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Arts Explorer

While our in-person and field trip programs are on hold, the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s education programming has gone digital! Arts Explorer Streams contains performances, interviews, lesson plans, activity ideas, and more! All of the Arts Explorer content was created with students in mind.

Arts Explorer Streams is available for free to all public, private, and home educators thanks to our generous donors. To make a donation to support the Arts Explorer Streams, visit our donation page and designate your gift to Education.

To view a demonstration about the content and features of the Arts Explorer programs, check out this video demo.

Click on the colored bars below to view content in each category.

You must be an educator to see this content.

Lesson 1

Welcome to ArtsConnect! ArtsConnect is all about *connecting* the arts to what you learn in the classroom. It normally takes place in person, but this year is all online. You’re going to learn about how ballet, opera, and classical music tell a story. Not only will you learn more about each of these art forms, but you’ll also get to practice skills you learn in Language Arts.

Over the course of 5 lessons, you’ll meet our three teaching artists: a ballet dancer, an opera singer, and a violinist. They will use the story of Hansel and Gretel to teach you about storytelling in literature and the performing arts.

ArtsConnect was developed with local teachers with fourth grade learning standards in mind, but is appropriate for middle-elementary grades.

Lessons, Documents & Bonus Content

Welcome Video

A short welcome video from DPAA’s Director of Education, Ruth Reveal. This one minute introduction to ArtsConnect is perfect to play for your students before beginning the program.

Lesson Plans

Full lesson plans with a unit overview, connected Ohio Learning Standards, links, discussion points, and more!

Student Workbook

Twenty-page student workbook with vocabulary words, graphic organizers, and written lyrics for reference.

Pre-Test

This pre-test checks students knowledge of the topics covered in ArtsConnect before they begin the program. A key and a self-grading Google Form version of the pre-test are also available (linked in the lesson plans).

Lesson 2: Ballet

ArtsConnect Ballet Teaching Artist, Claire Small, introduces students to how ballet tells a story.

See Lesson 1 for full lesson plans and student workbook.

Lesson 3: Opera

ArtsConnect Opera Teaching Artist, Rachael Boezi, introduces students to how opera tells a story.

See Lesson 1 for full lesson plans and student workbook.

Lesson 4: Orchestra

ArtsConnect Orchestra Teaching Artist, Kirstin Greenlaw, introduces students to how classical music tells a story.

See Lesson 1 for full lesson plans and student workbook.

Lesson 5: Points of View

Students re-watch the Teaching Artists’ performances to analyze the characterization of different characters through the story, the dance, and the music.

See Lesson 1 for full lesson plans and student workbook.

Lesson 6: Putting It All Together

In this final lesson, students put together their knowledge about storytelling in the performing arts to create a new scene for the opera “Hansel and Gretel.” They compare and contrast performances and discuss different characters’ points of view.

See Lesson 1 for full lesson plans and student workbook. A Post-Test is also included in the full lesson plans.

Lessons, Documents & Bonus Content

Post-Test

This post-test checks students knowledge of the topics covered in ArtsConnect after they complete the program. A key and a self-grading Google Form version of the pre-test are also available (linked in the lesson plans).

Mozart's Sechs Tänze

Middle, High

In Chords and Choreography, Dayton Ballet shows how works by notable composers can be interpreted through dance.

This section from Mozart’s Six German Dances, choreographed by Jiří Kylián, shows how ballet can be silly, beautiful and impactful…all at the same time!

Lessons, Documents & Bonus Content

Lesson Ideas

After watching the performance, learn more about the composer, choreographer, and humor in art. These activities were created with Ohio Learning Standards in art, music, dance, and ELA for Grades 6-12 in mind.

Prokofiev's Cinderella

Elementary, Middle

In Chords and Choreography, Dayton Ballet shows how works by notable composers can be interpreted through dance.

This section of Dayton Ballet’s Cinderella, choreographed by Karen Russo Burke, shows the opening of Act 2. Everyone at the ball is excited to meet the Prince…including the two ugly step sisters. Watch as Dayton Ballet pairs joyful dancing with Prokofiev’s jubilant music.

