Studio to School

This Exciting Collaboration

Andrew Arriaga


In the previous journal entry I wrote about my drive to revitalize musical drama in Elkton. Such revitalization is one of several ongoing attempts to create circumstances of arts integration at Elkton Charter School. I also wrote about two relatively new school employees who have displayed support of this drive. A third employee has shown such support.

In December I discovered a song in the school’s general music curriculum that I wished for my students to perform in their Spring Concert. The sheet music was noted as being part of an Oscar Wilde story titled the Selfish Giant. I asked the school librarian if the school had a copy of the story. She told me that the school did not but that she would order a copy. She did. I further researched the Selfish Giant within the curriculum and found additional songs, a script, Orff orchestrations, scenery suggestions, custom ideas, and story illustrations. I realized that I had discovered a song that was part of an entire musical drama. I quickly decided to teach the entire musical drama to grade three.


One of the reasons I chose grade three was because I knew that creating costumes and scenery would be a weakness of mine and I would need deep collaboration with another adult. The third grade teacher excels in this craft. From staff room conversations, I was also aware that she had an interest in dance, drama, and musical theater. When I shared my plans to prepare a musical drama with her class she failed miserably to contain her excitement. She offered multiple suggestions for organizing the class into specific cast roles. The following day I overheard her telling other teachers about our collaboration. I too am excited to collaborate with her on this project.

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