Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Curriculum Classes

Free Performing Arts Classes Grades 5 - 12

Our approach to arts education seamlessly blends diverse curriculum and hands-on activity with valuable instruction from our talented teaching artists to engage students of all ages! School groups may join us for FREE interactive classroom instruction in music, dance, or musical theater in our education facilities on the Kimmel Center campus.

Classes are offered Tuesday through Friday (10am and 12 noon) and are intended for school groups (not individual instruction). Additionally, all classes are humanities-based and support cross-curriculum learning through the National Standards. All classes are grade-appropriate.

The final day for classes in the 2013/14 school year will be held on Thursday, May 22, 2014.

> Meet the Faculty!


Jazz Scat Singing
From Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald to Mel Tormé and Take Six, the art of scat singing has thrilled audiences and jazz lovers for generations. Try your hand at creating cool jazz scat riffs with teaching artist Andrew Lawson, who will guide you on an amazing, interactive musical journey of scat singing replete with audible and visual examples.

Harlem Renaissance
Take a ride on the “A” train to Sugar Hill and discover the many colors, sights, and sounds of the Harlem Renaissance. Explore the social culture, music, dance, visual art, literary works, and the people who created them during this time of rich cultural rebirth in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood. Travel to a place and time where African-American artistic expression flourished, leaving its indelible impact on American culture and the world. Sing, scat, and dance the Lindy Hop and experience one of America’s most phenomenal and celebrated artistic treasures.

Sharon Katz and the Peace Train
South African musician and music therapist Sharon Katz shares her homeland’s rich musical heritage with students and teachers, tracing the roots, rhythms, and melodies of popular South African music from Marabi and Kwela (South African jazz), Mbaqanga, (township jive and rhythm and blues), to the tenacious and powerful Freedom Songs that inspired the protests which eventually brought down the Apartheid regime. Students will sing, listen, and dance to the music of Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Abigail Kubeka, and Sharon Katz—artists whose music inspired and shaped a nation.

NOTE: This class is available to grades 5-12 and also choral and instrumental groups in grades 9-12, and will be offered between January 2015 through mid-May 2015 only.


Jazz Chasse
If you want to bop, drop, sizzle, and pop then this is the class for you. Join our teaching artist Jaquetta Colson in this exciting dance class and learn some of the basic elements of jazz choreography performed in major musical theater productions. Students will learn about some of the early pioneers of jazz dance including Bob Fosse, Katherine Dunham, and Jerome Robbins before trying their talents on the floor moving to world-renowned musical excerpts from West Side Story, A Chorus Line, Guys and Dolls, In the Heights, and more!

No previous dance experience is necessary; classes can accommodate beginner to advanced levels.

Musical Theater:

American Musical Theater
Musical Theater has many treasures of song, dance, and storytelling. Discover the magic of Broadway and some of its iconic and best loved musicals. Students collaborate in groups to develop a musical theater scene—creating the story, characters, setting, and songs. Students will develop their knowledge of this exciting American genre by developing a fun and stimulating creation of their own.

Stage Presence
Actress and comedienne Jennifer Blaine teaches the many facets of self- presentation through acting fundamentals and improvisation. Students and teachers will create characters and work with topics and relevant situations that will help motivate creativity and encourage self-expression while learning cutting-edge theater techniques. Experience this new and exciting and innovative addition to the Kimmel Center's educational offerings.

The Lion King Project Series: Learning with Pride
Based Disney's The Lion King, this series of classes features the creative aspects of the musical including dance, singing, and visual elements used in the Broadway production. Teachers can select lessons from the following:

  1. African Dance and Storytelling (Grades 5-8)
    Learn the African tradition of storytelling and dance and how it is used in the Lion King production. Students will learn about the role of the narrator, Rafiki, and its importance in telling the story while dancing to the beat of African rhythms played on the djembe drums.

  2. Setting the Stage: Costume, Props, and Set Design (Grades 5-12)
    Join us as we reinvent the stage for Disney's The Lion King production through the art-making of vibrant masks, colorful props, and visionary backdrops. Students will learn how to use the visual arts of Africa (patterns, shapes, colors, etc.) to create and set the scenery and mood of Disney's The Lion King.

> Register online now!

For further information or assistance, please send us a message online or call 215-790-5896.

Kimmel Center Education programs are generously supported by the Merck Foundation and The Sidney Kimmel Foundation.

This program is generously supported by ACE Group, Universal Health Services, and Elliott-Lewis Corporation.