The Metropolitan Opera Guild

2010-08-10New York, NYGlenn Petry (212) 625-2038gpetry@21cmediagroup.com  Metropolitan Opera Guild receives $1 million Grant from the US Department of Education’s Arts-in-Education Model Development and Dissemination ProgramThe Metropolitan Opera Guild has received a $1 million grant, which will be awarded over the next four years, from the United States Department of Education (DOE) for the Guild’s Comprehensive Opera-Based Arts Learning and Teaching (COBALT) project. Of 200 applications reviewed by the Department of Education, the Guild’s ranked 9th among the 33 projects that received funding.“This award is a sign of recognition of the high quality, depth, and rigor of the Guild’s innovative arts-education programs,” said Richard J. Miller, Jr., president of the Metropolitan Opera Guild. “Thanks to the Department of Education, we will be able to bring the Guild’s partnership model of opera-based arts learning to under-resourced public schools that will really benefit from it.” Building on the Guild’s arts learning initiatives at Brooklyn’s PS 10, which has played a major role in the school’s transformation into a high-performing neighborhood magnet, the COBALT project will give the Guild a chance to study closely the effects of its opera-based, curriculum-connected approach on student achievement in three under-performing public elementary schools in Brooklyn. Opera is inherently multi-disciplinary, combining music, movement, theater, and the visual arts; as such it is an ideal vehicle for comprehensive arts instruction. In the Guild’s model, students as young as kindergarten create their own operas – choosing the subject (drawn from classroom curriculum), writing lyrics, composing music, staging scenes, setting movement and dance sequences, and sometimes even designing and constructing sets or props.  As the Guild believes that the arts have a positive impact on learning, the Guild will also develop assessment tools that will measure the effect of this comprehensive arts instruction on student growth in several domains (language arts, math, cognitive, and socio-emotional). ”We know that the arts play a crucial role in the academic, social, and cognitive development of children,” said Mr. Miller. “Now we will be able to show just how big an impact the arts have on learning, growth, and school improvement.”  
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