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The Virtual Academy

This area of the Tennessee Arts Academy website is reserved for those times when the TAA has classes or an entire session presented in a virtual setting.

Welcome to the Virtual Academy

The Tennessee Arts Academy is the nation’s premier professional development institute for arts education. A program of the Tennessee Department of Education, the Academy has been held annually since 1986 on the campus of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee! This page will serve as the starting point whenever there is a need to conduct virtual TAA programming. Information will be provided here on when and how to access the virtual site. Please feel free to contact the TAA office by email (taa@belmont.edu) or by phone (615-460-5451) if you desire further information.

2024 TAA Virtual Winter Retreat

TAA Virtual Winter Retreat Participants: You will receive an email from the TAA office prior to the start of the Winter Retreat with instructions on how to log in to the virtual site.
Please see the information below on faculty, classes and schedules for the event. Check back frequently as information will be updated regularly.
All times listed are Central Standard Time.
Schedules
Morning Core Classes
All times listed are Central Standard Time.
 Arts Leadership and Administration
Please click on the name of the instructor to access his or her bio.
How to Create Meaningful Learning for All
Instructor:
Jason Blair
Arts Leadership and Administration
10:45 AM-12:15 PM
Jason Blair will take participants on a dive into intentional, interconnected, and impactful design to help meet the diverse needs of students. Learn about the power of intentional design for purposeful education in our interconnected world. Develop strategies for weaving interconnected experiences that go beyond traditional boundaries. Discover the importance of impact-driven learning, preparing students for real-world challenges. Join Blair as he helps participants to re-imagine education for a future where every student thrives with purposeful learning.
Empowering the Arts: Advocacy, Accountability, and Access
Instructor:
Jesse Cannon II
Arts Leadership and Administration
9:00 AM-10:30 AM
Explore the dynamic landscape of arts empowerment in this engaging session where we discuss strategies to champion the arts in your district. Delve into the intricacies of supporting and holding teachers accountable for delivering quality arts education. Discover innovative approaches to providing transformative experiences for students, aiming to reshape their perspectives on the arts. Canon will be joined by Ebony N. Johnson (Fort Worth Independent School District, Visual Art Coordinator) and Ruben Alcala (Fort Worth Independent School District, Vocal and Elementary Coordinator).
Music Core Classes
Please click on the name of the instructor to access his or her bio.
Same and Different—Exploring Opposites
Instructor:
Rob Amchin
 Instrumental
Music
Elementary/Lower Middle
 Vocal
 Instrumental
9:00 -10:30 AM

High or low, fast or slow, same or different? Explore musical and movement contrasts in this active learning session involving singing, dancing, and integrated arts for the general music classroom. The session will include ideas for using this theme throughout the year.

Move It! Listening Activities with Movement and Virtual Dancing
Instructor:
Rob Amchin
 Instrumental
Music
Elementary/Lower Middle
 Vocal
 Instrumental
10:45 AM—12:15 PM

The focus for this session will be incorporating movement activities in the general music classroom using creative movement, listening lessons, folk dance, and everything in between. Models, processes, and reflections on the importance of active learning are included.

Reframing the Choral Rehearsal
Instructor:
Reginal Wright
 Instrumental
Music
Upper Middle/Secondary
 Vocal
 Instrumental
9:00 AM–10:30 AM

The modern performance based choral society is highly driven by magnificently curated posts of choirs on YouTube and social media pages. This has created some changes which include feelings of false ambition, inadequacy, jealousy, or an overall loss of confidence and passion in some choral directors. The result has been an overall focus on curated performances in the media that are not student centered. The purpose of this session is to highlight student centered rehearsal strategies that are geared toward engagement, growth, development, and music literacy. These student-centered approaches will yield results and are highly sustainable within a choral program.

Engaging Living Composers
Instructor:
Reginal Wright
 Instrumental
Music
Upper Middle/Secondary
 Vocal
 Instrumental
10:45 AM-12:15 PM

In our post-Covid society, the world has become more connected through conferencing platforms and streaming services. This has made living composers much more accessible for collaboration with school chorus directors. Participants will discuss the process for collaboration and commission, as well as some affordable options for schools and organizations that face financial need.

Sustaining the Virtuous Cycle
Instructor:
Travis Cross
 Instrumental
Music
Upper Middle/Secondary
 Vocal
 Instrumental
9:00 AM—12:15 PM

Student musicians learn most powerfully when they participate in the learning process as thinkers, listeners, and decision-makers. This session reviews the feedback loop between the teacher as conductor and the ensemble, and explores rehearsal techniques and approaches that foster active student engagement. Attendees will learn, or be reminded of, several specific ways to include and center students in musical problem solving.

