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Student Travel to New York City Includes a Look at a Diverse Immigrant History at Tenement Museum

The Tenement Museum is a great place to visit to understand 19th Century immigrant lifesytles.
The Tenement Museum is a great place to visit to understand 19th Century immigrant lifesytles.

by Howard Clemens

Located near Chinatown in Lower Manhattan at 103 Orchard Street, the Tenement Museum is one of the most important museums chronicling the extensive history of American immigration in the past two centuries. There are restored apartments with detailed histories of the people who left their homes and families to live and work in this new and hopeful and often unpleasant new country. There are also many walking tours and themed exhibitions, making this the most in-depth museum of its kind.

A Time Capsule in Lower Manhattan?
While many Americans reluctantly recognize a new wave of anti-immigrant fervor, it is the perfect time to educate students about the historical trials of the millions who made their way to the United States for a better life. One of the best places for a closer examination of this history is New York’s Tenement Museum, founded by historian and social activist Ruth Abram. It was almost an accident that Abram and her cofounder Anita Jacobsen found their perfect location for the museum when inspecting the storefront property on Orchard Street. Cracking a door to a backroom was all it took for them to discover that the entire building was former tenement housing sealed from the public for more than half a century, the perfect time capsule.

Since then the site has become a national trust for historic preservation. Extensive and meticulous research has revealed details about the many mid-19th Century immigrant lives at the Orchard Street address. Over the past twenty years museum staff have restored half a dozen apartments, most recently the home of Irish immigrants, The Moores, who lived in the building in 1869. Students and teachers alike will learn while enjoying the restored tenement building for a complete time travel experience.

Museum Workshops Train Teachers in Diversity Learning
Educators can attend workshops at the museum that are specifically designed for them on building classroom curriculum about the historic aspects of early immigrants. The workshops include details on basic survival skills of the early immigrants. This included learning to buy and sell goods in the neighborhood. Outdoor markets, corner stores, bakeries, meats and dry goods stores shaped the overarching definition of what it means to live in an American city in an immigrant neighborhood.

Teachers will participate in discussions on individual immigrant histories and how families preserved their traditions to enrich the ever-changing cultural history of the United States. Sadly, part of this story involves a hard look at discrimination. The details of discriminatory hiring, housing and social practices against early immigrants can pave the way for a more complete and empathetic understanding of the difficulties in their lives. Large groups of people from various countries and backgrounds came to the United States for different reasons. One of the major reasons was to improve their situations by making better livelihoods – for themselves and their children. The U.S. offered this by being the ‘land of opportunity.’

Educators Learn About Immigrant Life in 19th Century NYC
A key component to the workshops looks at industry and how immigrants were used as cheap labor for factories. The kinds of work and the on-the-job dangers experienced are an important part of this discussion. Ultimately, immigrant communities would create unionization of workers to combat abusive practices of factory owners. The struggles of the new Americans helped shape the idea of fighting for control over the well-being and rights of every working person. These early immigrant workers made marks upon our nation that continue to be a point of contention for industry, workers and leading politicians.

Tenement Building and Walking Tours for Student Tour Groups
Many different experts have come together to uncover the history of the Orchard Street apartments. Wallpaper conservators, paint specialists and urban archeologists have combed the building to piece together stories that have implications in understanding family life and legislation of landlords.

The building tours have various themes. The “Shop Life” tour examines the many family owned businesses that grew out of different immigrant communities from butchers to undergarment discount stores. The “Sweatshop Workers” tour takes a look at the garment industry and the “Irish Outsiders” tour focuses on the Moores, a family faced with prejudice as they prepare for the historic St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Walking tours also have various themes, like “Tasting the Tenement,” a tour of the food in the surrounding neighborhood, from bagel shops to falafel cafes which remain an important part of the history of immigrants. There is also the “Tenements Talks” which are an ongoing series of discussions by writers and artists about their lives connecting to earlier immigrants. Upcoming talks by Laurie Anderson and others can be found on the museum website in the events listings.
Extending the Student Learning Experience
The museum offers activities on learning with objects and primary sources as well as lessons in oral history. There are also English as a Second Language (ESL) programs available. The Tenement Museum is situated in the heart of Lower Manhattan. It is a very quick walk to Chinatown, and New York City offers one of the busiest and most delicious Chinatown experiences in the nation. The Tenement Museum is a complete experience for students and teachers alike, and the surrounding neighborhood helps enrich the time spent there.

