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Artist-In-Residence Mission Statement

To serve as a Source of creative ideas that enhance the performing arts and educational experience for students, faculty and community at The Summit School.

To serve as a Resource for students, faculty and community at The Summit School in all facets of the performing arts.

Objectives of Artist-In-Residence

I. Generate enthusiasm throughout the Summit community for the performing arts.

II. Assess the needs of students as a group and as individuals to determine strengths, areas of interest and areas of need in order to develop a performing arts vision for The Summit School.

III. Understand the specific goals of individual teachers and collaborate with them on curriculum-based initiatives that transcend traditional educational models.

IV. Enable students to plan, implement and execute performing arts programs that involve individuals, classes and where appropriate, the entire school.

V. Elevate the profile of The Summit School by giving public concerts and events in the new facility.

Rob Levit
Artist-In-Residence, The Summit School

Essential Questions For Faculty Regarding The Performing Arts At Summit

1. What would you like to see happen at Summit in the coming year in the performing arts?

2. What programs, concepts and initiatives have worked well in the past and why?

3. What programs, concepts and initiatives have not worked well in the past and why?

4. Are you interested in curriculum-based collaboration?

5. Does participation in school-wide performances interest you?

6. Do you prefer smaller programs that don't require as much time away from the classroom but still provide quality opportunities for the students to perform?

7. How can the Artist-In-Residence best serve the needs of the faculty and students?

8. What is important to you, both as an individual and educator, about the performing arts?

9. What role should the performing arts play in children with unique learning needs?

I define the performing arts as studying the history and techniques of music, movement and drama and then attempting to integrate them into a performance, whether it be a very basic one or a larger scale endeavor, in order to create first hand experience for the participant.

Rob Levit
Artist-In-Residence, The Summit School

Artist-In-Residence Personal Statement

I grew up in a household surrounded by music and the arts, though my parents weren't musical. Some of my memories include being forced to take violin and piano lessons (I resented them then but how happy I am now!), seeing the incredible mime troupe Mummenschanz and hearing the legendary Isaac Stern or Dizzy Gillespie from box seats at the Richmond Mosque. These fond memories now create a rich tapestry of images and ideas to draw from as I, in a sense, return to my childhood roots by providing the same sense of awe and excitement I felt then to students who will look to me for inspiration, support and guidance at The Summit School.

As I developed into an artist, I transformed through several critical stages:

As a guitarist, I learned the basics of making music on an instrument -- fingering notes and chords, enjoying sound for sound's sake and developing the discipline to stick with something even though the rewards weren't immediate.

As a natural teacher, I gravitated toward sharing my gifts with my college friends and pretty soon discovered that through teaching, I could introduce alot of people to the joy of music making and also generate income for myself while providing a valuable service. The ability to effectively pass knowledge to others in a clear yet artistic manner is something I strive for whether the student be a child, adult or teen. My ultimate goal as a teacher is for the student to become self-sufficient and to teach him/herself.

As a jazz musician, improvisation is the essence of my approach to music. The ability to play an instrument is wonderful. The ability to improvise freely and spontaneously on an instrument is beyond words. Improvisation, when broadened beyond music, is an invaluable life-skill.

As a composer, I discovered, almost by accident, how amazing it was to hear my own compositions played by others. It was my first realization that being creative had the potential to put me outside of myself and create something lasting other than another guitar solo. Realizing that one's work has a life of its own helps remove the ego from the act of creation. Listeners respond emotionally to my music. That's a thrill!

As a leader/performer, I have logged thousands of hours performing in public. Whether it be clubs, concerts and major festivals I am comfortable and happy being on stage. I have learned through many mistakes and missteps, the value of compromise and communication with audience, group members and business owners in creating a winning performance for all.

As an artist, I awakened to the fact that all Art is created through fundamental principles -- constructing order out of chaos (or vice versa), developing personal expression while selflessly contributing to the whole and paying deep abiding attention to one's inner and outer environment. This awakening has allowed me to re-ignite my interest in poetry, expository writing and visual art and thus cross boundaries and barriers as to what my perceived personal limitations are. I discovered that all of us are only limited by our ability to imagine and then harness that imagination into Art.

Rob Levit
Artist-In-Residence, The Summit School