Utah Opera’s School Program Gives Students Opportunities to Develop Skills in Music

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The anticipation builds as the students at Jeremy Ranch Elementary School patiently wait for their assembly to start. They are waiting to see Utah Opera’s free music education program.

Within minutes of the assembly starting, the kids are in hysterics and practicing their vocal range. “Who Wants to be an OPERA STAR?” has began and the kids are loving it. For these elementary school students, this is an introduction to the art form of opera through the framework of a television game show.

The assembly runs as a series of questions and competitions, with four singers in the roles of MC and contestants. Throughout the performance students learn about voice types, arias, duets, props and costumes. They also participate in identifying emotions and clapping rhythms in musical selections taken from some of the world’s favorite operas. The kids loved it and remained engaged the whole time, I even heard some of them practicing their soprano as they exited the auditorium.

Utah Opera offers this program to all public schools and they visit every school in the state on a three to five year rotation. Utah Opera’s school programs give students opportunities to develop skills in music as identified in the State core curriculum, while they are being introduced to the basic elements of the art form of opera; their programs also show audiences that being involved in the art form can be moving, thrilling, and fun.  

The goal of the Utah Opera School Program is to inspire promising young artists and give them experience with the variety of artistic activities and careers involved in the creation, development, and production of opera. Utah Opera also offers a program for secondary school students, high school students and adults.

For more on Utah Opera’s School Program, visit their website. If you have any questions about music programs,  please contact the education department.

MusicLeslie Chavez