Jacob Watson | Girona University | February 25, 2019

In this workshop, I visited the class of Professor Eulàlia Polls at University of Girona, which was focused on teaching music to pre-schoolers. The students had been learning about multiple intelligences, and I introduced several foundations of theatre that asked them to engage with each other in new ways. We practiced physical listening and talked about how important non-verbal forms of communication can be, particularly when working with very young students.

Next, we considered the function of narratives. In small groups, the students shared “moments of awe” from their own lives and worked collaboratively to represent these moments through choreographed gestures. We unpacked the different kinds of meaning embedded in these compositions and talked about how the brain encodes memories in story-form. 

We ended with an introduction to my emerging framework of participatory aesthetics. This approach uses theatre as a metaphor to ask, in what ways is teaching like an art? The final question I received from the students was about why I choose to apply my art in an educational context. I answered that we are always learning from art — for better and for worse; my hope is to create arts experiences in which students can become engaged, critical, and thoughtful people.