Posts Tagged ‘Usc’
This morning I wrote a hopeful note to a music professor at USC with whom I took a few wonderful lessons last fall. the lessons were amazing, and the professor herself an absolute joy. The lessons quickly became too much of an expense and I was unable to continue them at that point, but NOW! Today I woke determined thinking of singing, and about how the MAT program is geared towards making one a well rounded teacher with a (perhaps small) expertise in all of the many different aspects of what one might have to coach students in – and though the college seems to keep quite separate the department of Theatre and Dance and the department of Music, certainly MUSIC is one of the performing arts, so I began to hope very specifically this morning that I might go back into vocal training as part of my coursework at USC.
I am not doing a very good job of hiding the fact that one of my favorite things about my new program is the opportunity to treat myself to more training, am I?
So this morning I wrote to the professor I worked with last year and asked her about crossing those particular streams, and asked her if she had room for me, and if not, to suggest another professor with whom I might take lessons as part of my course work at USC.
This is going to be amazing; I can feel it. Now if I can just figure out the USC parking map…
This week I was delighted to receive notice that I have been accepted into the MAT in Teaching Theatre program here at the University of South Carolina’s graduate school. In this program I will have opportunities not only to hone my skills as a teacher and to learn to keep a better classroom with planning and organization, but I will have the chance to take more training in acting, Directing and design for the theatre. Who knows? I might even have the chance to take a Dance Class!
While the world of the theatre is anything but thriving under the current economic situation, and school around the country are cutting the arts budgets, for some reason here in South Carolina our school have kept the money in place for the theatre programs. It is common even in elementary schools here for there to be a drama teacher in place, making this a great place for being a theatre arts teacher. So far.
Peter Duffy, the director of the USC program, told me that he feels that theatre teachers must make themselves indispensable to our schools. A wise statement, and one I think I understand very well. We must make very clear that what we do with the children in our schools is not only to provide rehearsal and performance opportunities, not only to show the children off in this way, but to provide an alternative learning environment, whether across the curriculum or in the theatre classroom itself. We can accommodate the learning of children who learn in other than traditional ways, and within those experiences bring to our kids all the emotional and developmental benefits found in theatre arts activities.
Yesterday I had the delightful experience of watching the USC Opera Experience for kids and their original performance: Fred the Bull! It was based on the wonderful story by Munro Leaf: The Story of Ferdinand. One of my absolute all time favorite children’s books.
The director of the program started out the experience that evening by telling us that the children met for the first time that Monday morning. the book was read to them in english and then in italian. Next they began brainstorming and came up with a story of their own that was close in theme and concept – there were cows and bulls – but pretty much the original story had taken on a modern twist. Smoothies figured in the new creation quite significantly. It was delightful.
There were only 6 children in the little production, but the director told the audience that there were fully 15 professionals – professors, choreographers, accompanists, etc. – supporting the young students. This was music to my ears, as I am all about surrounding the children with as many professionals as possible in order that they may learn not only the caliber of work important for a quality learning experience, but build their self esteem as it becomes clear to them that what they are doing is fully worthy of the attention of such experts.
The show was short – only 10 minutes – but start to finishh it was child-led, and professionally supported.
I was enchanted.
I met this week with Peter Duffy of the MAT in Teaching Theatre program at USC and was so happy to find him friendly and easy to talk to, and that we were of like minds about so many things concerning what kids can gain through theatre arts activities. He was kind enough to tell me he felt I was going to be a very strong candidate for the program, and as I walked back to my car surrounded by the huge buildings of the theatre complex I dared to think: oh now I am really, finally, completely home.
Looking forward to beginning the process applying to complete my Master’s Degree (ok, yes, I will practically be starting over, but learning is never wasted, no?) at USC in the Master of Arts in Teaching Theatre Department. Hopefully my insight into teaching children who learn differently – or I should say: the insights I will have gained by January into the art of teaching kids who learn differently - will help send me in the right direction as I embark on this new journey…