Tulsa Opera partners with TPS to engage music students while learning virtually

TULSA, Okla. — -Tulsa Opera is partnering with Tulsa Public Schools to make learning music virtually more interesting.

-The opera company launched the virtual program called “Soul of Sound.”

-Aaron Beck, the Artistic Administrator and Director of Education for Tulsa Opera says the goal is to create opportunities for students to stay engaged in performing arts, especially during this time of virtual learning.

-Beck says the program includes a growing library of virtual lessons and quizzes for choir students. The lessons focus on things like warming up your voice, how to get over stage freight, and how to stand while singing. All instructional videos are taught by professional singers, actors and costume designers to help fill the gap while students continue distance learning.

-Beck added, “Through SOS, we want to bring additional learning opportunities for students at home where they can learn skills that will help improve their singing and performing, and allow them to become part of Tulsa’s thriving arts community, even in the midst of a pandemic.”

-Michael Broyles, who is the music teacher at Hale High School and Hale Junior High says teaching his choir students has become almost impossible through virtual learning.

He says things like Zoom don’t allow his students to sing together. “It’s not just the lag, but you typically only hear one person at a time during the call.” Broyles says he’s had to reinvent the way he teaches his students. He says the new program allows him to reinforce the lessons he teaches that may otherwise be missed from in-person instruction.

-Broyles says it’s a great opportunity to have professionals working with his students. He said, “It’s too bad they can’t come into my classroom to work with my kids- this is the next best thing.”

-Tulsa Opera says in the coming weeks plans to launch “Soul of Sound” to all schools across Oklahoma.