Music! Words! Opera!

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Music! Words! Opera! (M!W!O!) is an opera education curriculum written by classroom music teachers, curriculum specialists, composers and opera professionals at OPERA America. Through the study of opera and music-theatre masterpieces, this multidisciplinary curriculum presents the conventions of opera and allows students to compose and perform an original work.

Boston Lyric Opera presents its fourth season of Music! Words! Opera! In the 2014/15 season participating schools are studying The Barber of Seville and applying what they learn to the creation of original operas in their classrooms.

This year marks the inaugural year of Boston Lyric Opera’s Teacher Coalition. These teachers will partner with BLO throughout the school year in order to accomplish a common goal – to provide equitable access to quality arts experiences in the field of opera to students and the community. These teachers will reconnect throughout the school year to exchange ideas, engage in professional development opportunities, and create their own classroom operas with students.

See a video about Music! Words! Opera!

For more information about Music! Words! Opera! or BLO’s Teacher Coalition, contact Beth Mullins, Manager of Education Programs, at education@blo.org.

 

National Opera America Center

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Any school can join Music! Words! Opera! and teams of teachers are encouraged to get involved together. Participation traditionally begins with attendance at a FREE summer workshop hosted by BLO, but you can still fully participate in the program with your students if you’re not able to attend the workshop. Teachers attending the workshop can earn Professional Development Points (PDPs).

M!W!O! materials are available for purchase from OPERA America. The Music! Words! Opera! curriculum includes textbooks that contain different operas for study, adaptable to any grade level. The Create Your Own Music! Words! Opera! textbook provides teachers with the tools to guide their students through the composition, preparation, and performance of their own original work of music-theatre. How you use the material is up to you. BLO provides M!W!O! classrooms with support throughout the school year, including classroom visits with BLO’s performing and teaching artists in preparation for year-end student performances at each school.

Our next free M!W!O! Teacher Workshop will take place in August 2015. Click on the Workshop Registration tab in the spring to sign up for this free professional development workshop. For more information, email the Community Engagement Department at education@blo.org or call 617.542.4912 x240.

2014/15 School Year Events for Music! Words! Opera! Classrooms will include:

Teacher Training Workshop at Boston University – August 11 – 15, 2014

Design Presentation and Site Visit – November 2014
M!W!O! classroom teachers are invited to attend a design presentation and Q&A at the site of BLO’s upcoming Opera Annex production of The Love Potion.

Artist Classroom Visits – January and February 2015
BLO performing artists and BLO’s Resident Teaching Artist lead performance-based presentations for M!W!O! classrooms across the greater Boston area.

Teacher Coalition Reunion – February 2015
Current and past participants meet and share their M!W!O! progress and experiences with the other members of the teacher coalition. BLO’s Resident Teaching Artist will present strategies for the “Create Your Own Opera” process for teachers.

Create Your Own Opera Workshops – March-May 2015
BLO’s Resident Teaching Artist guides M!W!O! teachers and students through the process of creating their own classroom operas through a series of free workshops. M!W!O! teachers may sign up for up to ten workshops covering topics such as “What is opera?,” writing a compelling storyline, stage movement and gestures, and storytelling through stage design.

Rehearsal Observation and Seminar – April 2015
M!W!O! classroom teachers are invited to attend a rehearsal of one of BLO’s upcoming productions followed by a seminar with BLO’s Music Director.

In-School Final Performances – Late May-Early June 2015
These final student demonstrations celebrate the work that teachers and students have accomplished in writing their own classroom operas and provide classrooms with the opportunity to share that work with others.

Music! Words! Opera! Teacher Workshop Sign-Up
Registration for next year’s workshop will be posted here in the spring of 2015. This workshop is open to any school teachers grades K-12, and we encourage teams of teachers to participate in the workshop together. The workshop typically takes place within the first or second week of August. Stay tuned for details.

Music! Words! Opera! is an opera education curriculum written by classroom music teachers, curriculum specialists, composers and opera professionals. Through the study of opera and music-theatre masterpieces, this multidisciplinary curriculum presents the conventions of opera and allows students to compose and perform an original work.

Boston Lyric Opera presents its fourth season of Music! Words! Opera! In the 2014/15 season participating schools will be studying The Barber of Seville and applying what they learn to the creation of original operas in their classrooms.

For more information contact Beth Mullins, Manager of Education Programs, at education@blo.org.

Any school can join Music! Words! Opera! and teams of teachers are encouraged to get involved together. Participation traditionally begins with attendance at a FREE summer workshop hosted by BLO, but you can still fully participate in the program with your students if you’re not able to attend the workshop. Teachers attending the workshop can earn Professional Development Points (PDPs).

