Individual inquiries in Performing Arts: The SET-UP!

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In Performing Arts this year @VISLaos we’ve been running “Dream Goals” (personal inquiries) across multiple grades.

Here’s where it begins…



Because, with individual inquiries across multiple classes, the learning space has to be ready to provide options and for all of the different choices that are being made. 

It has to be ready for an impromptu jam like the one pictured above!

It’s a big shift from the “We’re all going to learn ukulele” approach, but WELL WORTH the effort!

It could be termed a PLUG AND PLAY environment and consists of stations.

I should mention that my space is very limited; 1 classroom for PA and no practice rooms as yet. If you have extra rooms this would certainly be easier to set up.

Here’s what I’ve set up (in no particular order):

  1. An electronic drum kit with an iPad (aux into the module) for students to play along with their favourite tunes, or to watch lessons on youtube, or to teach each other.
  2. DJ decks: I encourage students to start with the same tune on each deck and practice scratching, or even beatmatching. So many skills to be learned at these stations.
  3. A green screen, a whole corner has been dedicated to this, with an iPad set up on a stand, ready to go.
  4. A professional beatbox machine with a mic (TOO much fun!)
  5. A few pianos, each set up with 2 pairs of headphones.
  6. A huge mirror along the length of one wall, for students to practice dance moves.
  7. An Xbox (you heard me!) for ‘reluctant dancers’ to release their inhibitions with a dance battle (using the Kinect sensor), usually at breaktimes.
  8. iPads which have relevant apps loaded eg GarageBand, Launchpad, Easybeats, Green screen app, etc.
  9. Other music production hardware (eg Roli Lightpad Blocks & microphones)
  10. Paper, pens etc for storyboards.
  11. Templates for character creation.
  12. Unicycles, juggling equipment (supervised on the field).
  13. I also have plenty of headphones, charged batteries and headphone splitters available.

… and more.

Please refer to my Twitter feed for pics and videos of the above @PYPChef

Here’s what our PYPC had to say about it:

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Basically, the room is set up so that anyone can jump on anything at any time without disturbing those around them… please note that a lot of the equipment can be used with headphones.

It’s like a giant playground with all the cool ‘techy’ stuff as well as traditional options which promotes creativity and allows our imaginations to run wild!

This, I believe, is how we can start to become inspired to discover ourselves and develop as performing artists.

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