Middle School Musical (by Mrs. Janette Mattoon and Performers)
St. Paul’s Lutheran School offers something amazing for our middle schoolers: the spring musical! Each year students are given the opportunity to sign up for choir and drama and together they learn lines, choreography, and music to perform a 60-70 minute musical. This activity meets many performing arts standards as well as speaking and listening standards. Mrs. Mattoon works together with Miss Klein to bring dance and music to each performance. Alumnus Johnathan Haaland directs lighting and Mr. Noah Benoun coordinates sound. It is a collaboration in the true sense of the word between students and teachers.
The students are given the opportunity to perform in the Event Center on the St. Paul’s stage with full costumes, make up, lights and microphones. St. Paul’s takes on a new musical each year. Our 8th grade students get first choice when signing up for the musical, and this year we have 26 participants in 7th and 8th grades in our production of Golly Gee Whiz.
When asked about how the musical experience supports student engagement, students gave a variety of wonderful responses. Students reported that the musical helps the students to develop confidence and overcome fear of public speaking. Students practice self-control and patience during rehearsals. On stage, when something goes wrong the actors have to quickly find solutions and make it work. The performers learn to improvise and connect with their audience. For many students, the musical was an opportunity to grow closer to their friends or make new friends. The students had to communicate with one another and help each other. Students mentioned that the musical was an opportunity to try something new instead of sticking to the same experiences.
At St. Paul’s we are always looking for ways to engage students with opportunities for collaboration, problem-solving, and innovation. The middle school musical is a wonderful experience for the students to have fun and meet our goals!