Learn new skills with Performance Playground by University Musical Society in Ann Arbor

UMS teaching artist Susan Filipiak teaches tap dance and body percussion for the first Playground Performance unit. (University Musical Society)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Performance Playground offers a free, online resource for children interested in learning new artistic skills at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Created by the University Musical Society of the University of Michigan, the new learning platform has skill-building units for children and teenagers aged five to 13.

Each unit is lead by professional teaching artists and focuses on different types of performing arts. Five units, made up of three to five sequential videos, will be released over the course of the oncoming weeks.

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The interactive lessons include instruction, skill-building exercises and the historical context of the performance skill.

Skills will be in the field of music, theater, dance, and visual arts and will make connections to everyday life.

At UMS, we believe that an education steeped in the arts is one of the most powerful ways to enhance a child’s learning, fostering creativity, critical thinking, empathy, and so much more,” UMS vice president of Education & Community Engagement Cayenne Harris said in an emailed announcement from the organization. “Our hope is that UMS Performance Playground will help ensure that students are not missing out on this type of enhanced learning as they shift to virtual schoolrooms while families are at home during the COVID-19 crisis.”

Currently, there is a five-lesson “Tap Dance and Body Percussion” unit taught by UMS teaching artist, Susan Filipiak. The lesson is recommended for children five-to-10-years-old.

Find units on the Playground Performance website.


About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.