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The Beginning of a Collaborative Fourth- and Fifth-grade Musical

In the spring, Doherty fifth-graders will put on a beautiful performance in The Schiff Center, replete with choreography, dance, stage design, tech, and costuming. In order for all of that to happen, however, the students begin their work in January, with music teacher Maria Eynon and creative dramatics teacher Russell White. The extensive, months-long process begins with students learning scripts and a process called “voicing,” which Eynon completed in early January. Using solfege, or the term for a technique incorporating what is commonly known as do, re, mi, Eynon played notes on the piano and asked students to recite them. The exercise allowed Eynon to hear the tone and timbre of students’ singing voices so she will be able to place students in the appropriate voice ranges. Eynon praised the fifth-grade class with their focus on the project and encouraged them to take on choreography roles for the play. “We always give the students the opportunity to own the choreography in the plays,” said Eynon. “That is really their mark on the play. That is where they begin to take on a more active role in the creative process.”