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Teachers College Collaborates on Study Guide for YoungArts MasterClass Program

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Harold F Abeles

Harold F Abeles

Teacher Trainings Offered This Fall in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami in Cooperation With National Organization Dedicated to Nurturing Emerging Artistic Talent

A study guide based on the award-winning HBO YoungArts MasterClass series, designed at Teachers College, Columbia University, has been distributed by the National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) free of charge to middle- and high school arts teachers across the country. The study guide booklet and 2-DVD set, Pursuing Your Passion: Lessons from YoungArts MasterClass, as well as sample lesson plans, recommended classroom activities, and full episodes of YoungArts MasterClass, are available as a free download from the Teachers College’s EdLab website at www.youngartsmasterclass.org

The YoungArts MasterClass series’ first season features episodes in which world-renowned masters – including playwright Edward Albee, architect Frank Gehry, dance impresario Bill T. Jones, actress Liv Ullman and tenor Placido Domingo – teach and mentor selected teen artists.

The study guide and DVD set were developed by a team of arts educators at Teachers College led by Hal Abeles, Professor of Music Education in the Department of Arts and Humanities.

The joint project with the National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) is the latest venture in ongoing work to help increase arts education and awareness. To encourage use of the study guide and DVDs in classrooms, Teachers College is offering free professional development to teachers in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami. Training sessions led by Teachers College faculty took place in New York City and Los Angeles, and there will be a professional development session for teachers on November 6 in Miami. Participating teachers  receive professional development credits.

“The study guide fosters critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication – skills which the 21st Century Partnership identified as critical for success in the 21st century,” Abeles said.  “We designed the study guide to provide students with an interdisciplinary experience in an authentic way – to present concepts such as ‘mastery,’ for example, which holds true across all disciplines.”

“For more than 30 years, we have been providing young artists with mentorship experiences with some of the most distinguished artists in the world, and the support these students need to follow their passion and pursue careers in the arts,” said Paul T. Lehr, Executive Director of YoungArts. “We are proud to be able to use our work to inspire the teaching of critical thinking skills, and to foster an appreciation of the vital role creativity plays in every aspect of our lives.”

Pursuing Your Passion: Lessons from YoungArts MasterClass was created as a resource to assist teachers in bringing arts examples into their classroom activities and discussions, while they address 21st century critical thinking skills and Common Core State Standards. The study guide was crafted to support the exploration of creativity, mastery, and collaboration in humanities, language arts, math, science, and social studies classrooms. Questions such as “What makes someone a master?” or “How can successes and failures be used as valuable learning tools in the development of mastery?” guide classroom discussion around the YoungArts MasterClass episodes.

The YoungArts MasterClass series, directed by the award winning documentary team of Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon, captures the moments between young artists and the masters who mentor them. In addition to Albee, Domingo, Gehry, Jones and Ullman, the first season features YoungArts alumni in the visual, literary and performing arts working with internationally renowned artistic masters including Jacques d’Amboise, Olafur Eliasson, Julian Schnabel and Michael Tilson Thomas. Season 2 will feature, among others, Renée Fleming, Robert Redford, John Guare, Bobby McFerrin, Patti LuPone, Bruce Weber, Joshua Bell, and Wynton Marsalis.

The National YoungArts Foundation (formerly known as the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify and support the next generation of artists, and to contribute to the cultural vitality of the nation by investing in the artistic development of talented young artists in the visual, literary, and performing arts. YoungArts provides emerging artists with life-changing experiences with renowned mentors, access to significant scholarships, national recognition, and other opportunities throughout their careers to help ensure that the nation’s most outstanding emerging artists are encouraged to pursue careers in the arts.

Teachers College is the largest teacher preparation college in the United States. Its arts education programs include programs in music and music education, art and art education, and arts administration.


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