UMS K-12 TalkOut Project
Editor’s note: This post is a part of a series. View all TalkOut events.
Our TalkOut project for K-12 students involves speaking and listening (two core K-12 learning competencies) and creating a sharing ripple that allows the experience of a UMS School Day Performance to live on in the minds and hearts of young people and that helps students make connections between the arts on stage and their classroom.
This “TRIMTAB” pilot project was developed with guidance from Eric Booth at the Kennedy Center Partners in Education Program’s February 2013 Annual Meeting by the Michigan 1997 Team: Ann Arbor Public Schools (Robin Bailey), UMS (Jim Leija and Omari Rush), and the Washtenaw Intermediate School District (Jennifer Scott-Burton).
TalkOut encompasses the entire UMS School Day Performance experience. Prior to the start of the show an onstage host provides the entire audience with a framing question. At the end of the performance, two students (selected by UMS and school teachers pre-performance) are invited on stage to share their thoughts and ideas with the entire audience. The feedback is immediately celebrated, captured with photos and audio, and passed on to others for shared reflection.
Here, Kai, a fourth grade student at Ann Arbor’s Pattengill Elementary School, participates in TalkOut at the Ragamala Dance School Day Performance (interviewed on stage by UMS’s Jim Leija):
Interested in learning more? Download the TalkOut Project Description
Youth Performances at UMS
Photos from the 11/12 Youth Performance Season [Click to Enlarge] – Questions at AnDa Union (Left) & Dancing at Rebirth Brass Band (Right).
As the school year begins to wind down, I look back at another amazing season at UMS. As the elementary vocal music teacher at Mitchell School in Ann Arbor, I have been fortunate enough to bring my students to UMS concerts for more than 10 years.
When I pause to reflect on the professional, first-class groups that my young students have seen, it is absolutely astonishing. I’m thinking now about World Music groups, and the effects these concerts have had on our students.
When Amalia Hernandez Ballet Folklorico de Mexico appeared in 2006, it triggered a celebration of Hispanic culture in our school. The whole school attended the concert (first time ever!) and the event resonated throughout the school year as we studied and played Latin music. I applied for and received a grant to buy authentic Latin percussion instruments for my classroom. These are enjoyed by every grade level to this day, and have become increasingly important as our school’s Hispanic population continues to grow. I also remember our students being overwhelmed and moved by the performance we attended of The Children of Uganda. The story of these children and their astonishing talents resonated deeply with Mitchell Students.
I’m wondering who else out there has something to say about their experiences with UMS world music youth concerts.
- Did you find that your students were especially moved by the performances?
- Were you able to see carry over effects into the school year and beyond?
- Do your students remember the performances years later, recalling such sights and sounds as new instruments they may have seen in the shows?
Let’s start a conversation to compare experiences and to help UMS continue its great efforts to bring such diverse performers to Ann Arbor. Thanks.
Rosalie Koenig, Mitchell Elementary School