Michael Orlinsky - COT Teaching Artist
We have been having a wonderful time at Sabin this semester. I started the semester in Mrs. Loerzel’s class assisting Bryna Berezowska. The students were very energetic and excited. We had been putting together some music to be performed with Chicago Opera Playhouse’s production of Hansel and Gretel and for our Winter Showcase. There are many standouts in this class with good voices and an interest in performing. Before I transferred to another class I had a conversation with one of the students about magic tricks. He showed me some of the tricks that he could do, and I came back for the last class to show him some of the card tricks that I had learned when I was younger.
The field trip was a ton of fun as well! We started the trip with a visit to the park, and we spent some time playing at the Lincoln Statue behind the museum while another school was finishing their introduction to the museum. We received our introduction from the director of the tour. I ended up leading the classes, and organizing the field trip so we could efficiently fulfill our goals for the day. Much thanks to our parents and chaperones that lead some of the groups that day. Once the day was organized we split up in to small groups and toured the museum. We had lots of fun in the Jazz and Blues section, and especially so pretending to be a hot dog in the kids section of the museum. We had also spent a good portion of time enjoying the train and the Chicago Fire exhibit.
After the museum trip I moved over to Mr. Cerda’s class. We started right in to our projects for the Winter Showcase. There were a couple of different exercises we started for our Winter Showcase including the “Tableau”. This was a series of physicalizations of a storyline in which we froze and formed a stage picture together of the moment. We came up with a scenario together in which we fled the Chicago Fire. We stopped for Chicago Dogs, but they were so hot we kept dropping them! Then we all got on a boat and successfully fled from the Chicago Fire! It was a very energetic portrayal of this story done at the Winter Showcase.
Following our tableau game we read the lyrics that we had come up with together that we will be using in our opera next semester. Some of the students read the lyrics out loud for the showcase, and some of the kids even shared some of the character bios that they came up with for their roles in the opera. After these exercises we sang through our Jazz song that we have been practicing in our classrooms “I Got Rhythm”. In preparation for the holidays we had a sing-a-long of “Jingle Bells” as well.
Our last class of the semester I came in and took over the classes for the students to do Evaluations. We got through our evaluations, and moved on to some games. I showed the kids some magic tricks and we played some games incorporating the cards. We all seemed to be enjoying ourselves very much. I’m very much looking forward to next semester when we start seriously delving in to the creation of this opera!