Monday-Friday, Aug 18-22 The Family Central to the Creator’s Plan Monday, Aug 18 “The Power of Creativity”


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Monday-Friday, Aug 18-22

The Family - Central to the Creator’s Plan
Monday, Aug 18

“The Power of Creativity”

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

How parents, grandparents, teachers, mentors can use the divine power of the Arts to teach, heal and inspire children and youth to fulfill their eternal potentials

Tues-Friday Aug 19-22

“Strengthening the home through music”


DeJong Concert Hall
How parents, grandparents, and siblings can use the divine power of music to fortify the family against the onslaught of evil and terror and build spirituality and peace in the home

T The Majesty of Music

W Divine Inspiration in the Creation of Great Music

H Masterpieces of Music surrounding the Restoration

F Celebrations: Symbols, Holidays, Traditions
“Empowering Yourself Through Music”


DeJong Concert Hall

How to use music to achieve your divine destiny
T Music and the Mind 2003

W Music shapes history

H Les Miserables

F Catch the Spirit

Monday, Aug 18

“The Power of Creativity”

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon


How parents, grandparents, teachers, mentors can use the divine power of the Arts to teach, heal and inspire children and youth to fulfill their eternal potentials

  1. Opera For Children BY Children

    1. To paraphrase Tevye’s words in Fiddler on the Roof: “Sounds crazy no?”

    2. Our unique program at the Utah Festival Opera is not only possible, it is fun, energizing, bonding and destined for success. It enhances learning, behavior, confidence, social skills, and well being.

    3. The BEST part is that YOU can do it.

      1. You don’t have to be a skilled musician, poet, actor, painter but you DO have to love children and be willing to empower them to be who they are.

      2. In this recording, we will walk you through the process of children writing a libretto, composing music, designing sets and costumes and performing their own original works.
      3. You can do it! Hundreds of parents and teachers have already enjoyed success with this program which assists in teaching the core curriculum while developing creativity. Children working together, playing together, creating together and growing together!

  2. It is SO important

  3. Story of Johnny

    1. Small school, large steps, “wait I have not told you to begin...” 5 red petals and 3 green leaves

    2. Larger school, larger steps VASE. “Wait...

    3. Largest school, immense structure. He waits.. 5 red petals and 3 green leaves

  4. Being a professor at Utah State University having taught over 5,000 students in the arts I can attest this principle has taken hold

  5. A better way is the following approach from the great cellist Pablo Casals:

"Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe that willnever be again...And what do we teach our children? That two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France.

We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never beenanother child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the wayyou move.

You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can youthen harm another who is, like, you a marvel?

We must all work to make the world worthy of its children."

-Pablo Casals, 'cellist

  1. Send Me a Child

  2. How do we do that?

    1. I’m not just speaking to educators and parents but anyone who loves children and has hope for the future.

    2. Babies are effected

      1. Inutero mothers musical choices effect their children

      2. Bach for Babies, the data is ripe and Madison Avenue knows it.
      3. Governor Zen Miller in Georgia

      4. CDs Bach for Babies

      5. Music is pre-speech, before they understand speech they understand music, it is prenatal

      6. ABC’s Kindergartner’s use it

      7. Songs stay in the brain and soul, principles are taught deeply - they are not just “babysitting songs”

      8. Jump rope rhymes and rhythms stick

      9. Surgeries, helped Ben through the trauma

      10. How many childhood activities have rhythm and rhyme, Ring around the Rosie, musical chairs, jump rope rhyme, red rover

  3. How it came about

    1. Wanda Peterson

      1. Making good citizens

      2. Success is associated to self esteem

      3. Identity comes through the arts

        1. Me - Rodgers & Hammerstein book

          1. Absence - all our gifts are wonderful

        2. Nathan Davies

Another example of how Wanda Petersen developed self esteem in her students is seen dramatically in the life of her former student, Nathan Davies. Recognizing the success Nathan was receiving as a graphic artist deu to the fact that I had seen his work many times on nationally distributed catalogues, I wanted to visit him at his home in Warrenton, Va. As we approached Nathan’s beautiful home my heart leaped. You see, Nathan had endured tremendous economic hardship as a child, and seeing this beautiful house on three acres of well-kept lawn was proof that the American dream is still alive.