M!W!O! materials are available for purchase from OPERA America. The textbooks contain different operas for study, and all of the activities are adaptable to a variety of grade levels. The Create Your Own Music! Words! Opera! textbook provides teachers with the tools to guide their students through the composition, preparation, and performance of their own original work of music-theatre. How you use the material is up to you. BLO can provide suggestions and assistance and will schedule special events for you and your students to take advantage of throughout the school year. (Check out the Enrichment Opportunities tab for a few examples.)

Free Teacher Training Workshop (PDP’s available) August 2015.

Register under the Workshop Registration tab.


 

What is Music! Words! Opera!?
At its heart, M!W!O! is a multi-faceted program that provides educators with the resources to teach their students about opera. It all begins with a five-day summer workshop for which teachers can earn PDP’s. During this workshop, which is led by skilled facilitators from OPERA America, the national service organization for the field of opera, participants will be led through the content of the M!W!O! textbooks. There are three updated publications of textbooks designed for students in grades K-12. These include Hansel and Gretal, Aida, and Create Your Own Music! Words! Opera! It was written by a team of authors including music teachers, curriculum specialists, composers and opera professionals. Through the study of opera and music-theater masterpieces, this multi-disciplinary curriculum presents the conventions of opera and allows students to compose and perform original music-theater works.

What is in the textbooks?
M!W!O! is currently a series of three textbooks:

Music! Words! Opera! Featuring Hansel and Gretel
Music! Words! Opera! Featuring Aida
Music! Words! Opera! Create Your Own Opera or Music-Theater

The Hansel and Gretel and Aida textbooks introduce students to the operatic art form and explore how and why these specific operas were written. The textbooks include full-length DVDs accompanied by lesson plans, descriptions of in-class activities, a listening guide, and an assessment toolkit.

The Create Your Own textbook guides teachers through the process of creating their own operas or music-theater productions within their classrooms.

Why Music! Words! Opera!?
Boston Lyric Opera knows that your classroom time is precious, but that including arts in the school day is vital for a well-rounded education. M!W!O! was developed to reflect the highly interdisciplinary nature of opera and to promote the art form as an excellent tool to aid students and teachers in their explorations of history, language, literature and music. M!W!O! places students at the center of their learning as they work in partnership with teachers and artists to find new creative means of self-expression through the study of opera.

What are teachers saying about BLO’s M!W!O! workshop?
The instructors were wonderful. The fact that music teachers could work together with classroom teachers to complete a piece of work was amazing, fun, and I learned a lot! - 4th Grade Teacher

Many of the activities would work for any class! – 2nd Grade Teacher

My dream is to create an after school opera club with 5th grade students and help them create a fabulous production!   – K-5 Music Teacher

Great workshop – I will definitely spread the word at my school! – 4th Grade Teacher

How much does it cost to participate?
There is NO COST for teachers to attend the workshop or participate in the school year M!W!O! enrichment activities. You will just need to purchase the M!W!O! textbook in order to participate in the workshop and subsequent activities.

Where will it be held?
The workshop generally takes place within the city of Boston, accessible by car or the T. Check back in the spring for location details.

Where do I order the textbooks?
The M!W!O! textbooks can be purchased through OPERA America. Textbooks cost $39.95 each plus shipping.

Does the workshop go all day?
Yes. Plan to arrive by 8:30am and finish at 4:00pm each day.

Will there be an opportunity to have guests come to speak with the kids?
Yes. Classrooms participating in the Create Your Own portion of Music! Words! Opera! will have the option of hosting a singer, director, or designer from Boston Lyric Opera.

What are the resources that BLO provides?
We know that every classroom teacher is not an opera expert and that in some cases you will be learning and growing right along with your students. However, you will have access to the Community Engagement Department staff at BLO who can help you answer questions, gain clarity, and generate ideas. In addition, classrooms participating in the Teacher Coalition will have the option of hosting BLO performing and teaching artists.

When is the deadline to sign up for the workshop?
The deadline for workshop signup is July 20, 2015.

If I cannot come to the workshop, can I still use the curriculum for the upcoming year?
Absolutely! Although you will not earn PDP’s, BLO is still happy to support your use of the curriculum.

When is the classroom performance festival day for the Create Your Own program?
Check back here in the spring of 2015 for details. If you are an educator interested in adopting the Music! Words! Opera! curriculum at your school, and would like to check out the work of this year’s participants, please contact Beth Mullins at emullins@blo.org or 617-542-4912 x240 for more information.