Pre-Performance Video Surveys (NEC Children’s Touring Opera)

Editor’s Note: This is Melody Jenkin’s third post in a series of three regarding her internship this semester. You can view follow-up posts to this one, and her internship proposal, here.

I can’t believe that the Outreach Opera performances have finally come to a close.  I’ve learned so much this semester about Music-in-Education, teaching, and working with kids.  Posted below are a couple videos of interviews with the students after they had completed my study guide, but before they viewed the performances.  I was pleased with the amount of knowledge they retained from the guides.  I noticed that the lessons where they had to do more activities were the lessons that they remembered most.

Touring Opera Student Interview

Another Student Interview

Here are some great questions they had about the performance after they had seen it:

When was your character born?

How do you sing so loud?

Were you nervous before you went on stage?

How do you feel when you are singing?

How did opera start?

Can kids sing opera?

I think that these are all great questions that the kids are asking.  Inquisition plays a large part in education.  These questions show that the students have a lot of interest in learning more about opera.  I’m glad that the workbook and the performance sparked their interest.

One of the main ideas that I wanted to get across to the kids is that anyone can participate in and enjoy music.  Sometimes the student’s initial reactions would be, “I could never do something like that,” but we try to show them that they can.  Music is a specialized field, but not any more so than math, for example.  Many have more of an aptitude for math or a talent for music, but both are worth studying and can be appreciated by anyone.

 

Touring Children’s Opera

Editor’s Note: This is Melody Jenkin’s second post in a series of three regarding her internship this semester. You can view follow-up posts to this one, and her internship proposal, here.

I’ve had the privilege of working with NEC’s Touring Children’s Opera through the Community Performances and Partnerships Program. The internship involves several things: writing lesson plans for the teachers to prepare their students to see the opera, scheduling all of the performances at local elementary schools, speaking to the students about opera before the performances, documenting the work, and making surveys to send out to the schools. Although I’m well into my project, I faced many challenges and questions. Which information and exercises are the most important for the study guides? How can the kids take something away from just five lessons before the performance? What did they learn from the packet? What did they learn from experiencing the performance? Although these questions aren’t completely answered, I feel that I’m on the right path. Today we performed for the schools in Rockport, MA. The students were incredibly receptive to the pre-performance talks and to the show itself, which is Bizet’s Doctor Miracle. When I asked one student what opera was she said, “That’s easy… it’s a singing and dancing play.” I thought that summed it up well! At this point, I think that any information or excitement we share about music is contagious to the kids. I heard them talking about the different characters in the opera with each other on the way out after the performance.

Touring Children’s Opera

Editor’s Note: This is Melody Jenkin’s second post in a series of three regarding her internship this semester. You can view follow-up posts to this one, and her internship proposal, here.

I’ve had the privilege of working with NEC’s Touring Children’s Opera through the Community Performances and Partnerships Program. The internship involves several things: writing lesson plans for the teachers to prepare their students to see the opera, scheduling all of the performances at local elementary schools, speaking to the students about opera before the performances, documenting the work, and making surveys to send out to the schools.

I found myself facing many challenges and questions. Such as:

  • Which information and exercises are the most important for the study guides?
  • How can the kids take something away from just five lessons before the performance?
  • What did they learn from the packet?
  • What did they learn from experiencing the performance?

Although these questions aren’t completely answered, I feel that I’m on the right path. Today we performed for the schools in Rockport, MA. The students were incredibly receptive to the pre-performance talks and to the show itself, which is Bizet’s Doctor Miracle. When I asked one student what opera was she said, “That’s easy… it’s a singing and dancing play.” I thought that summed it up well! At this point, I think that any information or excitement we share about music is contagious to the kids. I heard them talking about the different characters in the opera with each other on the way out after the performance.