As we entered his spacious home, things only got better. Nathan’s house was filled with exquisite art...HIS art. I felt so proud to know someone of his caliber of talent. After we had a chance to “catch up” I asked how this remarkable success came about.

He told me a story very much like my own life story. It centered around his experience with Wanda Petersen in the 5th grade. She believed in us. She helped us understand that all our differences were wonderful. She caused us to appreciate each other’s gifts and rejoice in each other’s successes. She helped me have confidence that I could make a difference through music. She did the same for Nathan in Art.

Nathan struggled to finish college and prepared to go to Los Angeles to try and sell his wares and get a job in the commercial art world. He didn’t have much money, so he nearly lived in his car. He felt that he could not compete with the fancy portfolios in expensively mounted samples that his competitors brought to their interviews. He doubted his ability to succeed, but remembered something Wanda Petersen had told him. “Who we are is not based on what we wear or where we is who we are inside, and you Nathan are very special inside. You have great gift with Art. You have been blessed. That is who you are.”

Nathan said some of the academic subjects at school were very difficult for him, and there were times when he became so frustrated that he was not doing well. Mrs. Petersen would walk over to him and say “Nathan, I think you have worked hard enough on this subject for today, why don’t you help me create something wonderful!” She told him she needed some artwork for the cover of the school newspaper, or a large tree for the class bulletin board, or a nativity scene for the chalk board in the school cafeteria, or some scenery for the yearly operetta. She provided many opportunities for him to use his talent. She told him there were some interesting paper or materials in the waste paper basket and he would go and retrieve them and turn them into magic.

We all recognized how gifted Nathan was with Art...all kinds of Art. Mrs. Petersen encouraged him to try it all and be creative.

At one point in his interview process in California, he determined not to take a portfolio with him, but rather create something on the spot at the interview. It worked! They recognized his gift. He was his own portfolio. . Since then he has moved to the Washington D.C. area and over the years has done artwork for a variety of national agencies and major corporations. He is a very successful artist and business man. Why? Because he believed that who he was is from the inside out not the outside in!

  1. Helping out in educational process

    1. Core curriculum incorporating the arts

    2. Music and the Mind, Chris and 50 Nifty

  2. Passive vs active

    1. Hands on Creativity

    2. Doesn’t matter that they play, but that their brain has an artistically creative Idea every day.

    3. Healing force in Children open new windows of knowledge but heals the soul

    4. Inclusion - Wheel chair painting in Las Vegas

      1. “Stop the Invasion”

  3. Three ways to learn the Arts

    1. Passively (Lucky, not me)

      1. Drama = Watch a play

      2. Music = Listen to a song

      3. Dance = Watch a Dance

      4. Art = Go to a Museum

    2. Actively (Talented, not me)

      1. Drama = Being in a Play

      2. Music = Learn to sing

      3. Dance = Learn a dance

      4. Art = Learn to draw

    3. Creatively (I can do that)

      1. Drama = Write a play

      2. Music = Compose a song

      1. Dance = Make up a dance

      2. Art = Draw from within

  1. Every kindergarten child through 3rd grade know they can do all of this creative work. Somehow that window of self esteem closes. We need to be there to help them keep it open

  2. Department of Labor
    1. The U.S. Department of Labor issued a report in 1991 urging schools to teach for the future workplace. The skills recommended (working in teams, communication, self-esteem, creative thinking, imagination, and invention) are exactly those learned in school music and arts education programs 191 SCANS Report, U.S. Department of Commerce.

  3. If we don’t provide: Elvira Voth - East Lansing - Harmony - Community

  4. 95% at prison are right brained

  5. Providence Elementary - working together

  6. Like Wanda Petersen helped us understand, God gave us all talents to use.

    1. So many of us choose not to use our talents because we think we’re not as good as Pavarotti or Streisand

    2. How good do we have to be to change the life of a child.

    3. Who is to say the greater impact on changing lives, Luciano Pavarotti or Wanda Petersen?

  7. It is so important for children to be able to tell their stories

    1. Richmond Utah

      1. Boy with colorful language

      2. Girl who wanted to blow up Disneyland

    2. Wilson School - 5th grade

      1. Story about Mayan ruins

        1. 3 characters, one mean, one greedy and one altruistic

        2. Introduce characters by what they say and what others say about them.

          1. Reasons for wanting treasure. Control the world, buy all Twinkies, cure hunger.

  8. These are humorous examples of children with needs, but there are sobering ones as well relating to support from parents who otherwise had no input into the educational lives of their children.

  9. A few years ago, as I was participating in a related performance at Jackson Elementary school as we were about to begin our performance, a little girl came forward with light and joy in her eyes and pointed out her mother in the back of the auditorium. “She’s HERE she said. She’s out of jail.

  10. Weep with me

  11. Helps develop political sensitivity
    1. Class basing story on the Sandlot...Crazy old Indian woman. Perhaps acceptable some time ago, but today it could be hurtful...”No hurting” = changed to crazy old football fan

    2. They learned social skill


  1. Utah Festival Opera educational personnel work with elementary classrooms and teachers in several school districts to assist children in the creation of their own original operas. The children write their own libretto, compose their own music, and in most cases, create and build their own sets and costumes

  2. You may obtain from Utah Festival Opera a manual with step-by-step instructions in the process of helping children to create their own original opera

    1. It contains details in the process of writing the story, and the music, building sets, props and costumes. In this forum, you can also learn how to work as teams and how to incorporate the program into cross-curricular studies. You can learn how to step back and allow the children to be the creators and take ownership of their own work.


  1. When the Utah Festival Opera was founded in 1993, I had a profound concern about helping children experience active, hands-on creative activities. I began to convey my concerns to Henry Holt, who was one of the most beloved conductors and music educators in the country. He founded the “Ring Cycle” at the Pacific Northwest Festival in Seattle and served as music director of the Seattle Opera from 1966 to 1984. Henry was born in Austria in 1934 and fled to the US during the Nazi occupation. Henry conducted coast to coast from the New York City Opera to the San Francisco opera and was a founding conductor of the Utah Festival Opera Company from its beginning in 1993 until his death in 1997. Henry had a passion for new works, having conducted the premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s opera Of Mice and Men. That passion was only overridden by his adoration for children and his desire to help them reach their creative potential. Henry and I both agreed that given the way Americans have cut creative programs in the school programs over the past few decades, it seems more valuable to assist a child in painting his own ideas BEFORE you take them to an art museum, or experiment with instruments BEFORE you introduce them to a symphony orchestra, or help them choreograph their own story in dance BEFORE you take them to the Ballet.

  2. With that philosophy bonding us, it was a natural conclusion that to really help a child understand the art form which brings it all together, OPERA, then assisting them in creating their own seemed the first step. Beyond that goal, the larger goal of helping children enhance their creative skills, learn to work together and tell the stories that THEY need to tell was paramount in our minds.

  1. Henry convinced me to get to know Dr. Carroll Rinehart and his wonderful ideas on the subject, and through the assistance of Beverly Sorenson of Salt Lake City, I was able to do so. Dr. Rinehart has degrees from Univ of Southern California, Univ of Arizona, & Ohio State University having been awarded Arizona’s Music Educator of the Year in 1970 and Arizona Governor’s Arts Award in 1990. He is the author of more than 135 books and is one of the most gentle and creative people I have ever known.

  2. In addition I solicited ideas from Mary Lou Samuelson, award winning and highly respected public school teacher with 28 years of teaching experience in Bloomington who had instituted original operas in her 6th grade class in the last decade of her teaching.

  3. In consultation with these extraordinary people, Opera For Children BY Children was born.

  4. In 1997 Susan Ames well known composer and singer joined our program as Director of this program. Susan’s own compositions and performances have touched countless people throughout her publishing and performance career. Susan has clarified our vision and mentored hundreds of teachers as no one else could. Her tremendous talent and unconditional love for children has carried the program forward to its present success.
  5. We all have a need to sing and together. In Gene Wilder’s The Producers, Leo Bloom is ecstatic that he has had a chance to sing with his new business partner Max Biallystock. Biallystock asks if he has never sung in the shower before. Bloom says yes, but I mean sing WITH someone. It is so important to have that opportunity, and as a professor at a major university I see countless examples of dashed hopes and deeply ingrained phobias because they didn’t have a chance to sing WITH someone.

  6. A teacher who carried out Opera for Children BY Children describes her experience with this when she wrote:

    1. The class was amazed that singing could be enjoyable. They kept saying all along that they wanted to do a play, but not to sing. Now they won’t stop singing it. If something someone says reminds them of a line in the opera, they break out in song. It has been really interesting to see the turnabout.

  7. It has been life changing for those who have participated

    1. In October I had a new student come to my class. She cried nearly every day saying she didn’t want to be in school...Then just last week while we were rehearsing our opera she said to me in deep anguish, We only have 33 more days left. I can’t believe we almost have to leave this class already.”

    2. Yesterday, my children made a list of the most memorable things form this year to put into a time capsule. Without fail, the Opera was high on the list! Anytime a person steps out of their comfort one into the unknown, maximum growth is possible! This is exactly what occurred!!

    3. A little boy in my class...struggles academically. He has a hard time keeping his focus on the task at hand. The day that Mrs .Ames came to help the students put the script to music, he seemed to come alive. As Mrs. Ames asked the children to sing the parts, he wanted to sing them all

    4. Thank you for this opportunity. I have involved myself in a few gigantic projects dn have often come away feeling a bit disheartened and disappointed. This has been my best work. I felt so much satisfaction knowing the process, watching the children accomplish so much and seeing the finished project. I thought I was giving a gift to the children when in fact the gift was from them to me.
    1. Typically about 80% of my children turn in all of their homework in a given week. During the few weeks preceding our performance, when we worked the hardest on our opera, my homework rates increased to nearly 100%. This is an awesome accomplishment for a teacher to see.

    2. A very shy little girl in my class...was struggling to say her part loud enough. I watched as several other students rallied around her. They helped her practice saying her part louder every day at recess.

    3. I noticed an overall change while we prepared this opera. Their scores in Math and Language Arts rose markedly higher, so much that there was no longer that large gap between high and low scores. I believe that when learning comes from within, a student can’t help but succeed and this opera did exactly that for each one of my students.

      1. Ann Theurer, Providence Elementary, Brooke Stoker, Hillcrest Elementary, Linda Bair, Lewiston Elementary, Julie Young, Hillcrest Elementary, Julie Orme, Hillcrest Elementary

  1. Benefitting those in trouble

    1. Ben - inclusive

      1. Hot as Summer, Cold as Winter

        1. Cast as a cook - can a person in a wheelchair be a cook?

          1. President Franklin D. Roosevelt

        2. Ben said we need a finale! It needs to have high notes

        3. Here is what 9 year old Ben contributed to their opera

        4. Ben is doing great...see front cover

    2. Ellis School

      1. After School program grades 1-4. Should we do it?

      2. Girl who filled in and became a hero

      3. Wouldn’t speak to Adults

      4. Learned to Read

      5. How much is a soul worth?

        1. Believing Eyes

    3. Wanting to come to school
      1. Susan story about school being boring, not wanted to be there, then change:

        1. In parking lot...”how is it going” “not good” “aren’t you excited that school will be over in only two more weeks?” That’s the problem, I don’t want it to be over.

  2. We want them to internalize their experiences and CHANGE LIVES

  3. Carousel story - Boy from correction facility

  4. Opera about the Giraffe who could not sing...had never heard “his song” the Moon helped him find “his song”

    1. We are like the Moon

    2. Story of little girl who seldom spoke, came to Dansante to look through costumes, found big, layered slip began to talk about why it was important. We need to dance with it. Did so, and began to be conversant. Spoke to Susan Ames at the conclusion. We found “her song”

Opera for Children by Children - The tools - THE HOW

  1. Overriding rules

    1. No one gets hurt - words hurt too: Sticks and stones...hogwash

    2. It is the Children’s work

  2. A premise for Growth. Carroll Rinehart

    1. Trust-Risk-Affirmation-Growth

      1. “Intellectual and personal growth require risk, and people are willing to take greater risks if they trust the elements of their learning environment. Thus they gain greater trust if they are applauded for their efforts. It has been said that true learning takes place on the edges of the unknown. Students enter the unknown more readily when they are encouraged and accepted.”

