By Ann Talbott Brown, Director of Arts Education, Tennessee Arts Commission –
Collaboration is a term that we know well in the arts. Duet, harmony, ensemble, and juxtaposition are words that evoke a sense of association or togetherness. Musicians perform in a group as they play chamber music. Dancers explore intricate partner work in modern dance choreography. Each artist represents a specific part to make the cohesive whole.
We see it in arts education too. Teachers foster learning environments that allow for collaboration, one of the 21st-century learning skills important for career readiness. Students work in teams behind the scenes and on stage to carry out a theatre production. Classmates complete a large-scale mural as part of a service learning project, all contributing to the visual arts work. Take one look at arts education curriculum standards and collaboration is woven throughout the performance indicators.