Effective teaching artists must embody both the creative spirit of a performer and the intentionality of an educator. Opera Ignite provides training for performing and visual artists who wish to extend their creative practice into schools and community settings. Through professional development or one-on-one mentoring, Opera Ignite aims to advance best practices in arts-integrated lesson design, effective communication skills and reflective self-assessment. Teaching artist training may occur as part of an ongoing residency program or through a one-time session.
As “An Opera is a Story” continues to grow each year, the need to train additional teaching artists grows as well. In Pittsburgh and Toledo, Opera Ignite has trained nine opera performers to conduct classroom workshops or perform in interactive age-appropriate adaptations of the operas. Teaching artists learn developmentally appropriate musical strategies for children ages 3-5, effective prompts to promote participation and assessment indicators.
Buzzword Pittsburgh program is a community-wide iniative designed to provide low-income families with opportunities to engage their children in vocabulary-rich conversation. Opera Ignite trained Opera Theater of Pittsburgh performers to lead family engagement sessions, design intentional interactive experiences and foster language development skills for children ages 0-5. Opera Ignite also works collaboratively with other Buzzword partner organizations (Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust) to share arts-based strategies with their teaching artists and educational staff.