
Clinton is going very well! Unfortunately I wasn't there when they had their composition sessions with our guest composer, Adam, but when I came back and heard the songs the students have written with him, they were amazing! I would have thought that a professional composer wrote those songs himself. They also seemed to be very proud of their work, which is always gratifying to see. The most difficult song was Mr. Lee's "Devil Twins" song. This class really stepped it up when it came to composing a song. They were the most enthusiastic class when writing their lyrics so it's not surprising that they made their song so complicated.
I have only been to one art class that Clinton had with our guest artist, Sonja. I saw some of their finished products and also observed them working on current projects. Some of their finished products could have been displayed in a Museum because they were so good! My favorite was the huge submarine that they made out of cardboard and silver colored tape. I could already imagine how good this artwork will look in the performance. On top of the beautiful artwork, they enjoyed making them. All I heard were ideas and laughter in the auditorium. Sonja really helped make their imagination a reality.
We also started staging recently. All the students were super excited and many wanted to input their suggestions. Sometimes that is a problem because of time, but it was wonderful to hear their ideas and enthusiasm. Of course, we have incorporated as many ideas as possible. Mrs. Lee's class staged their zombie scene and they LOVED staging this. They also can't wait to learn the choreography for Michael Jackson's Thriller. We even have a "music video" section where one student will be rapping while others provide a beat. Even Mr. Coor's class, which has the most special ed. students, were super excited and followed directions well with staging. Trying to focus everyone's attention in this class is rare but they did really well when we staged their section.
I believe the biggest challenge at Clinton will be balancing the staging rehearsal days with the guest teaching artists days. This will include having enough time to rehearse, remembering staging, and memorizing songs, lines, and the dance. With their enthusiasm and hard work, I'm sure that we will have no problem making the performance a success.