Coffee and Conversation: Art at Keys – The Process

Today’s Coffee and Conversation took parents behind the scenes of the arts at Keys School, giving insight into the teaching methods and the creative processes that lead to the spectacular concerts, plays, and art all our parents get to experience during the year. The faculty panel included Jennifer Farnham, Interim Lower School Art Teacher, Angie Higgins, Theatre Arts Teacher, Marisa Hodgett-Chiang, Lower School Music Teacher, and Jeff Redlawsk, Middle School Music Teacher.  Jeff talked with parents about how he teaches his students to turn their focus and listening outward, paying attention to how their individual pieces fit in with all the other parts in an ensemble, in order to create one harmonious piece of music.  After parents heard from each teacher, it was time for them to experience first-hand a mini lesson in each area of the arts.  Marisa after teaching parents a song, showed them how changing the tempo at which they sang, the rhythm they followed and the style they employed all affected the emotional tone of the song. Angie Higgins in her “silly walking” exercise, instructed parents to walk leading with various parts of the body to demonstrate how body language can play a big part in showing emotion, a strong lesson for acting on stage and in everyday life. It was clear from the joy on parents faces as they went through each mini lesson that they understand now more than ever how the creative process students go through every day in classes is even more important that the product parents see at the end.

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