A Lesson, for a Song

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

With any luck, elementary-school students in Fulton County, Ga., will soon be inviting parents and teachers--and perhaps even members of the Atlanta Opera Guild--to attend opening-night performances of their unique, operatic versions of "Peter Pan," "Robin Hood," and "The Tortoise and the Hare."

The performances will mark the culmination of "Opera Works for Learning," a six-week interdisciplinary program designed to promote children's learning through creative activity. Under the guidance of Carroll Rinehart, a nationally known music educator and author who is currently the school district's artist-in-residence, students at three schools have been busy creating plots, writing dialogue, and composing melodies for their operas.

Creating an opera teaches students about many things besides music, notes Joanna Rainey, the district's fine-arts and humanities consultant. Developing dialogue requires language-arts skills, she says, while staging and creating sets calls for mathematical ability.

"We are using the art form of opera as the vehicle to creative learning," she explains.

The program is funded by the Atlanta Opera Guild and the Fulton County Public Schools Foundation. Sponsors hope to bring it to other schools in the district as well. This summer, a workshop will be held for teachers who might be interested in "conducting" a project themselves.

"The kids love the program," says Ms. Rainey. And because they take their enthusiasm home, she adds, parents, too, have been swept up in the excitement.


Vol. 08, Issue 20

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories