We’re pleased to announce that five new schools have been selected to participate in the 2017-18 Disney Musicals in Schools program, an initiative developed by Disney Theatrical Productions to create sustainable theatre programs in economically disadvantaged elementary schools.
The newly selected schools are Alex Green Elementary School, Glencliff Elementary School, Shayne Elementary School, Thomas A. Edison Elementary School, and Tusculum Elementary Elementary School. This is the seventh year of partnership between Disney’s Theatrical Productions, Metro Nashville Public Schools, and TPAC.
The selected schools will begin a 17-week musical theatre residency in January. Each school will receive performance rights, education support materials and guidance from two teaching artists. The program features a professional development focus, through which participating school teachers partner with TPAC teaching artists to learn how to produce, direct, choreograph and music direct, culminating in their first 30-minute Disney KIDS musical at their school. As a capstone to the experience, TPAC will host a Student Share Celebration in which each school performs one number from their show on the stage in TPAC’s Jackson Hall for an audience of students, teachers, family, and community members.
The program, an initiative developed by Disney Theatrical Productions to create sustainable theatre programs in economically disadvantaged elementary schools, features a professional development focus, through which participating school teachers partner with teaching artists to learn how to produce, direct, choreograph and music direct, culminating in their first 30-minute Disney KIDS musical at their school.
“We know from experience that theatre programs have a positive effect on students — increasing self-confidence and building skills like communication and collaboration,” said Kristin Horsley, TPAC’s Senior Director of Education Outreach. “We are excited to partner with five new schools and to see what they create in their school communities.”
Throughout the last seven years, 34 Metro Nashville Public Schools have successfully participated in the program, with 5,576 students and 191 teachers working together to create a culture of musical theatre at their schools.
“Disney Musicals in Schools builds on the work TPAC has been doing in schools across Tennessee for more than 30 years. Like our other outreach, the program directly serves classroom learning and developmental goals,” said Roberta Ciuffo, TPAC’s Executive Vice President for Education and Outreach.
Using the unique world of musical theatre, Disney Musicals in Schools helps to foster positive relationships between students, faculty, staff, parents, and the community. Students and teachers work in teams, developing the wide spectrum of skills needed when producing a piece of musical theatre, including: critical thinking, problem solving, ensemble building, communication, self-confidence, and interpersonal skills.
“Teachers tell us that grades, English language literacy, student behavior, and attendance rates improve. It’s a joy for us to see how children learn and grow in a fun, meaningful, and long-lasting way,” said Emily Pasko, Manager of Education Programs.
Disney KIDS musicals, created in partnership with Music Theatre International (MTI) are 30-minute musicals designed for elementary school performers and have been adapted from the classic Disney films 101 Dalmatians, Aladdin, The Aristocats, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, The Lion King, and Winnie the Pooh.
Best wishes to all of the schools, both new and returning, on their upcoming Disney production.