Catalog of Residencies
Creative Movement (Early Childhood)
Creative Movement residencies introduce basic dance skills that build imagination, strength, flexibility, endurance, balance and spatial awareness. Students explore dance elements such as shape, imagery, direction, tempo, spatial pathways and movement quality. Learning to have greater control of their bodies in personal space helps students develop confidence and build a repertoire of abilities that can be applied to other dance forms and physical activities.
Culturally Specific Dance Forms (Gr 2-12)
Our teaching artists offer a range of dance forms drawn from global cultures like Central America, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Students are able to immerse themselves in the social, historical, and musical backgrounds of each cultural form, giving them the opportunity to learn about and reflect upon how dance functions within their own and other cultures. Students can also learn dances that are contemporary to the United States like Hip-Hop and Step.
Composition (Gr 3-12)
Dance Composition classes introduce upper elementary students to 12th grade students to the challenges and rewards of group work through exposure to a variety of modern and contemporary styles. Moving in pairs, trios, quartets and large groups, students learn to interact with each other in space using a creative awareness of their bodies. They gain an understanding of shape, of personal and general space, and how to use concepts of time and energy as they create their own movement phrases and patterns.
Modern Dance (Gr 3-12)
Modern Dance residencies introduce students to the basics of dance technique, framing the exploration of dance concepts such as space, shape, energy and time in the context of modern and contemporary styles. Students learn how and why to properly warm up their bodies, challenging themselves as they build strength, flexibility, agility, endurance and balance. They master increasingly complex movement phrases, and become familiar with the routines, etiquette and expectations of the dance studio. Modern dance classes incorporate improvisation, reflection, and feedback to encourage self-awareness and confidence.
ArtsConnection houses an outstanding roster of dance performance groups, showcasing a wide range of cultural traditions, from American folk dance to the classical dances of Imperial China, from Middle Eastern and African traditions to Native American and Caribbean dance styles. Each performance highlights the history of each distinct tradition and its dynamic connections with contemporary styles, featuring the costumes and instruments unique to each culture and time period. The stories and customs that shape societies very different from our own come to life through performance in ways that can illustrate classroom topics far more vividly than reading and discussion alone.
Percussion (Early Childhood)
Using rhythmic studies, ear training, singing and improvisation, our Early Childhood music instructors lead students through an exciting exploration of the fundamentals of music making. Students will develop their sense of rhythm, learn healthy singing techniques, and practice how to play simple songs on percussion instruments. They will train their ears to listen to music and articulate what they hear using basic music literacy. Many musical concepts will be introduced through age-appropriate activities including: dynamics, tempo, notation and style.
Vocal Music (K-12)
The human voice is the foundation of all music and remains at the core of musical practice. Vocal Music residencies survey these traditions while teaching students the basics of breath control, voice projection exercises, and experimentation with different vocal registers. A range of repertoires, from pop to classical, is explored through close student participation in the choice of materials. Students learn to express themselves in healthy, meaningful ways and discover the many intersections between music-making, literacy, learning, and imagination, through the employment of the most familiar instrument of all.
Instrumental Music (Gr 3-12)
ArtsConnection’s instrumental music programs cover a broad range of instruments and styles, from string instruments and percussion to a one-of-a-kind steel pan residency. Working hands-on with their instruments from the first day, students learn to recognize and differentiate the qualities of music-making such as rhythm, melody harmony, dynamics and expression, progressing on to music notation and theory. Instrumental music residencies are designed to improve children’s listening skills, focus, and body and mind connections, as well as discovering the music inside of them. Students come to appreciate that music is everywhere, that everyone can have fun playing it, and that we shouldn’t be afraid to learn and make mistakes along the way.
Musical Theater (Gr 3-12)
Musical Theater residencies combine the joy of rehearsing and performing songs with the discipline of carrying out a theatrical performance from conception to execution. Students work with a teaching artist to learn a repertoire and work on each aspect of a play, from set design to direction and execution. Popular for older students who have already progressed through some musical training and theatrical experience.
Music Composition and Music Videos (Gr 6-12)
Music compositions residencies combine the development of written lyrics with the creation of melodies to go with the lyrics. Students can use instruments available at the school and/or use technological tools like Garage Band to develop the melodies. Students can also create videos to go with the songs they have developed. Composition and video residencies require a minimum of 20 sessions.