For more information on scheduling a student trip to New York City with the Tenement Museum on the itinerary, Request a Quote.

A Popular Broadway Musical Choice for Student Travel Groups is Hamilton and Other Shows

The 2016-2017 Broadway season is promising and filled with some popular choices in musicals for student travel groups. The Lion King and Wicked continue to make long-term runs on Broadway. These Broadway Shows are an excellent choice for student travel groups – because they accommodate groups in larger numbers. Each musical is presented in high Broadway style with video and audio sound effects and exceptional costuming, music and dance. A student trip to NYC is not complete without a trip to Broadway to take in a show.

For some students, perhaps the musical Frozen, due out in 2018, will be their first choice for a Broadway show in the near future. For now, audiences will have to wait for the production to come together.

The newest, hottest ticket on Broadway is Hamilton. This Broadway show won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Broadway Theater Album. As Hamilton’s popularity surges, so will ticket sales in the future. Be sure to arrange tickets far in advance with the help of a student travel company.

Alexander Hamilton was an immigrant and now he is an important part of Early American Revolutionary War studies. For history and social studies teachers, Hamilton promises to be a great boon to classroom studies and fun to attend as well. Taken from the 2004 biography by the same name as the musical, the book by Ron Chernow is a close look at Alexander Hamilton’s life. The musical traces this immigrant’s rise to fame as the youngest signer of The Declaration of Independence. Hamilton’s writings and ambition are what brought him to the inner circle of founding fathers. At the age of 22 Hamilton was the Aide de Camp of General George Washington, and by 34, he was the country’s first Secretary of the Treasury.

The composer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, has taken an unusual approach to this Off-Broadway musical, now the hottest ticket on Broadway.

Lin-Manuel Miranda also plays Hamilton and has based his life on the biography of Hamilton, but has given him the songs and dreams of a hip-hop star. Because Hamilton came from the Caribbean and was abandoned by his father, he had much insecurity about his birthright and his lower station in life. Hamilton is portrayed as a man who tended to overcompensate in dress and speech yet was eloquent enough to be successful.

One thing is for certain, the comparison to hip hop culture and speech will not be lost on high school students visiting Broadway for the first time. Hamilton’s costume is designed for the era in which he lived, with a flamboyant nod to Early American attire and styles. The musical is composed of songs that are a bold mixture of hip-hop, R & B and even 1970s pop. It’s a great example of a montage of American styles mixed into musical composition. Hamilton is truly a Broadway show student travel groups can get excited about.

Hamilton’s untimely death in a duel with his lifelong nemesis, Aaron Burr, came about in 1804. Perhaps this is another comparison to hip-hop culture – dying young yet courageously of a fatal gunshot wound from an enemy.

There are other great musicals for student travel groups to select from on Broadway, such as Beautiful, the Carole King Musical about the 1970s singer/songwriter star. Or groups may want to check out Holiday Inn, an Irving Berlin musical production that closes in the fall of 2016.

Student travel groups are sure to be amazed and dazzled by any of these professional theater productions.

Whatever the choice for Broadway musical, teachers and trip leaders will need assistance from a qualified student travel company in reserving and purchasing the correct number of seats for the desired production. To learn more about scheduling a student trip to New York City and Broadway, Request a Quote or email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com.

An Art Focused Student Trip to New York City

By Howard Clemens

Desmond Cormier is an art teacher at the Buford Middle School in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has taught at the school for 16 years. Cormier lives at a nearby farmstead with his wife, Virginia, a sheep farmer. He became an educator after many years in an entirely different profession. “My first career was a commercial deep sea diver and I was also involved in the offshore drilling industry for 17 years,” says Cormier. Thanks to the demands of his first profession, he has traveled all over the world.

Now Cormier believes his art students should gain exposure to the world through travel at an early age. Each year, Cormier organizes a student trip to New York City and invites students to take a deeper look at ‘the city that never sleeps.’

“When I was young, I toured all over the world,” says Cormier, “I think it’s a valuable experience to bring these students to New York City and let them see the world through their own eyes,” he added. Basically, Cormier attempts to schedule a class trip to New York City for those interested in taking a long weekend. Student trips to New York City took place in 2013 & 2014. In 2015, Cormier says he couldn’t get the number of students needed to travel, yet he’s planning to travel again with his students over the long term.

