CYT co-founder Dr. Paul Russell wrote the below blog post, and it sort of makes me want to go back to college…well, maybe just one semester so I could take his Musical Theater class. Enjoy (and see you on the first day)!
As I am teaching four new Musical Theater students in the Micah program at San Diego Christian College, I once again get to review with the kids the uniqueness of CYT. It all starts with our Mission Statement and Values and Objectives.
The four new college students have found them helpful as they are all assisting in the direction of CYT shows this Fall. Here’s a great review of how the ideals can be used in practical, everyday interaction with our CYT students.
CYT’s Values and Objectives
Placing the maximum worth on people and treating each individual with respect and significance.
It is important that people are always placed at a higher value than product or production. Therefore we will work tirelessly to insure that people are our first priority. We require all staff, directors, teachers, volunteers and students to show respect to each other and do all we can to build up and encourage each other realizing that each person is a special creation of God, each having unique skills, talents and gifts.
Developing character values in individuals including commitment, discipline, self-esteem, confidence and integrity.
Developing character traits in individuals can all be learned in the environment of the theater. Some of the most important character traits that we hope to instill in participants are the following:
Commitment: The character quality that says, “My word means something. If I said I will do something, you can count on me.” In making a commitment to a theatrical production, you learn to follow through, not give up, finish a job, and do it well. It is important for students to learn the importance of both promptness and regular attendance. If they say they will be there (via their audition form), they need to follow through with their commitment. Consistent class attendance is also to be expected.
Discipline: The important character trait of discipline is taught through a multitude of skills that are used in theater arts training. Such discipline of memorizing lines, learning dance steps, consistent blocking on stage, and faithfulness to a production are all great means of building discipline.
Self-esteem (belief in oneself–self-respect) and confidence (belief in one’s own abilities): Artistic teams have the opportunity to help students discover how God has uniquely gifted them, and thus build their confidence and self-esteem in the process. It is not about “how wonderful I am”, it is about “how wonderful God is.” In the teaching process, it is important to encourage and lift students up even during instruction.
Integrity (the quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty, and sincerity): CYT desires students to be the cream of the crop at school, church, and in the community. Integrity is when no one has anything to hold against you. This is perhaps the most difficult trait to attain. It involves being beyond reproof, as the Bible describes it. The best way to develop integrity in students is to be a leader with integrity. The old saying: “Monkey see, monkey do” is appropriate, especially with children. Students will model what they see. Be an Artistic Team of integrity and your students will follow you!