ArtsConnection’s roster of music performers features a culturally diverse spectrum of styles and traditions. Global percussion ensembles, Puerto Rican plena, music of the Caribbean and the African diaspora are all represented. Students are exposed to the joy of live performance in the shape of unique and novel instrumentation, culturally specific costumes, vocal and lyrical traditions from a variety of linguistic backgrounds. Music performances are perhaps the most immediate way to introduce students to forms of expression from around the world that they might rarely, if ever, have the opportunity to experience in person.
Creative Dramatics (K-12)
Over the course of our Creative Dramatics residencies, our teaching artists instruct students in the foundations of theatrical elements and skills: expressivity, scene structure, improvisation, theatrical analysis, problem solving, and teamwork. Students activate and expand their imaginations and explore the analytical, concentration and process skills associated with acting. They exercise and refine the actor’s instrument—the body, voice and mind—through ongoing exploration of the physical, vocal, characterization and staging components of acting, participating in a variety of group and solo activities in rehearsal and performance, demonstrating self-discipline and the ability to work collaboratively.
Several of ArtsConnection’s theater artists are professional puppeteers and provide specialized instruction through our puppetry residencies. Building stick puppets, hand puppets, shadow puppets and parade puppets with students, theater artists emphasize both storytelling and prop construction, as well as introduce concepts of theater, staging, and character development to students. In learning dialog, physical movement, and voice control, students develop expressive skills that allow them to convey their story to the audience and to become more effective communicators. In addition, students discover the relationship between expression and puppet/prop manipulation, bringing full emotional dimensions to original or adapted works. The residency takes students through an entire artistic process, from inception and story creation to final presentation.
Playwriting/Direction (Gr 3-12)
Through the course of a Playwriting or Directing residency, students progress from the cultivation of ideas to their execution, moving from improvisational theater, through character development, into the work of crafting a script focused on creating and resolving conflict. Working first in small groups, they discuss story, plot, and character development. Using improvisational techniques, students create and develop characters and situations, then transpose their scenes onto the written page.
Our theater performance roster covers the range from monologues to improvisation and full ensemble plays. These often explore social and community-based themes of personal and cultural identity, through performances that showcase the challenges of negotiating disparate backgrounds and histories. Improvised performances incorporate audience suggestions into songs, scenes and poems, while dramatic monologues may feature deeply personal narratives that speak to the fears and desires of students at different age levels. Theater performances provide a safe, inviting forum for students to think about their own concerns and to hear them addressed by performers who have worked to turn their own challenges into expressive artworks.
2D Visual Art (K-12)
Our 2D residencies include artists working in the traditional media of painting and drawing, as well as more contemporary forms such as murals, collage, and graphic design. With equal focus placed on technique and self-expression, students learn to familiarize themselves with diverse materials, learning about composition from elementary aspects such as color and line, to the basic steps of planning and preparation, through intermediate and more advanced concepts of color theory and the histories of different forms. Depending on the media of the residency, students may learn how to tell stories through their imagery, or how to express their own hopes and dreams through the visual arts. Emphasis is placed on process and the willingness to try new techniques without worrying about perfection in the final result.
3D Visual Art (K-12)
The topics of our 3D residencies include sculpting with media such as clay and more diverse classroom materials, mask-making, crafting with paper, book-making, even quilting and working with textiles, depending on the goals of the school. Throughout each residency, our teaching artists concentrate on broadening students’ ideas about the sorts of materials that are appropriate for art-making, and how to find their own voice through engagement with different materials.
ArtsConnection features several teaching artists who specialize in Cartooning and Animation. Each residency teaches students the basics of storytelling through the creation of characters to the development of plots and storylines. Incorporating an historical approach with attention to detail, students learn the visual techniques of cartooning including scale, use of near/far, incorporating text with images, and storytelling through visual narrative. By exploring multiple techniques through an animation residency (drawn animation, found object animation, claymation), students come to see how the core principals remain the same from static to moving images.
ArtsConnection can provide teaching artists who specialize in the use of still and video cameras. Each residency introduces students to the basics of visual composition for still and moving image with the focus on an agreed upon theme.