For many, Arts Infusion is a new approach to teaching, and as with anything new, time is needed to create true, lasting change. In the Mississippi Whole Schools Initiative program, schools typically participate as "Arts in the Classroom" schools for a number of years before applying for "Whole School" status. During that time, teachers learn and practice arts infusion in the classroom. This time for trial and error is crucial to the teacher in learning to deliver content infused with the arts. Just as the musician practices for a concert, or a dancer rehearses dance steps for a recital, the teacher must also practice teaching math or reading/language arts through the lens of the arts.
The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra's "Keeping Score" program offers teachers resources for integrating the arts into the general school curriculum. One very useful tool offered on their website is a chart outlining how teachers move through the steps and levels of arts integration. Remember, activities such as rapping multiplication tables do not constitute true arts infusion. A deep, thorough exploration of a concept or idea in an arts and non arts setting, along with standards and assessments for both areas, are required for a co-equal student experience. The Keeping Score "Pathways to Integration" chart may be accessed by clicking here. While you're at the site, explore the lessons and interactive content as well. You may find inspiration in this valuable resource!