Akropolis offers distinct presentations customized for the elementary, middle, and high school level, each suitable to students who are at home or at school. As winner of the Fischoff Educator Award and recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant for its annual school year-length residency at three Detroit high schools, Akropolis utilizes its core values of creativity and excellence to enable young people an opportunity to collaborate with Akropolis to create music and deeper their understanding of the power of the arts in our society.

Elementary Level

Graphic Music Composition and Performance

Students collaborate with Akropolis to create 1-minute music compositions. These compositions are “graphically notated,” wherein students draw sound they want to hear using images, colors, textures, etc. They then use items in their homes to perform their compositions and make videos of them. Students can then watch each other’s compositions along with the scores those students created. Akropolis takes several of them and creates our own music on top of the student video, resulting in a composite composition and video that includes the student and the Akropolis member(s). In a final meeting with all students on Zoom or the school’s preferred virtual meeting format, Akropolis showcases some of these compositions along with Akropolis repertoire. Students are invited to introduce their graphic scores. Graphic notation scales to all elementary grade levels (and all grade levels and ages) by Akropolis customizing the instructions for how the participant creates the graphic score.

“The Best Story”

Akropolis has created a video of their “The Best Story” presentation, a 10-minute musical reenactment of “The Best Story,” a children’s book by Eileen Spinelli, featuring narration, musical selections, instrumental sound effects, and even costumes. In preparation for a virtual school concert, students write their own short stories. More advanced students can read their stories themselves and make a recording. Akropolis will then make a short version of their “The Best Story” presentation, but using the students’ stories. Akropolis will also provide a 1-minute sound clip of Akropolis music to students, and students can choose to write their stories based upon that piece of music, using the music’s mood and themes to craft their story. Akropolis then selects stories and creates a presentation using the piece of music as a background or interspersed throughout the story. These new story+music works are presented at a virtual concert for students which also includes instrument introductions and a Q&A.

Middle and High School Band

Concerto/Chamber Music Video Project

Throughout the year, Akropolis works with students to create a split screen, side-by-side video of students and Akropolis performing a concerto for Akropolis and their band entitled Dawn to Dance, by Peter Terry. Students record their parts individually or as an entire band if possible. Akropolis then performs their concerto part altogether and edits all parts into one split screen video. Along the way, Akropolis coaches student recordings and provides feedback. Alternatively, at the middle or high school level, this project can be replicated at a much smaller scale using chamber music works rather than a full band concerto.

Music Composition Unit

Akropolis students in a middle or high school music program in a music composition unit in which they create short works for Akropolis which Akropolis then records and presents as part of a virtual in-class concert. Akropolis works with students throughout the composition process to refine their music. No prior experience in composition is required, and Akropolis has significant experience working with composers of all ages and experience levels. Especially for newer composers, this unit allows for extensive creativity, as composing is a much wider creative platform the less experience one has with it.

Here are examples performances of high school student compositions who worked with Akropolis throughout the school year:

Virtual Master Classes and Coaching

At the middle or high school level, students create videos of their own performances of solos or chamber music. Akropolis appears for a virtual concert and master class, during which they debut these pre-recorded videos and then provide feedback, as well as perform some of their own repertoire. Students could also invite classmates from around the school, parents, friends, etc. in order to showcase their work. Akropolis has extensive experience with side-by-side concerts and concerts which connect music students to the greater student body and community.

For more information or to book Akropolis for any of these virtual offerings, please contact Matthew Kulas at matthew@arielartists.com or 617.213.0378.