While on tour of New York City, students visit world famous art museums, such as the Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Cormier says this is an excellent opportunity to take in some masterpieces. “Students see these famous works of art in real life. These artistic treasures are totally different in a museum, in their original form,” he observed.

Touring such large museums may be a daunting endeavor for a teacher and his class. Cormier says “The Metropolitan Museum of Art was overwhelming and MOMA is such large museum it is hard to take it all in.” However, the Guggenheim Museum’s set-up is perfect, because, students have to go from the top down to the bottom. “The way the museum is designed, they have to see the entire collection and exhibitions,” commented Cormier.

In addition to touring art museums as a complement to their studies, students also immerse themselves in the New York City experience. Here there are exposed to the diversity of the U.S. population, by visiting immigrant neighborhoods, and experiencing a lively artistic culture as well as global cuisine choices. “We had dinner in Times Square and the kids loved the excitement of it all. It was Saturday night,” said Cormier. The student group also visited Chinatown, toured the New York Harbor, and saw the Empire State Building, among other sites.

After touring the world, Cormier eventually returned to Charlottesville, Virginia, because it’s home to him. “My wife loves sheep farming. I love Charlottesville, because I am an alumni of University of Virginia and it’s my hometown.” His daughter lives in Charlottesville with his three grandchildren and Cormier also has a son in San Francisco. His views about becoming a well-rounded artist include the incorporation of travel, consideration of great artistic works, and exposure to different cultures, cuisines, architecture and social customs.

Learn more about art tours of New York City.

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum Captures the Glory of Naval and Aircraft History in New York City

A museum which claims to cover air, sea, and space must have something impressive to offer student tour groups, and the Intrepid Museum in New York City delivers. The Intrepid Museum opened in 1982, but just renovated exhibits and re-opened in November 2008. Keeping with the interactive theme of other new museums such as the Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington D.C., and the Newseum, this New York City museum offers the visitor an interactive learning experience. Touring a decommissioned aircraft carrier and a nuclear submarine in a museum where pictures, audio and video clips tell the stories is a great way to learn on student trips focused on Social Studies, U. S. history, and more.

A Brief History of the Intrepid
Commissioned during the height of World War II in 1943, the Intrepid, a floating aircraft carrier, is now a museum. Though the Intrepid is permanently docked in New York City it was once in Vietnam and traveled the waters of the north during the Cold War. At one time, the crew and ship recovered space shuttles for NASA. This varied history intrigues student tour groups and invites them to consider the long-range impact any naval vessel can have upon history.

What to Expect on Tour of the Intrepid
Heroism, education and excitement all color a visit to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. The Museum features a range of interactive exhibits and events providing students a range of activities. Thrilling historical re-creations such as Kamikaze: Day of Darkness, Day of Light, is dramatic and powerfully presented with the latest in video and audio technology. Visitors may ride in the A-6 Cockpit Simulator, visit the Virtual Flight Zone, and tour the inside of the world??s fastest commercial airplane, the Concorde. The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum provides a powerful student tour experience fed by a dynamic, innovative and moving environment for learning and enjoyment.

In addition to the aircraft carrier, the Intrepid Museum also houses the submarine USS Growler. An historic vessel, it is the only intact strategic diesel-powered submarine capable of nuclear missile firepower open to the public anywhere in the world. Since the chance to tour an actual decommissioned nuclear submarine is rare — student travelers will surely remember it.

Students also have a chance to learn about the Intrepid as a machine. The technology of the aircrafts that flew from her deck is explored in the museum. Student tour groups will be able to comprehend the inner workings of the naval vessel that supported over 3,000 American lives while at sea. Students will also come to know the Intrepid as a community of people, committed to protecting the United States. The crew, their lives as sailors, and the remarkable bonds they forged are explored in narratives captured in a variety of media.

The Michael Tyler Fisher Center for Education
“Stop, think, and do” are the objectives of the educational programs at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Problem solving and critical thinking skills are put into play with active learning exercises tied to the exhibits. Students derive a true educational experience from the trip to the Intrepid because the programs are structured with various grade level requirements in mind. Teachers may even obtain lesson plans and teacher training from Intrepid Museum Educators. Participation in the Museum??s teacher programs is a great opportunity to prepare curriculum tie-ins before and after the student trip to New York City.