Theatre and Dance Core Classes
Please click on the name of the instructor to access his or her bio.
The Heart of Arts Integration: Page to Performance in the K-6 Classroom
Instructor:
Penelope Caywood
Theatre and Dance
Elementary/Lower Middle
 :Arts Integration, Creative Drama and Movement.
9:00 AM–12:15 PM

Join Penelope Caywood for an engaging session that extends the journey from last summer's workshop, focusing on arts integration for educators working with students in elementary grades. This workshop emphasizes page to performance, and will guide teachers to transform written scripts into captivating classroom performances. Explore practical tips and receive tailor-made scripts ideal for reader's theatre or class plays. Discover how to bring stories to life and inspire students through the power of performance. Leave with actionable insights that will make an elementary classroom a dynamic, art-rich learning environment.

Playing with the Classics II: Incorporating Devised Material into Staging Classic Works
Instructor:
Kristin Hunt
Theatre and Dance
Upper Middle/Secondary
 :Arts Integration, Creative Drama and Movement.
9:00 AM–12:15 PM

Building on this summer’s Playing with the Classics workshop, participants will explore several basic devising strategies useful for connecting young artists to ancient and classical material. There will be a focus on methods for incorporating devised material into the rehearsal process for specific scenes.

Visual Art Core Classes
Please click on the name of the instructor to access his or her bio.
Triangle Book Box
Instructor:
Robyn McClendon
Visual Art: Upper Middle/Secondary
9:00 AM-10:30 PM (Group B)
Visual Art
Elementary/Lower Middle
10:45 AM -12:15 PM (Group A)
 

Visual Art: Upper Middle/Secondary
10:45AM -12:15 PM (Group B)
 

This super fun and easy book structure aims to impress! In this workshop participants will create a triangle book by folding a single sheet of paper and then cutting it in just the right places. A signature of pages will then be sewn that will turn this magical structure into a book in a box. Participants will need paper, metal ruler, bone folder or credit card, scissors, and needle and thread.

Signs of Life
Instructor:
David Tamori
Visual Art: Upper Middle/Secondary
9:00 AM-10:30 PM (Group B)
Visual Art
Elementary/Lower Middle
9:00-10:30 AM (Group A)
 

Visual Art: Upper Middle/Secondary
10:45AM -12:15 PM (Group B)
 

The session will include an investigation of five universal shapes that are found in designs throughout the world. Participants will need drawing paper, a 4B pencil, a ruler, and a classroom-grade compass. If time permits, the shapes will be used for a watercolor or acrylic painting. For the painting, participants will need a set of watercolors or acrylics, 140 pound watercolor paper, multimedia paper or canvas.

Interludes
Please click on the name of the instructor to access his or her bio.
Arts Leadership and Administration
 (Arts Integration, Creative Drama and Movement)
 Related Interlude
Funding Arts Programs: Ideas for Budget and Grant Proposals
Presenter
Lindsay Halford

Join us for a collaborative discussion about supporting arts programs by creating proposals for grants and funding.

Music
 (Arts Integration, Creative Drama and Movement)
 Related Interlude
From Literacy Toward Fluency
Presenter
Randal Box

The concepts of literacy and fluency, and the distinctions between them, are usually associated with the art of language. These concepts can be applied to music as well as other creative and performing arts, and mastering these skills will help students in all stages of development to move to higher levels of excellence.

Music
 (Arts Integration, Creative Drama and Movement)
 Related Interlude
What’s the Plan: Demystifying Curriculum and Lesson Planning
Presenter
Michael Chandler

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the sheer amount of long-range, unit, and individual lesson planning asked of you while simultaneously being expected to guide your students toward mastery of their specific grade-level standards? Is the process of selecting repertoire and musical materials a challenge for you? The curricular responsibilities placed on elementary general music teachers are substantial. During this online session, participants will learn about the presenter’s approach to managing curriculum planning at the long-range, unit, and lesson stages while also considering an effective process for repertoire and material selection.

Music
 (Arts Integration, Creative Drama and Movement)
 Related Interlude
Journey to Musical Independence: A Sight-Reading Story
Presenter
Michele Henry

Creating independent musicians is a major goal in any music classroom, but instruction for sight-reading can be complex, intangible, and will require a long-game approach. In this session, participants will discover how to break down the sight-reading process for students at any level—beginner to college—and create procedures for students that will make the intangible tangible and set students on their journey to musical independence.

Theatre and Dance
 (Arts Integration, Creative Drama and Movement)
 Related Interlude
Intro to Clown Warmup
Presenter
Sarah Hankins

This workshop is designed to get your heart pumping and your laughter going with a series of fun physical activities and vocal warm-ups. Participants will be able to take this sequence back to their classrooms to encourage risk and playfulness. Activities in this session are inspired by the approach to clown technique of  Christopher Bayes of the Yale School of Drama. This workshop is a great introduction to the world of clowning.

Theatre and Dance
 (Arts Integration, Creative Drama and Movement)
 Related Interlude
Imaginative Storytelling
Presenter
Amanda Pintore

Amanda Pintore will lead participants in a series of community building activities designed to help students learn embodied storytelling. These activities invite students to recall memories and objects that are important to them and to activate these ideas with their peers using their voice, body, and imagination. These concepts are best enjoyed by students in first through twelfth grades.

