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Your Art, Your Way

Grades 9-12
Kathryn Bailey
Course Description:
Ensembles and traditional fine and performing arts classes can be a very important part of any
schools community, and spirit. But some students find that their talent is stifled while being
surrounded by other musicians, actors, dancers and artists that are doing the same thing as
them. In this Interdisciplinary Arts creation class, students will have the opportunity to learn
about several different and innovative ways that people make art, explore their artistic
interests, and collaborate with their peers. Throughout the year, the students will work
together to explore a whole approach to the arts, and understand that splitting up the arts
limits the possibility for creative success. In this course, the students will spend the first few
months receiving a brief education in each art form (music, theater, dance, studio art), and the
rest of the year collaborating with their peers, teachers, and community members to create
their own art. Students will work together to create projects that connect more than one
discipline together, and the final project could be, but is in no way limited to, a cabaret-style
event that will show off the work done in the class throughout the year. The most obvious
connection between two is music and theater, to create musical theater. Students are
encouraged to go beyond that, and pull resources like technology, lighting, different materials,
etc. to think outside the box and create art that is completely new and unique. Guest
lecturers, performers, and presenters from the school or the community will come in to teach
lessons to the students, and will mentor and collaborate with the students on their projects.

Need for the Course:


Many students identify with one art form early in life, and tend to stick to it, because it is easy,
and that is what everyone else does. The requirement to pick only one art form early on can
often hinder a student from reaching their full potential. Students should be able to have
opportunities where their passions and creations can be heightened by another art form, and
could eventually lead to a newfound love in an art that they wouldnt have bothered with
before. This course could help some students find a new passion, through exploration and
collaboration with other students, and art forms.

There are many people in this world who are experimenting in this field, and creating very
unique and admirable products, such as Eve Klein. Eve Klein, an Australian pioneer in the
classical voice technology field has found a way that she can combine her love of opera with
dance and art, while using technology to create an entirely new vocal sound along with new
instrumentation in her opera called The Pomegranate Cycle (Klein, 2015). This opera is heavily
focused on the musical aspect, but it is one example of someone stretching the boundaries of
their comfortable discipline, to incorporate other disciplines. Eve Klein also wrote a paper about
virtual orchestras, and incorporating technology into classical style music (Klein, 2015). I find
this to be a very intriguing idea that many students are probably interested in, due to the rise in
technological accessibility. Although this class would not be a technology-based class, there
should be access to those types of resources should a student choose to move their music, art,
theater, or even dance towards that path.

In terms of music, everybody listens to music, and some are always actively writing songs,
creating beats, harmonizing with the radio, and covering popular songs and putting them on
YouTube (Tobias, 2013). In dance, students are constantly keeping up with the latest trends in
hip-hop, and many students privately study dance on the side. Many students find solace in
theater arts, but most students have some form of acting experience, formally, or informally in
their everyday lives. And finally, in studio art, students doodle, draw pictures, enjoy coloring,
and love getting their hands on materials that help them create art. These hobbies that
students have developed can be aided in a classroom setting, and should be given the resources
to be successful should they choose to continue after high school.

Teachers and students should step out of their comfort zone (Allsup, 2015) and teach or take a
songwriting, miming, immersive theater, Greek dancing, or Photoshop classes because they will
be learning about the art of others, and this new subject could greatly influence the way that
they go about their own art. This class conveniently encompasses the possibility to explore all
of these in one place. There are millions of songs, theater, visual art pieces and dances in
different languages, genres, styles, and tempos from all around the world, making some kind of
collaborative, and connective art accessible and relevant to your students. By using music,
dance, theater, and visual art that your students appreciate, you can allow them to use modern
technology, their peers, and a lot of imagination to take their art and create their own final
product with that.

As a whole, this course is intended to incorporate creative freedom to students in the arts that
feel stifled by the courses already offered. Neither the students, nor the instructors have to be
experts in every field to open up an artistic door for others. Guest mentors and peers will
provide a foundation in each of the arts, but then it is up to the students to be inspired by all of
the artistic possibility that has not yet been discovered.

Expected impact on students:


As a non-traditional (not an ensemble, standard art class, standard theater class, or standard
dance class), students will gain leadership skills, collaborative skills, and new artistic skills that
could not have been acquired by taking a traditional class. This course will pull from standards
in other areas besides music, but the students will learn collaboration through other artistic
disciplines by first experiencing them, and then collaborating with their peers. One crossover
standard is responding to music with movement by using choreography as a form of expression
and communication (HCAD.5.1).

Expected impact on the school/community:


This class will bring together students who have found passion in different disciplines, to create
new artistic experiences that will be shared with the community. This course will offer the
school a collaborative class that may draw students to enroll in ensembles, theater, dance, or
art classes that may had not thought of it before. Intended for all grade levels, this class could
either be a starting point in high school, or as a way to explore and decide what kind of art the
student may want to pursue further, a culminating class that brings together their four years of
the arts in the high school, or somewhere in between.
Project Title: Beyond My Art

Project Description (a vignette or some paragraph):


Often times students identify with one art form, and stick with it, without exploring the other
opportunities in the artistic world that they have not been exposed to. This project will allow
students to teach and learn from each other. In the beginning of the course, students will have
identified themselves with one or more art form. Students will be paired (teacher selected)
with others who identified with a different art form, and will act as both teachers and students
during the course of the project. After being introduced to the idea of interdisciplinary arts,
each student will come up with a lesson, or mini project, that they will teach their partner that
is relevant to their art medium of choice, and relevant to the interests of their partner. This
could be learning a song, a scene, a drawing technique, a dance style, etc The students will
have the opportunity to present their creation in whatever way they see fit, and will have a
discussion among themselves about what they learned while doing this. The second part of the
project introduces the idea that one form of art can enhance another. The pairs are challenged
with the task to combine the two projects they taught each other to create something unique,
and meaningful to them. The students will then share their creations with the rest of the class,
and then discuss/reflect how learning and creating with other art forms can influence the art
that they identify with.

UbD Planning Template:


Stage 1 Desired Results
ESTABLISHED GOALS with Transfer
Standards Students will be able to independently use their learning to
- Be exposed to, and - Draw inspiration from other resources in their life, including
experience different forms other art forms, to influence their own art.
of art - Use art to influence, or draw together a community.
- Create art outside of
comfort zone Meaning
- Collaborate with peers to
UNDERSTANDINGS ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS
create meaningful art
- Respond to music with Students will understand that - How can I use my art to
movement by using - Art is not split into distinct influence others?
choreography as a form of sections, but rather draws - How can I allow others to
expression and in from other forms to influence my art?
communication (HCAD.5.1) constantly improve and - How can I bring my art into
- Collaborate in rehearsals evolve. the community?
and concerts by - Art is everywhere in the
participating in a variety of community, and is
performances and other constantly evolving.
music activities (HCAR.6.1) Acquisition
- Examine ways in which Students will know Students will be skilled at
personal experiences - How to draw upon other art - Collaborating with peers
influence critical judgments forms to inspire their own with different artistic
about works of music and
art. strengths to create new
musical performances, by
- How to approach an idea to ideas
constructively critiquing make it meaningful to - Openly exploring their
their peers (HCAD.8.2) them. interests in a new artistic
- How to work with an field.
unfamiliar topic and apply it - Reflective writing
to something familiar. - Preparing a short lesson
- How to work with others
who have different
knowledge than them.
- How to prepare and
present a group project.
- How to plan and teach a
short lesson on something
they are knowledgeable
about.
- How to reflect on
experiences in a meaningful
way.
- How to provide
constructive criticism to
their peers.
Stage 2 - Evidence
Evaluative Criteria Assessment Evidence
Leadership PERFORMANCE TASK(S):
Cooperation Students will show that they really understand by evidence of
Collaboration Using and working with other students to explore new art forms,
Presentation while understanding how one art form can influence another.
Reflection
Receptive to other art OTHER EVIDENCE:
Willing to allow art to be Students will show that they have achieved stage 1 by
influenced Participating in written or verbal discussions about how this
experience...
1. influenced how they will move forward with their art.
2. Inspired them to collaborate with their peers to continue
making new art.
3. Gave them the realization that art is not a black and white
term, but rather a very colorful, and shaded term that
deserves to be explored.
Stage 3 Learning Plan
At this point in the year, students will have spent four classes on each art form, taught by other
teachers, guest mentors, or the instructor of the class. They have done mini projects specific to that
art form.

Day 1
Students will self identify with either music, theater, art, or dance based on interest, and comfort
level with the art form. They will then be assigned partners with different interests. We will spend the
rest of the class watching videos or looking at examples of different types of collaborative art. This
art may not necessarily be between art forms, but will be non-traditional forms of art. Students are
encouraged to ask questions about collaboration in the arts.

Examples:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=348oljxFdkk
http://arts.unl.edu/hlfpa/hixson-lied-college-videos/interdisciplinary-arts-symposium
https://vimeo.com/148368173

Day 2
Students will have a conversation with their partner about each of their art forms. Students will take
into account likes and dislikes, as well as begin brainstorming a mini lesson that they would like to
teach their partner in the next class. This could be a lesson on a certain dance style, a painting or
drawing technique, a singing technique, or an acting technique. Students should not feel limited, but
rather draw on an idea that they are particularly knowledgeable about, and share it with their
partner. Teacher will be floating around the room offering guidance, suggestions, and inspiration to
any students that seem stuck.
HW- Come up with a lesson focusing on an aspect of their art form, taking into account the interests
of their partner, and be ready to begin teaching next class. If any materials are needed, talk to the
teacher.

Day 3
Students will present their lesson idea to their partners, and will figure out a way to present their
work to the class.
HW- Finish the lesson and be prepared to present something to the class.

Day 4
Students will present, in whatever way they see fit, their projects they have been working on with
their partner. This could be a performance, a classroom engaged experience, or an explanation of a
work of art.

