Kennedy Center Partners In Education Annual Meeting: Bright Ideas - MI 1997 TalkOut


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University Musical Society and its educational partners Ann Arbor Public Schools and Washtenaw Intermediate School District share their "TalkOut" program:

TalkOut: Hearing What Youth Say About Live Performance
Last year during the Kennedy Center Annual Meeting, MI 1997 (University Musical Society, Ann Arbor Public Schools, Washtenaw Intermediate School District), with the guidance of Eric Booth, designed an experiment that would allow the team to better capture the impact of its School Day Performances on youth, while also making connections to the Common Core standards. TalkOut was born: a live, post-performance chat format that invites students to the stage to talk about and reflect upon their experience immediately following the show. UMS Director of Education & Community Engagement Jim Leija will talk about the ins and outs of launching this project, and share some of the students’ responses.

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Kennedy Center Partners In Education Annual Meeting: Bright Ideas - MI 1997 TalkOut

  1. 1. TalkOut: Hearing What Youth Say About Live Performance Presented by Jim Leija from MI 1997 – U n i v e r s i t y M u s i c a l S o c i e t y, A n n A r b o r P u b l i c Schools, & Washtenaw Intermediate School District
  2. 2. Trim Tab Experiment: a small change we could make as a team that could have a potentially big impact
  3. 3. Goals for the experiment: 1. Actively capture student responses to School Day Performances 2. Deliberately connect School Day Performances to new Common Core ELA standards, especially for “speaking and listening,” and be a model for K-12 educators
  4. 4. The idea: Immediately following the show, a few students are invited to the stage to talk about and reflect upon their experience
  5. 5. Common Core Connections: • ELA Standards for Speaking & Listening • Requires students to regularly practice with complex text, including oral, visual, and multi-modal text
  6. 6. How it works…the nitty-gritty logistics • Leading up to the performance: • UMS reaches out to teachers who are bringing classes to the performance; UMS asks specific teachers to choose a student who will come on stage to answer questions; the students know they will be called on. • UMS sends a media permission release to the teacher to receive parents’ permission for youth participation. • UMS talks with the performing artist or ensemble (or manager) to make them aware TalkOut is happening (no participation is required on the part of the artist). • UMS education, programming, production, and marketing prepare for implementing and documenting the TalkOut. It’s important that everyone in-house buys into the project. 6
  7. 7. How it works…the nitty-gritty logistics • Day of the show: • The onstage host introduces the performance, and asks the youth to hold a few questions in their minds while they watch: how does the performance make them feel? What is surprising? What questions will they ask their teacher. • Once the ensemble has taken its bows, the onstage host returns and invites the pre-selected youth to stage (usually this is two children of different grade levels). • The hosts prompts the youth with questions. • UMS staff photographs, videos, and audio records the interaction. 7
  8. 8. The kinds of questions we ask: What did you see on stage? And what did it make you think about? How did it make you feel? Choose some words that describe what you saw/heard today? How will you describe this performance to your friends who weren’t here? What surprised you about the performance today? What were you expecting when you came today? Why do you think your teacher brought you here today?
  9. 9. How it works…the nitty-gritty logistics • After the show: • UMS creates a number of media items for sharing online through and UMS social media outposts, including a simple visual “postcard” with a quote to share online, audio “postcards” with still images and audio, and edited bite-size video footage. • Media is shared with UMS sponsors and stakeholders, and with educators. 9
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  11. 11. #1: #2: #3: #4: #5: #6:
  12. 12. What we’re learning… • Youth want to talk about what they’ve experienced. • TalkOut is a model for conversations that could happen back in the classroom. • We are demonstrating the kind of learning that is possible in and through the arts; stakeholders are taking notice. • Some performances are easy to talk about, and others are more difficult. The host must be prepared with a bank of questions and be willing to draw the youth out in conversation. • Hearing youth, in their own voices, is a powerful document of impact. 12
  13. 13. Contact us: Jim Leija UMS Director of Education & Community Engagement (734) 764-6179 Omari Rush UMS Education Manager (734)615-0122