Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Top 10 Experiences for Opera for All

Diana Stoic, Opera for All Teaching Artist

Meet Whistler Elementary in Maple Park and Langford Community Academy in Englewood.

1. Both schools were in for a treat during their fieldtrip to the Peggy Notebaert Museum.  The staff at the museum brought out a fox snake for them to look at and learn about.  They also had the opportunity to pet the snake!  Many of the students touched a snake for the first time.  The 4th grade teacher from Langford, Ms. Slayton, will never forget her experience.  She can now cross petting a snake off of her bucket list.

2. Whistler 4th grader, Kaytlin, wrote, “My favorite part of the field trip was the Butterfly Haven because when the doors opened it felt like I went to a forest.”  

3. Another favorite exhibit from the fieldtrip was “Weather to Climate: Our Changing World.”  Madison from Whistler explains, “I got to fake I was on the news.  The museum gave me words, a coat, and even a mic.  They had a different screen where they showed weather."

4. Last week all students at Langford Community Academy had the opportunity to watch the performers of Chicago Opera Playhouse perform “Once Upon a Windy City”.  Along with being the 4th and 5th grade teaching artist, last week I also played the role of performing artist. 

5. The students in the audience were active participants in the show: we had the entire school sing along to the theme song, four students from 4th grade held pizza boxes during the pizza eating contest, everyone snapped along with Al Capone, and also booed him during the singing competition.

6. When asked how the students like Once Upon a Windy City, 6th grade student Michah said he enjoyed it “because it was funny and entertaining”.   Destiny liked the opera “because it was very fun with the costumes and music.”

7. When asked how it felt to sing with professionals from Once Upon a Windy City, Tavion from 4th grade shared that “it made him feel like a professional.”  Gavin felt that “it was good and the best thing in my life.”  Gavin’s classmate Brian expressed that “when I was singing with the professionals it made me feel like I was a part of something.” 

8. Whistler Opera sneak peak- Under the Sea. 

The Sharks are eating all the food and leaving the dolphins tired and hungry.  Will the Whale King and his Crab sidekick help the dolphins and get the sharks to live peacefully with the animals in their ecosystem?  Cue the magical mermaid tail to save the day.

9. Langford’s Opera sneak peak

There has been a 10-year animal war in the Jungle.  The outside world recently started cutting down the trees.  After receiving wise words from the Queen Tree, will the animals work together to save their home and end the war?

10. This week we began working on this year’s theme song “One World.”  The students learned about the fundamentals of good singing.  We discussed good posture, breath support, and put them into practice with warm-ups and vocal exercises.  The students at both schools are enthusiastically learning Solfege (a method used to teach pitch by assigning syllables to notes in a scale).

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