Day 5
Students will mix up and discuss in small groups what they learned from each experience, and how
they can take that, and apply it to their own art, or be inspired to go and create art.
Students will then get back with their partner and figure out how to combine their two projects. If
combining the two projects seems nearly impossible, students can think of a project that combines
their two art forms. This could be an easy match, in which case students are encouraged to think
outside the box and create something unique from their peers or the norm (i.e. musical theater go
further!)

Day 6
Students will spend the class collaborating with their partner on their project, using the
classroom/school resources, and using the teacher for guidance.

Day 7
Students will present their creations in whatever way they see fit. After, there will be a full class
discussion about what worked, what didn't work, and how this kind of project could influence their
own art in the future. After, there will be a written reflection to elaborate on what was discussed in
class to be turned in next class.
ADAPTATIONS & MODIFICATIONS What changes related to color, size, pacing, and modality will you
need to make available overall? How can you increase or decrease the challenge/complexity while
retaining focus. Be specific and provide examples.
Since this project is so student driven, it is important to pre-select students to work together, keeping
in mind the strengths and weaknesses of each student. By monitoring the groups that my need extra
assistance, the teacher can, and should be ready to offer any guidance with materials (art supplies,
school instruments), or assistance as necessary that might not be needed for other students.
EXAMPLE END OF PROJECT ASSESSMENT RUBRIC:
4 3 2 1

Leadership Student Student created a Student created a Student did not


thoughtfully short lesson lesson that was create a short
created a short relevant to his/her not relevant to lesson.
lesson relevant to art form, but was the art form.
his/her art form, unable to teach
and was able to their partner the
teach their partner skill or idea in the
a skill or idea in art form.
that art form.

Cooperation Student willingly Student was Student willingly Student was


learned a lesson unwilling to learn a learned a lesson unwilling to learn
about another art lesson about about another art a lesson about
form from his/her another art form form from another art form
peer, and from his/her peer, his/her peer, but from his/her peer
completed the but completed the did not complete and did not
project they project they the project complete the
presented to the presented to the presented to project.
best of their ability. best of their ability. them.

Collaboration Student was able N/A N/A Student was not


to cooperatively able to
work with their cooperatively
partner to create a work with their
project that partner to create
combined their a project.
two art forms.

Presentation Student presented Student presented Student Student did not


both of their both projects, but presented only present either of
projects in an in an inappropriate one project in an the projects.
appropriate manner. inappropriate
manner to the -or- manner.
class. Student presented
only one project in
an appropriate
manner.
Oral Student gave Student gave Student did not Student did not
Reflection thoughtful thoughtful give thoughtful participate in the
comments during comments during comments during oral reflection.
class for at least 3 class for at least 1 class, but verbally
projects, and projects, and stated to the
verbally stated to verbally stated to class how the
the class how the the class how the project would
project would project would influence the art
influence the art influence the art he/she makes in
he/she makes in he/she makes in the future.
the future. the future.

Written Student gave a Student gave a Student gave an Student did not
Reflection thoughtful written thoughtful written insincere written write a reflection.
reflection stating reflection stating reflection about
what he/she what he/she the experience,
learned through learned through with no specific
this project about this project about reasons on how it
another form of another form of influenced
art, and how it will art, OR how it will him/her.
influence the art influence the art
he/she makes in he/she makes in
the future. the future.

Budget
Use
Item Name (How will this be used by Cost Quantity Overall
(linked to provider) students/teacher?) (per unit) Cost

Colorations Mega Standard set of Art supplies to be used $134.99 1 $134.99


Ultimate Classroom by the students on projects with
Starter Kit teacher permission. Should last
several years.

Video camera and Inexpensive camera with tripod and $89.99 2 $179.98
tripod many accessories. Not the best
quality, but if students choose to
incorporate film work into their
projects, this will be available to them.

Rhythm instrument Standard set of rhythm instruments for $159.99 1 $159.99


set sound effects and any music related
project.
Total Cost: $474.96

This budget covers the cost for minimal supplies for the projects towards the middle/end of the
year.

The rest of the budget will go towards:


- guest mentors, if applicable,
- art supplies the guests require, within reason
- technology equipment they require, within reason

The classroom is already supplied with Chromebooks.

Other supplies that may be required, but will not be purchased are:
- musical instruments provided by students in ensembles
- loaning instruments from the band department with permission from the instructor
- special art supplies in collaboration with the art teacher
- use of the stage/stage equipment with permission from the school
- costumes from the costume shop

References/Work Cited:
Allsup, R. E. (2015). Another Perspective Our Both/And Moment. Music Educators Journal, 102(2),
85-86.

Klein, E. (2015) Opera Composition and Performance Utilising Computer-Based Recording


Technologies and Virtual Instruments. In: Create World 2015 Conference Proceedings, edited by
TobyGifford. Tasmania: AUC, pp.10-17.

Klein, E. (2015) Performing Nostalgia On Record: How Virtual Orchestras and YouTube Ensembles
Have Problematised Classical Music. Journal on the Art of Record Production 9.

Tobias, E. S. (2013). Toward Convergence Adapting Music Education to Contemporary Society and
Participatory Culture. Music Educators Journal,99(4), 29-36.