TCT’s Living Room Musicals

By The Children's Theatre
An Introduction from TCT Education Director, Angelo Cerniglia

It’s a lifelong company goal of TCT’s to be able to reach every kid, any kid, regardless of ability or circumstance with a robust arts education.

The arts are one of our first languages we learn, communicate, and express ourselves through. Before we know words, we draw what’s in our mind, sing what’s in our hearts, and dance to the beats of our emotions. The arts are a universal language that is, at one point, understood by all. Kids at heart and age all require exposure to the arts to excel in and out of the classroom and teaches soft skills that will carry them through life.

We recognize that although everyone should have an arts education experience, not all methods of disseminating them are conducive learning environments or strategies for every student.

In our efforts to combat the effects of COVID-19, and maintain healthy learning environments, we took to the internet to continue our passion for expanding the minds of young artists.

Upon developing a new digital distant learning course, we discovered that we were creating a differentiated approach to musical theatre education that can be applied to a broader reach of students – specifically our students with developmental disabilities who enjoy our MainStage Sensory-Friendly performances.

Originally created for our young performers, ages 4 through 6, TCT’s LIVING ROOM MUSICALS was designed to bring arts education to the comfort of homes without the use of live virtual software.

Not only does this new course provide a gentle stepping stone into arts education for young performers but has also proven successful to some of our students with learning differences of ALL AGES!

Sometimes, our students with developmental disabilities can struggle being in an arts classroom because of many factors that naturally occur in theatrical settings such as bright lights, loud noises, and spikes in energy and movement. These distractions create learning obstacles that are difficult for our students to overcome and with no way to turn the proverbial knob down, these students can become frustrated and left feeling defeated. Not because they can’t learn the material, but rather, they don’t have the ability to remove the factors from that classroom.This unique series of videos delivers new content bi-weekly for 7 weeks.

This option allows for flexibility on when a student has class and how much of the class they want to complete in one sitting.Subscribers will receive a total of 4 musical video tutorials and 1 vocal/dance warmup over the course of their 7-week class that will teach young artists the fundamentals of musical theatre. In the bi-weekly email that is sent out, parents will receive a printable art activity, sheet music, accompaniment and guide vocal tracks, and tutorial videos to access for up to two weeks to allow students to learn on their own time, at their own pace.

Each video tutorial not only teaches the song,dance, and craft featured that week to a specific musical, but also lays the groundwork for teaching techniques, practices, and terminology to build knowledgeable artists. Each class/musical is chosenin a way to be able to scaffold their learning journey by building on each previous lesson and guiding them towards more difficult songs, dances, and projects.

We are always striving to create classrooms acceptable for every student to attend, but even the most well laid out plan will leave someone out. Having these lessons digitally allows students who haven’t mastered the ability to turn those knobs down in those situations and are instead able to learn their musicals in an environment that they can control. The sound can be lowered on videos, screens dimmed, and rooms secluded from outside activity that could lead to a distraction.

We are hoping to take the techniques we are learning and be able to partner with outside organizations to bring more programming, both live and digitally, to all students.Once students have mastered their song and dance, we encourage their parents/guardians to show off their star’s talent by posting it to our TCT social media accounts (at theirdiscretion) with the hashtag #TCTLIVINGROOMMUSICALS so the TCT family can cheer them on throughout their journey!

I welcome any questions you might have. Feel free to email me at angelo.cerniglia@tctcincinnati.com.

Thank you so much.

Angelo Cerniglia
TCT Education Director

TCT’s Living Room Musicals is made possible in part by The Children’s Home.