Visual Art
 (Arts Integration, Creative Drama and Movement)
 Related Interlude
Turn Thrift-store Vases into Art with Anne Grgich 2024
Presenter
Anne Grgich

Participants in this session should gather ephemera; thin paper, old comics, the funnies and things like stamps or packaging. Gather several vases, garage sale books, magazines and various printed paper, flowers, and maps. You will rip, cut,  create color piles, and develop a theme. You will build forms and texture,  and embed rhythm patterning into your art. Using the bone folder you can burnish the collage with some glue stick to seal. The final layer makes a nice backdrop for drawings or poetry with paint pens or pencils. The pattern method utilizes under-layers and over-layers in repetition, connecting images, never covering anything up, and working with abandon. Participants should have these items on hand for the session: several different repurposed vases, glue stick, collage and ephemera, scissors, bone folder, gel medium and a paint brush.

Visual Art
 (Arts Integration, Creative Drama and Movement)
 Related Interlude
Intercultural Storytelling with Nature
Presenter
Lori Santos

This session introduces cultural based stories of the Americas and Indigenous artists who use storytelling as creative expression. Participants will create their own nature-based story using a selected prompt. Participants should have on hand the following items: organic materials (small twigs, leaves, twine, flowers), nature related magazines for collage, pencils, and a variety of colored pencils, markers or crayons. Also bring watercolors or acrylic, water and bowl, paper towels, small brushes, scissors, and glue stick. Bring paper that is 12 by 18 inches in size, and suitable for drawing, mixed media, or watercolor.

Tennessee Talks
Please check back regularly for updates and information about the 2023 Tennessee Arts Academy.
Tennessee Talks
Ekundayo Bandele
1:10 PM

The Tennessee Arts Academy Virtual Winter Retreat is proud to once again present “Tennessee Talks.” Tennessee Talks is designed to showcase the thoughts and reflections of a notable Tennessean whose life’s work has had a major influence on the arts, arts education, and the lives of all citizens throughout our great state. Much like the Academy’s “Musings,” Tennessee Talks is a time of meaningful inspiration and introspection.

This year’s Tennessee Talks guest of honor is Hattiloo Theatre Director and Founder, Ekundayo Bandele of Memphis.

Performance
Diverse Treasures
Nashville Chamber Music Society
Today’s program for the TAA Virtual Winter Retreat will feature the following four selections

String Quartet No. 1 in G Major by Florence Price
 II. Andante moderato
String Quartet in C Minor No. 4 by Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges
Testimony by Charlton Singleton
Adoration by Florence Price
Performers for today’s TAA concert include 
Hannah Sorrells-Tyler, violin; Gabija Zilinskaite, violin; Samuel Bender, viola; MaryGrace  Bender, cello.

About The Nashville Chamber Music Society

The Nashville Chamber Music Society (NashvilleCMS) is a group of musicians dedicated to the performance and promotion of chamber music in Nashville and the surrounding areas. The group is currently in residence at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville and in Huntsville, Alabama at Tangled String Studios. As a nonprofit organization, NashvilleCMS partners with local schools, retirement homes, homeless shelters, and a variety of concert venues to bring artistic excellence and beautiful experiences to the neighboring community. The Music City Review stated, "NCMS audience members feel they are enjoying an evening of fine music with friends." NashvilleCMS is proud to bring chamber music back into smaller spaces so that both the performer and listeners interact and feel known. Performers for today’s TAA concert include Hannah Sorrells-Tyler, violin; Gabija Zilinskaite, violin; Samuel Bender, viola; MaryGrace Bender, cello.

Please check back regularly for updates and information about the 2023 Tennessee Arts Academy.
Networking & Collaboration


The purpose of the networking and collaboration session is to provide space for Academy participants in each content area to reflect and act on learning they have received from the TAA Winter Retreat classes, from past Academy experiences, and from their own school and classroom environment. Participants will work collaboratively to share teaching strategies, strengthen professional networks, and synthesize and connect learning with existing and newly created professional goals. A TAA facilitator will guide the session.
TAA Virtual Winter Retreat Sponsors
Special thanks to the Robert K. & Anne H. Zelle Fund for the Fine and Performing Arts of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee for their funding support for the 2024 TAA Winter Retreat and the 2024 TAA Summer Institute.
Special thanks to the Marlene and Spencer Hays Foundation for their generous support of the Tennessee Arts Academy Virtual Winter Retreat and the many other TAA programs and events throughout the year.
Special thanks to the Tennessee Arts Academy Foundation for their generous support of the Tennessee Arts Academy Virtual Winter Retreat and their ongoing support for TAA throughout the year. Please click here to learn more about the Tennessee Arts Academy Foundation.
Tennessee Arts Academy • Tennessee Arts Academy Foundation
615-460-5451 • 1900 Belmont Blvd. • Nashville, TN 37212 • taa@belmont.edu
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