Lessons, Documents & Bonus Content

Lesson Ideas

Read more about Prokofiev and test your knowledge with a word search. This activity guide also includes discussion topics for after watching the performance. These activities were created with Ohio Learning Standards in music, dance, and ELA for Grades 3-8 in mind.

Prokofiev Word Search

Read a short biography about the composer Sergei Prokofiev, answer questions, and then use those answers to complete a word search. Answer key included!

Copland's The Red Pony

Elementary, Middle, High

In Chords and Choreography, Dayton Ballet shows how works by notable composers can be interpreted through dance.

In this excerpt, Dayton Ballet performs to a section of Aaron Copland’s “The Red Pony” called “Walk to the Bunkhouse.” Choreographed by Karen Russo Burke, this piece pairs ballet with Copland’s very “American” sounding composition, performed by the Dayton Philharmonic.

Arts Explorer Streams provides Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s virtual education programming for free to educators. Visit our website at daytonperformingarts.org/arts-explorer to learn more.

Lessons, Documents & Bonus Content

Activity Ideas

Dive deeper into Copland’s The Red Pony by reading more about Aaron Copland and the characteristics of American Classical Music. This resource also includes suggested discussion or writing topics.

Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty: The Story of Briar Rose

Elementary, Middle, High

In Chords and Choreography, Dayton Ballet shows how works by notable composers can be interpreted through dance.

This section of Dayton Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty: The Story of Briar Rose, choreographed by Karen Russo Burke, shows the opening of Act 1. The Flower Fairies are dancing and playing in the garden. Watch as Dayton Ballet performs this excerpt to Tchaikovsky’s classic score played by the Dayton Philharmonic.

Arts Explorer Streams provides Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s virtual education programming for free to educators. Visit our website at daytonperformingarts.org/arts-explorer to learn more.

Fairytales in Motion

Early Elementary, Elementary

Join Little Red Riding Hood as she explores favorite fairytales through the medium of dance! Dancers from Dayton Ballet II Senior Company help Little Red Riding Hood learn lessons of inclusion and acceptance with characters from some of the most beloved stories of all time. Even the Big Bad Wolf makes an appearance! Celebrate friendship and teamwork with DBII, with some of Dayton’s most scenic locations as a backdrop. This performance is perfect for students Ages 3 and up!

Lessons, Documents & Bonus Content

Behind the Scenes

Dayton Ballet II dancers describe their favorite moments of “Fairytales in Motion.”

Write Your Own Fairytale

After watching Dayton Ballet II’s fairytale, write your own! This worksheet can be used for individual students, small groups, or a whole class. It was created with Ohio Learning Standards for elementary ELA in mind.

Shapes, Steps, and Stories

Early Elementary, Elementary, Middle

Dayton Ballet invites students of all ages to step inside the world of ballet and learn how simple shapes help make ballet steps that then become beautiful dances.

Lessons, Documents & Bonus Content

Activity Ideas

Take a shape scavenger hunt, try out ballet pantomime. You can even do a ballet-inspired science experiment and test your ballet math skills! These activities were created with Ohio Learning Standards in dance, theatre, science, math, and ELA in mind. These could be modified for a wide range of ages.

A Cinderella Trilogy

Middle, High

A Cinderella Trilogy tells the beloved Cinderella story through three diverse musical settings, explaining aspects of opera along the way! Four singers from the Dayton Opera’s Artists-in-Residence program perform this charming retelling, created by Carol Anderson (Utah Opera, The Santa Fe Opera) and Kathleen Clawson (Dayton Opera, The Santa Fe Opera). A Cinderella Trilogy is presented in partnership with Muse Machine.

Lessons, Documents & Bonus Content

Extension Activities

These extension activities provide additional background information so students can learn more about opera and dig deeper into the three musical settings presented in A Cinderella Trilogy. These activities were created with Ohio Learning Standards in music and ELA for Grades 6-12 in mind.

Postcards from Dayton

Middle, High

Dayton Opera takes you on a musical field trip to some of Dayton’s most iconic sites. Celebrated operatic soloists perform traditional opera, new works, and stirring art song filmed on location at the Dayton Masonic Center, Woodland Cemetery, the Dayton Arcade, and the Mead Theatre in the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center.

Who is the Brass Family?

Elementary, Middle, High

The Dayton Philharmonic Brass Quintet uses humor and great music to introduce you to the instruments that make up the brass family. They talk about how their instruments make sound, compare and contrast them, and show how each of them play an important role in the Quintet.

Lessons, Documents & Bonus Content

Lesson Ideas

Learn more about the brass family by making your own instrument! Compare the instruments by mathematically modeling their tubing lengths, and you can even write a poem inspired by the music you heard. These activities were created with Ohio Learning Standards in music, science, math, ELA, and history for Grades 3-8 in mind.

Where in the World?

Elementary, Middle

The Dayton Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet takes you on a musical journey around the world. From Denmark to Kenya to Australia, you’ll visit many countries and learn about the music of each.

Lessons, Documents & Bonus Content

Lesson Ideas

Make your own reed instrument, flute, and horn to explore how the different instruments of the Woodwind Quintet work! Plan your own trip around the world and practice your map-making skills. Then, write a poem inspired by the music you heard! They were created with Ohio Learning Standards for Grades 3-8 in mind.

American Vignettes

Elementary, Middle

From New Orleans to the Wild West, this lively presentation takes your students on a musical journey across the U.S. American Vignettes was composed especially for the DPO Trio by Cincinnati composer, Joe Price. The DPO Trio is made up of a trumpet, double bass, and percussion.

Lessons, Documents & Bonus Content

Lesson Ideas

After watching the musical portrayal of the American West, New Orleans, and an American Circus, rewind the narrative to learn about the Native Americans who were relocated in order to ‘open’ the western states to white settlers. These resources also contain suggestions on additional lessons about the music of New Orleans and the history of American circuses. The lesson ideas were created with Ohio Learning Standards for Grades 5-12 in mind.

Science of String Sound

Elementary, Middle, High

The Dayton Philharmonic String Quintet teaches students about how string instruments produce sound and why each member of the quintet plays an important role in making music.

Lessons, Documents & Bonus Content

Lesson Ideas

Students explore the science of strings by making their own string instrument! This activity could be adapted for all ages.

Worksheet - How does pitch change?

This worksheet introduces and explores how pitch is produced and can changes based on variables like length and thickness of a string. Answer key included.

Dreams and Reality

Grades 3-12

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s Young People’s Concert, “Dreams and Reality,” is part of the DPAA’s Arts Explorer Streams. This performance features artists from the Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Opera. It explores how musicians, dancers, singers, composers, and choreographers react to challenges in the ‘real world’ by creating art.

  • The Star-Spangled Banner by John Stafford Smith 
  • Magic Flute Overture by W.A. Mozart
  • Poem for Flute & Orchestra by Charles Griffes
  • Le Tombeau de Couperin by Maurice Ravel
  • Symphony No. 9 in E-flat major, Op. 70 by Dmitri Shostakovich
  • “Je crois entendre encore” from The Pearl Fishers by Georges Bizet
  • Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98 by Johannes Brahms

Lessons, Documents & Bonus Content

Sneak Peek with Neal Gittleman

Dayton Philharmonic’s Artistic Director and Conductor, Neal Gittleman, gives a sneak peak into the performance of “Dreams and Reality.”

Lesson Ideas

Four ideas for lessons related to the Young People’s Concert “Dreams and Reality.” These lessons were created with Ohio Learning Standards for Grades 3-6 in mind, but could be adapted to older grades as well. Learn about the four families of the orchestra, how the orchestras has been affected by COVID-19 restrictions, emotions in music, impressionism in music and visual art, and reflect on your experience watching the performance.

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Help and Feedback

For help accessing the Arts Explorer Streams, please contact Ruth Reveal, Director of Education.

We’d love to hear your feedback on Arts Explorer Streams! We share this valuable data with our funders to we can continue to provide these programs to schools and homeschools. Fill out our survey here.

To view a demonstration on the content and features of the Arts Explorer Streams, check out our video demo: