The Metropolitan Opera Guild’s Comprehensive Opera-Based Arts Learning and Teaching (COBALT) program, a USDOE Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination research project, provided arts learning opportunities using opera as an artistic exemplar. It connected classroom learning in core subject areas with libretto writing, music composition, staging, acting, singing, literary analysis, and critical response, and provided students with opportunities to create, present, and attend opera.
Through COBALT, target elementary school teachers also developed the capacity (through targeted bi-weekly professional development sessions with a Guild Teaching Artist) to design and deliver integrated arts instruction, in collaboration with arts specialists and teaching artists that leveraged student learning across cognitive domains. COBALT worked in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, and was implemented at three schools in Brooklyn, NY, with three other local schools serving as comparison schools.
In collaboration with Metis Associates, the project’s research partner, the Metropolitan Opera Guild investigated the following research goals:
1) To assess the impact of opera-based learning on student achievement as a result of phasing in whole-school implementation.
2) To build capacity in teachers to implement opera-based teaching strategies as a component of their independent classroom teaching practice.
3) To develop opera-based learning standards and benchmarks as well as tools and materials to disseminate to artists and educators in order to enhance the use of comprehensive opera-based arts learning and teaching in our partner schools and communicate this method to other interested parties, sharing what we have learned and developed from this program with the education and arts education field.
SEE THE COBALT STANDARDS
Teachers who participated in the COBALT program attended various professional development workshops both at the Metropolitan Opera Guild and at their school sites. Included in the professional development was the Opera Learning Institute, a week-long intensive that engaged teachers in the opera creation process and worked with them to apply the process to their classroom practice. For more information about the Opera Learning Institute, click here.
SPOTLIGHT ON A RESIDENCY
ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION
COBALT Results at a Glance
COBALT Student Arts Assessment
This project was completed with the collaboration of our research partner, Metis Associates.