On my bucket list of things to do as an educator, one of my wishes has been to have students attend a live concert. However, given the ever-evolving nature of Co-Vid as well as emerging issues of equity, this has been something that has presented a challenge, in addition to not having the same opportunities as a homeroom teacher to organize a field trip. Fortunately, given these unprecedented times, the accommodations given to still present these experiences to students have also been pivoted from various artistic organizations. Here are some of the ways students have continued applying their knowledge in new formats:
*the Toronto Symphony Orchestra digitized two concerts that my students enjoyed, The Ultimate Guide to Eating Hallowe’en Candy and Zoophony: http://www.tso.ca .One of the advantages of virtual concerts is that gives students an opportunity to pause the video and discuss what is happening, and given the nature of so many different types of student learners these days, may present an in-class version of a ‘relaxed performance.’ I even let students bring snacks and lie down in the class to listen to the music if needed. Many virtual concerts have a fee for digital rights that accompany class resources.
*the BBoyzm dance company: http://www.bboizm.ca recorded presentations and made them available to teachers along with a virtual Q and A with the artist. Students were able to connect live despite not having the advantage of seeing a live performance with audience interaction, and were able to see a presentation from a group outside of the travel area that may not have been possible in person. The funds for the presentation were provided by a cultural grant and therefore this free presentation was ideal for a community with various needs.
Naturally, we hope to return to in person presentations soon, however, if you are interested in checking low cost or free presentations for students, here are some other places to check out virtual resources:
-your local library or community/arts centre
-educational locations such as nature preserves, museums and science centres
For students and staff that have had a challenging few years, it is wonderful to see how people react to this technology integration of creativity and education.