Greg Percy visited my schools on the last Friday in April to present his Songs in the Key of Art assembly. It was so much fun! I was able to get a substitute that day to play hostess. We started the day off at my intermediate school where I chatted with Greg while he set everything up, tested sound equipment, etc. I had an idea of what to expect from the assemblies after watching a few YouTube clips and I was not disappointed. The assemblies were an hour long but it flew by since it was not an hour of just sitting politely. Several songs were interactive- student groups were called to get up and "cha cha cha", volunteers got to play air guitar, and others got to pose as the pair in Grant Wood's American Gothic. Admittedly, at this point in the year, the majority of my 6th graders were "too cool" to look like they were having fun. I think they were determined not to have fun and participate. That's why I thought it was so funny to watch them obviously trying not to smile at the American Gothic parodies Greg showed during that song. I was also glad to see that some of the 6th graders were getting into the fun even though the "influential"students were watching them.
After the first assembly, we ate lunch with my principals and our librarian before heading to my primary school to get ready for the afternoon assembly. The K-3rd students were PUMPED! They had so much fun and at that age, they weren't afraid to show it. I've played some of the CDs in Art class since the assembly and they get excited all over again, responding like they did in the assembly and continuing to work on their dance moves.
If you've ever thought about trying to set up a Songs in the Key of Art assembly, I encourage you to go for it! I really think the rate was pretty reasonable considering Greg had to fly in for the show. If you have questions, he is really good to work with. As far as how I secured funding, I wrote a grant. There is a foundation that raises money to fund special projects for teachers in my district. All I had to do was write about the project I was proposing and how much it would cost. I included a lot of information from the Songs in the Key of Art website, how I thought it would get students even more excited about music and art, and even included state standards that the assembly would help meet, such as finding connections between the visual and performing arts.