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Performance Playground

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Welcome to UMS Performance Playground, offering online learning resources in the arts for grades K-8. These lessons are for students, teachers, children, and parents, and can be used to enhance learning opportunities at home or through virtual classrooms while families are together during the COVID-19 Crisis.

Units focus on different elements of the live performing arts, highlighting the artistry of past and future UMS presentations. Guided by professional teaching artists, students are invited to explore the skills, practices, and traditions used by artists from across disciplines and around the globe. Interactive lessons include basic instruction and skill-building exercises, historical context, and may also include cross-curricular connections that integrate the arts in naturally-aligned ways, reinforcing learning in other subjects.

These resources are for educational use only, and are free to everyone. Children are encouraged to explore resources with the guidance of teachers, parents, or on their own.

Choose a Unit

For Grades Pre-K – 4 (Ages 4-9)

Cara GraningerDance Improvisation for Two of Us or More

Learn how to create a solo, duet, or ensemble dance through movement improvisation. This unit is appropriate for children of all abilities or capacities.

For Grades K – 5 (Ages 5-10)

Susan FilipiakTap Dance/Body Percussion

Discover the basic skills of tap dancing and learn the history of this great American art form.

For Grades 6 – 8 (Ages 11-13)

Chineke! OrchestraOrchestras of Change

Discover the vibrant, innovative, and evolving landscape of classical music in the 21st century.

For Grades 6 – 12 (Ages 11-17)

Teagan FaranIntroduction to Tango Music

Explore the world of tango music, the tradition of aural music sharing, and the basics of improvisation.

Share your new skills using #UMSplayground or email any photos, videos, or feedback to umsyouth@umich.edu.

Love great music, theater, and dance?

Love great music, theater, and dance?

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