Curriculum-Based Songwriting Workshops
We often tailor our residencies to fit the curriculum that students are currently studying. We adhere to the HOT Approach, stressing the core principle of ARTS INTEGRATION, which is to provide "a sequential arts learning experiences that weaves ideas and/or concepts between and among arts and non-arts disciplines, effectively advancing knowledge and/or skills in an arts discipline while concurrently advancing knowledge and/or skills in other disciplines."
This 8-day residency at Oswegatchie Elementary School in Waterford, CT focused on the topic of Americans moving out West in the Nineteenth Century. The three classes each wrote two songs: the first song was written by the full class, and for the second song, students wrote a collective chorus, then broke up into smaller groups of 4 or 5 students to write verses.
The topic of this 8-day residency at Oswegatchie Elementary School in Waterford, CT was Immigration. The three classes each wrote two songs. The first song focused on the Immigration surge through Ellis Island in the late 1800's/early 1900's. The second song took a broader view, incorporating thoughts on America as a land of immigrants and what it means to be a nation.
This 10-day residency at Samuel Staples Elementary School in Easton, CT focused on the topic of "Social Issues." Through detailed planning with teachers, we developed a program that began with writing a song inspired by the book "Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon," about a young girl in a new school overcoming criticism of her quirky uniqueness, and then progressed to writing a song inspired by the book, One Green Apple, about a young Muslim immigrant grappling with being the new kid in a foreign land. The second songs challenged students to compare and contrast the messages from both books, tackle more advanced concepts of acceptance, and apply their understanding of diversity in a real life scenario.
Kindergarten, 3rd and 5th Grade
This residency took place over the course of ten days at R.J. Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts in Hartford, CT. Every year the school chooses a theme, and their 2015/2016 theme was "I Wonder"–inspired by the popular children's book by Annika Harris. Students used the book as a starting point for writing their songs, each one "exploring the beauty of life and the mysteries of our world." Below are a sampling of the 9 songs created in that residency.