Cindy Says: Timely Transitions for your Toolbox

Cindy Says: Timely Transitions for your Toolbox

No, I’m not referring to moving 24 kids smoothly from stage right to left while changing 3 pieces of scenery. I’m whispering about that transition that happens annually for teachers, directors and kids. The one involving new beginnings in the cycle of life called the school year.

Whether you are a teacher, director or both, you know kids and teachers alike get a fresh start.  Most likely you are an expert on the tried and true tips to help kids succeed. Here are a few ideas you might have glossed over, that can change how you can support your students and YOURSELF in the transition to the “new scene” – a new school year.

Practice emotional first aid.

Yes, that’s right, BE KIND. Maybe we all are more sensitive to a lack of it these days. Kindness is very easy for us to include in our student salutations, our rehearsal techniques, and our parent and community communications. It can repair, build and create.  That’s a lot of action in one word.

Reflect on the Past

Experience is the ultimate learning tool. Add it to your toolbox by trying a new approach. Possibly change your casting procedure, put your show up in a new space, make it a “recruit boys” season. But understand that sometimes new ideas work, sometimes they need tweaking, and sometimes they will get thrown out completely. Allow your experiences to guide your overall path to teaching kids.

Remember The WOW factor

Nothing inspires students like musical theater.  It is the superfood of the arts using 5 disciplines simultaneously:  language arts (dialogue/lyrics), visual arts (sets/costumes/props), music, dance and digital arts (light/sound/projection), and they are all at your fingertips.  Use all of your skills to invite kids in to an exciting learning experience.  Remember when you were “bitten by the musical theatre bug”?

Get your work-life balance right

Musical theatre directors have schedules that are anything but easy. Teaching is a passion but you need some time away from it to recover and make the career you love sustainable for you. Sometimes it is more difficult to plan the schedule with your family than a cast of thousands. Be mindful of the balance of “work hard, play hard.” Everyone is happier.

Finely tuned transitions are the secret weapon in good productions.  They might just be the key to starting the school year seamlessly. Put it in your Director’s notes. 

Read More Cindy Says.