District personnel, state legislators, grantors and others are very interested and need to know that Opera by Children is not just a fun thing to do. It is not a waste of precious school time.
It is very easy and very important for every teacher and mentor to continually refer to the Life Skills core objectives while engaged in any phase of the opera.
Refer to the Life Skills Core frequently and remind the children of what they have learned about all of those objectives while working on their opera. That core for Utah may be found at: http://www.schools.utah.gov/curr/lifeskills/index.htm
The Opera by Children Life Skills “Manifesto” is as follows:
The basic philosophy of Opera by Children encourages students to initiate and control their learning.
Complex thinking is required during the opera creation process. It is a new situation for most students to create a piece of work as a group.
Opera by Children utilizes the following methods and varieties of mediums of art for communication; e.g., reading, writing, speaking, listening, painting, singing, playing instruments, dancing, and dramatizing, during the year long process. Each student learns to use these and become an effective communicator while successfully interacting with classmates within their structure.
Collaboration is what drives Opera by Children. The three opera rules work effectively for students to understand and identify the need to listen and allow everyone to contribute to achieve the desired results.
Opera by Children builds a classroom community producing responsible student-citizens who participate in the opera process to promote personal and public good. This real application of the skills necessary to build community translates into real citizens in the world community. Major decisions are made by private ballot vote. Majority rules!
The Opera by Children program provides many opportunities for students to identify strengths within themselves which provide a greater base of knowledge to make decisions in career and future employment.
Education Director, Utah Festival Opera