Joyful performers and lifelong memories
This spring we’ve seen a flurry of student music and drama performances at Oak Meadow School. On May 19th, Afterschool Enrichment students performed The Little Mermaid, JR. Then a week later, on May 24th, music students performed at the Spring Concert Choir and Band Ensemble Concert. These delightful and well-produced programs highlighted what makes the music and drama program so unique at Oak Meadow. Here are some of the key differentiators in our music and drama program, as highlighted by our Music and Drama teacher, Stephen Pixley:
- Choosing repertoire that lets students experience and express joy, and create lifelong memories of being joyful performers on stage
- Choosing material that delves into challenging topics, and does not talk down to children
- Viewing performances as vehicles for creating community
- Giving everyone solo opportunities
- Trusting that young people are capable of learning complex and challenging material
- Giving children legitimate, real repertoire, rather than contrived songs and plays created by educators for purely pedagogical purposes. This is actually a very big differentiator between my approach to music teaching, and what is the norm especially in the wider world of public school music education.
- Empowering students to be creative partners by soliciting and incorporating their ideas into performances, from song choices to choreography to props and costumes and many other aspects of the creative process.
All of this was evident in both of the recent performances. The audiences were impressed and delighted to watch the students thrive confidently in the spotlight.
And there’s more to come: On May 31st, students will display their individual talents at the Spring Enrichment Music Recital. On June 1st, Upper Elementary 6th years will present a Mummers Play and Middle School will stage “Extreme Shakespeare.” On June 3rd, Upper Elementary 4th years will entertain us with original pieces on the steel drums at SpringFest. On June 5th, Upper Elementary 5th years will perform at the Monday Morning Meeting, showcasing their African American music themes and original Kalimba music. During the Summer Program, students will produce Willy Wonka.
Please see the School calendar and eHighlights for more specific information about these upcoming performances.