Wednesday, October 3, 2012

COT Opera for Teens 1st Day

Jessica Lane, COT Education Intern

How lucky COT Education Manager, Linden, and I are to have a job where we can pop into class with 25 high school students who are excited to study opera! 

Yesterday was the first day of the After School Matters COT for Teens program.  Linden and I went to help out Teaching Artist Christopher Richard as his teaching partner, Marta Johnson, couldn't be there.  They went through their normal first day stuff of going over the rules, writing down phone numbers, taking attendance, getting everyone signed up online, and finding everyone.  We passed out scores for the one act opera the students are doing this semester, Trial by Jury by Gilbert and Sullivan. 


The students were excited about the opera and it was obvious that some of them had done their homework on the operetta and who Gilbert and Sullivan were.  One student was in a past production of a Gilbert and Sullivan opera done by COT Opera for Teens, Pirates of Penzance.

After all the work was done we got to have fun.  Chris introduced us to a singing chant that can help the group learn names and gets all of us singing and creating motions to go along with our name.  It was so much fun and you can find the chant below.

Linden and I also get the pleasure of taking some of the students on a field trip this Friday to a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience.  Its a one act operetta like Trial by Jury and there are some COT for Teens alumni in the production.  We will be taking the El from downtown to Savoyaires in Evanston so there should be plenty of time for pictures then.  

My only regret is that we all got so into spending time with the students that we didn't take one picture yesterday!  That just means we will have to go back another time. 

The Chant!
This chant is done as a call and response with everyone in one large circle.  The leader starts with going through the lines a couple times just getting used to the words and melody.  Once everyone is comfortable  then you can go around the circle and have everyone sing their own name line.  The entire group repeats the name and then you move onto the next person.  When the entire circle is done you go back to the lines again.  Each time around the circle you can add new rules like using a motion with your name, singing the name of the person next to you, or changing the melody. 

Lines: Freedom is sweet. (Freedom is sweet)
          It's on the beat. (It's on the beat.)
          It's got freshness. (It's got freshness.)
          It's got zestness. (It's got zestness)
Name Line:  It's got ____(name)______ (It's got ___(same name)___)

It also helps to keep everyone together by clapping on the 2 and 4 or making up your own beat!

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