  3. The manual

    1. 12 lessons which contain objective, approximate lesson length, materials needed, and cross-curricular objectives

    2. The lessons are

        1. Introduction to Opera

        2. Selecting a Story

        3. Writing the Dialogue

        4. Writing Lyrics for Recitative, Arias and Choruses

        5. Organizing Lyrics Rhythmically

        6. Composing Melodies

        7. Choreography and Movement

        8. Casting and Auditioning

        9. Sets and Props

        10. Stage Direction

        11. Rehearsal Warm-Up Exercises

        12. Reviewing the process

  4. Introduction to Opera

    1. Objectives: define opera, understand libretto, composer, librettist, soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, tenor, baritone, bass, aria, orchestra, orchestra pit

  5. Selecting the Story

    1. Objectives: understand main ideas, conflict, resolution, characters and theme, adapting stories

      1. Choose published story, writing original dialogue

      2. Write new story

      3. New situation for familiar characters and stories - Sequels

    2. Decide topics, major roles, personality traits, possible conflicts between characters

    3. 1st Act - introduce characters 2nd Act - conflict 3rd Act - resolution

    4. Write and illustrate the story

    5. While working on stories there are great opportunities for multi disciplinary

      1. Math, science, social science, language arts

  6. Writing the Dialogue
    1. Objectives: write dialogue for the characters in their story, build imagination and verbalization

      1. Use their imaginations about what the characters would say

      2. Write key words on the board or large paper

        1. Each line should have a dramatic purpose

        2. It should move the drama forward, or make character more believable

        3. Should sound natural and real

          1. “I got a headache man!”

  1. Writing Lyrics for Recitative, Arias and Choruses

    1. Objectives: understand differences of Recit, Arias, & Choruses, identify “musical moments” create metaphors, similes, or rhymed verse based on their dialogue (works for older children)

    2. Three kinds of singing - use lots of ensemble work (builds confidence and helps with projection)

      1. Conversation, natural speech = recitative

      2. One voice = aria

      3. Entire group = chorus

    3. Decide where appropriate times might be to place a song.

    4. Music to define relationships - duets, trios, quartets etc

    5. Determine which songs should be rhymed and which ones are not

    6. Explain metaphors

      1. Subject: Friendship

      2. Metaphors/Similes: Stones in the school, pages in a book

      3. Lyrics: Our friendships are like the stones in the school, Each stone is different, but they all fit together, Bound by memories, caring and trust. Our friendships are a book, Pages bound together to make something rare Bound by memories, sharing and trust

    7. Evaluate by seeing if metaphors and similes expand into their other writing

  2. Organizing Lyrics Rhythmically

    1. ONE OF MOST IMPORTANT EXERCISES - Language has rhythm

    2. Objectives, find and demonstrate accents in poetry
    3. Determine accented syllables in their libretto

    4. Use a famous nursery rhyme like Mary Had a Little Lamb

      1. Write it out syllabically on the board

      2. Clap the rhythm on the accented words.

      3. Put accents () on the words that deserve stress

    5. This develops awareness of rhythm and stress in our language a key element of developing communication

  3. Composing Melodies and Singing

    1. Objectives, determine mood (Major & Minor), review beat and rhythm, recognize the natural rhythm and flow of speech, compose a melody and develop healthy vocal habits which should be natural and relaxed

    2. Is it happy, sad, reflective, angry? Slow, fast, upbeat,

    3. Show differences in major and minor by showing scales

    4. Should it start high or low, how should it go.

    1. Use a tape recorder to go back and re-listen

    2. Class may choose one of a number of ideas

    3. Keep reviewing previous melody line. Then move on to the next line. Try to work on only 2 lines at a time.

    4. Repeated patterns will probably develop. That is fine. Remind students that many of the songs they know and love have repetition.

    5. As the melody is created write the notes over the words for later use

    6. You might assign sections to groups of children to work on.

  1. Choreography and Movement

    1. Objectives: choose moments in their music where there are appropriate moments to create movement or dance.

      1. Keep it simple, marches etc.

      2. Be inclusive : Ben beat the drum for their dances
  2. Casting and Auditioning

    1. Objectives: Help children understand what standards are needed for each job, and help them choose the very best

    2. They will want to choose the best if you give them ownership:

      1. You are like Mozart, this is your opera, you want it to be the best, not just your friends.

    3. Process: project, sing loudly but beautiful, enunciate, sing in tune, be believable

      1. Fill out audition form

      2. Younger students can cast themselves, popularity is not a problem then

  3. Sets and Props

    1. Objective: Design and/or create sets and props

      1. Design, efficient, articulate, inexpensive scenery & props

      2. Insure it is their work, have them draw designs and determine what is salient

      3. If they need help in execution, solicit volunteers

  4. Stage Direction

    1. Objective: Help students create their own interpretations and movement as well as function as directors, performers and managers, helping them take charge of their work and ownership of their production

    2. Empower them to do their own exploration of character by action and movement:

      1. “If you were a baboon, what would you do, where would you go?” (If they invent it, they will remember it and be at ease.)

      2. Vs. A Baboon does this and goes there. (If YOU invent it they will forget and become frightened)
      3. Directors create professional, supportive environment, so performers will do their best, learn to communicate information, skills and techniques necessary for success. Communicate feelings to inspire performers to convey appropriate expression. Encourage performers to project in their singing and speaking to be heard by the audience.

      4. Performers: understand their character and convey it throughout the performance. Conduct themselves in a professional manner. Learn to listen and take direction. Learn and remember blocking moves. Project.

      1. 5th Grade and up: Managers: keep a complete record of blocking. Learn to call cues, learn to supervise peers, learn to develop initiative. Be sure stage has appropriate props, scenery in place before rehearsal begins.

  1. Rehearsal Warm-up Exercises

    1. Objective: Ideas for warming up body and voice, developing a natural and relaxed manner of singing to protect the voice in preparation for rehearsals and performances

    2. OVERRIDING PHILOSOPHY: Being o.k. You are o.k., your choices, are o.k. this is not about how the teacher looks. It is process above product. If a child feels compelled to adjust his work, even in performance, he has that right. It is HIS work.

      1. For teachers to want to look good is natural. If they try to “control” the situation it will not work. The teachers who empower the students by “letting go of control” come off looking the best.

        1. It is a leap of faith

        2. Let go like you would a kite. It soars when it is free.

          1. TRUST-RISK-AFFIRMATION-GROWTH Carroll Rinehart

  1. Reviewing the process

    1. Objective: Be a FACILITATOR, not a DICTATOR!
      1. A facilitator directs the children’s thoughts as they bring them to life. Never say “no” to a valid effort from a child. May help direct and refine ideas given by the children, but must be careful never to dictate. Let the children “problem solve” trouble spots. Let them own it!

      2. Help them understand the minimalist philosophy (saying the most with the least)

      3. Let the children think through where they should move on the stage and how they should deliver their lines. When they find a good choice, rehearse it over and over again until they gain confidence in their choices. When they develop what to say and do, they will remember it.

        1. Meghan Peterson story. Do you want to hear my opera?

          1. “If something someone says reminds them of a line in the opera, they break out in song. It has been really interesting to see the turnabout.”

    2. This is not a reflection of your work, but a learning experience for the children. Let them own it, help draw it out.

    3. It works -

    4. Last year, children behind filling in the next note - recognizing style

      1. Chris recognizing Beethoven as a baby

      2. WE DID IT! A little girl said to her father!

    5. Thank you for supporting children’s programs

    6. It is up to us

    7. How Will They Know

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