Having an authentic field experience engages students on numerous levels. It shows how the work we do in our classroom translates and is applied to the real world. The purpose for everything we do is connected to something meaningful and real for students.
A trip to the train station brought to life our study of setting. We weren’t just reading books about train stations and looking at pictures and paintings, but getting an up-close, detailed tour of our very own Union Station in Washington, DC. Our tour guides, Michele, Debbie and Jamie dazzled us with stories about the history of the station and the trains that pass through everyday. We boarded the Acela, receiving a first class experience from all Amtrak personnel busy at work. One of our composers, Daylon, was invited to take a seat in the conductor’s chair. At the helm of all controls, Daylon rang the bell, turned on the windshield wipers and adjusted the side view mirrors.
The members of each job group huddled together during the tour, making notes of important information that could be useful in their respective jobs. From the unique perspectives of set design, music composition, lighting, costume, acting, writing and public relations, students were able to get design ideas for the opera and come to know this amazing historical building.