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Article Published: 02 Jul 2020

Voices from the Field: Stuart Holt

Stuart Holt
Stuart Holt (photo: Reed Hummell)

Director of School Programs and Community Engagement, The Metropolitan Opera Guild

The Metropolitan Opera Guild has moved its school educa­tion programs from the class­room to the internet. Holt explains the shift in emphasis this has brought about.

I’m aware that our in-school visits aren’t the most important thing when schools are struggling to teach math, English, and social studies. But in a Zoom meeting of OPERA Ameri­ca’s Education and Commu­nity Engagement Network, Alisa Magallón at Houston Grand Opera suggested that we could provide a “brain break” for students. For 10, 15, or even 5 minutes, we can let them doing some­thing other than staring at a tablet or computer screen. Let’s sing! Let’s move! We’re getting back to the idea that making music and creating art is a joyful experience and a needed break.

We’ve also become keenly aware of the extent that the pandemic has revealed the vast inequities in our schools. Even if students have access to a computer or a tablet at home, their family may not have the resources for internet service to accomplish digital or remote learning. How can we help those kids? That has to be a priority going forward

This article was published in the Summer 2020 issue of Opera America Magazine.