Teaching Strategies

Creative & Performing Arts Courses

Much thanks to Gary Hawkins (Warren Wilson College) for these thoughts about teaching studio, performance, & applied courses remotely:

We recognize that the learning in active courses such as studio arts, performing arts, and applied subjects requires specialized equipment or spaces and is based on action. These activities will not translate easily to the online environment. Here are some suggestions:

  • Consider projects that can use a “kitchen table studio”: As we know from William Morris, art resides within the “resistance of the materials,” and artists have long adjusted their work to fit their available space. If there are particular store-bought or studio materials students should stock up on, tell them now. Or consider projects that draw on found or easily-available-at-home materials.
  • Create a video demo
  • Do synchronous or asynchronous critique: You could host critique in Google Hangouts Meet. You could have students post mini-portfolios to a Canvas Discussion Board.
  • Solo work: While videotaped performance (acting, dance, musicianship) is nowhere equivalent to the real life event, if you are able to create solo exercises (for example, a dramatic monologue or solo), students can record and share—and critique can be as above.
  • Background or preparatory work: If there is some relevant background reading or research that supports or informs an art project or performance, you could assign this as group reading and discussion (see above) or as a short, independent project or group project.

In addition, the following resources may be of use to faculty teaching creative and performing arts courses: