Institute ResidenciesWolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts™ Provides Local, Regional, and National Classroom Residencies


A Wolf Trap residency is a partnership during which an artist comes to the preschool classroom and demonstrates for the teacher how the performing arts can be used to teach curriculum topics. The performing arts become an integral part of educating young children through Wolf Trap’s proven teaching methods. The teacher ultimately learns how to develop performing arts-based activities on his or her own while the artist strengthens his or her knowledge of early childhood educational theory. Each teacher who participates in the residency program receives curriculum materials consisting of the handbook Stages for Learning: Performing Arts Activities for Preschool Children.

Residencies in Wolf Trap Institute Regional Program locations and in DC, Maryland, and Virginia consist of 16 sessions. 1-week residencies can be arranged anywhere in the world through the National Institute program.

Learning Objectives

Skills that can be emphasized during a residency may include the following:

  • Emergent literacy
  • Self-awareness and self-confidence
  • Group awareness and socialization skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to concentrate and remember
  • Gross and fine motor control
  • Awareness of individual creativity
  • Motivation and enthusiasm for learning
  • Conceptual and verbal skills
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) concepts

Institute Artists

The Wolf Trap Institute employs professional artists with experience in working with children. Their specialties include creative dramatics, storytelling, puppetry, instrumental and vocal music, dance, and movement. New artists participate in a comprehensive Wolf Trap training program, and all artists participate in continuing in-service training. Master Teaching Artists regularly conduct teacher and parent training workshops and classroom residencies for early childhood educators nationwide.

Residency Planning

Before the residency begins, participating teachers attend an orientation followed by a teacher/artist meeting to discuss the curriculum, learning objectives, special needs of individual children, and how the artist's performing arts can complement the teacher's goals. At that time, mutually acceptable dates for the artist's visits are chosen.

Residency Guidelines

  • Participating students must be between 3 and 5 years old. Class size is limited to 20 students.
  • 7-week residencies are available only in areas with Regional Wolf Trap Programs.
  • 1-week residencies can be scheduled in any community not served by a Regional Wolf Trap Program.
  • Teachers and aides must be present during the artist's sessions. This program is a partnership between teacher and artist, and teacher involvement and participation is imperative to the success of the experience.
  • Teachers should be ready to commit time outside the Wolf Trap residency to artist/teacher meetings, lesson planning, and follow-up activities.
  • As part of the 7-week residency, teachers co-create a lesson plan at the 10th and 12th sessions and later present those activities as part of the learning experience.
  • Teachers will be asked to fill out evaluations following completion of the residency.
  • Residencies may be monitored by a representative of the Institute.

1-Week Residencies

For communities not served by a Wolf Trap regional program, a 1-week residency can be arranged. A Wolf Trap Institute Artist works for 5 consecutive days (in 30-45 minute sessions) with up to 3 or 4 preschool or Kindergarten classes of not more than 20 children in each class, and conducts 1 or 2 professional development and/or family workshops for up to 60 participants per workshop.

Classroom lessons reflect strategies presented in the artist's professional development workshop and support the individual school's curricular goals. Each classroom served receives curriculum material consisting of the handbook Stages for Learning: Performing Arts Activities for Preschool Children on tape. The sponsoring organization is responsible for securing the classrooms and teachers to be served.

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Contact Information

Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts
1645 Trap Road
Vienna, Virginia 22182
703.255.1933
1.800.404.8461
education@wolftrap.org

Renowned musician Keter Betts introduces a young friend to the bass.

Bring Wolf Trap to Your Community

Wolf Trap Institute’s National program brings classroom residencies, Professional Development Workshops, and more to any classroom worldwide.