After a visit to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, students, teachers and chaperones will gain insight into the level of sophistication of the U.S. air and naval defense systems ? even dating to World War II.

Learn about history by listening to the narratives of the members of the armed forces who partook in it and the artifacts they left behind. Put a trip to the Intrepid Museum on a student tour itinerary for New York City.

For more information of a tour of the Intrepid, email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or take a minute to fill out the Request a Quote inquiry.

Plan A Student Trip to New York City and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Manhattan Annex

Rock and Roll History Comes to New York City

In the fall of 2008 New York City became home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Manhattan Annex; the first physical expansion of the 25 year old, internationally known Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Located at 6 Mercer Street in SoHo, the Rock and Roll Annex was publicly announced by musician Billy Joel, record producer Clive Davis, Hall of Fame Executive Director Terry Steward and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in August 2008.

According to a August 13, 2008 press release written by Damian Ghigliotty, “The 25,000-square-foot space will house Bruce Springsteen’s 1957 Chevy, John Lennon’s Record Plant Piano, and exhibits such as a rock and roll theater, a rotating gallery and an interactive map titled “New York Rocks”, featuring historical music sites throughout the city. “The Annex provides the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with an established space for traveling exhibits and helps reach new audiences.”

City officials have welcomed the opening of the Manhattan Annex. In an August 2008 statement Mayor Bloomberg was quoted as saying, New York City is well known as a vibrant place for aspiring artists and musicians, and some of the most internationally-celebrated musical performers of this century have had their start right here on our streets. In celebration of American Music History, a percentage of the proceeds generated at the Annex supports the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s educational programs, as well as the Library and Archives, which are scheduled to open in the next 18 to 24 months.

What to Expect on a Student Trip to the New York City Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Manhattan Annex

A Unique Music History Experience for Youth and Adults

Individual, group and student Rock and Roll History tours start in the Hall of Fame Gallery. Here each artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame over the last 25 years is honored with a wall plaque highlighting personal signatures and greatest hits. Next visitors enjoy the unforgettable experience of an immersive theater featuring never-before-seen footage of some of Rock’s most memorable performances, such as the Beatles in Shea Stadium or Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. Once ready to explore, a set of Sennheiser wireless, stereo headphones are provided so visitors can comfortably hear audio content while touring the other galleries: Roots and Influences, Moments and Movements and New York Rocks. All galleries are created to teach students, and other visitors, about an important part of music history in America.

Discover Rock and Roll’s Past and Present in the Roots and Influences Gallery

The Roots and Influences Gallery uses technology to help student tour groups understand the connection between music legends and the chart toppers of today. High definition screens and a special soundtrack allow students to map out the musical inspirations of some of music’s most popular modern performers.

A History of Change: The Evolution of Rock and Roll
In the Moments To Movements gallery the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex curators acknowledge and celebrate 5 noteworthy turning points in Rock and Roll history. From these periods, music industry revolutions were born that allowed artists like Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson and Madonna to not only achieve momentary success, but also evolve continuously, along with their audiences and an ever-changing music industry. Personal items from a variety of artists are displayed in the gallery.

Take a Student Trip That Celebrates New York City’s Role in Rock History
New York City has and continues to play a huge role in the history of Rock and Roll and of music in general. Historically, New York City has been home to some of Rock and Roll??s most beloved personalities. It has been home to some of Rock and Roll’s greatest triumphs and tragedies. The New York Rocks Gallery is centered around an interactive map that highlights and celebrates significant Rock and Roll sites around the city including the Chelsea Hotel and now closed CBGB Club. Items from the personal collections of famous Rock artists like Billy Joel and John Lennon are also featured in this gallery.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex in SoHo is a must see when planning a student trip to New York City. Students will do more than listen to Rock and Roll the will learn Rock and Roll’s place in music and American history. Follow this with a dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe for a fun day of excursions in New York City.

Carnegie Hall: An Unforgettable destination for Educational Student Travel

Make Music History the Theme of Your Next New York City Student Tour

Opened in 1891, Carnegie Hall has hosted many of the world’s greatest soloists, conductors and ensembles. Premier classical performances, jazz events, historic lectures, educational forums and more have been featured for more than a century. Carnegie Hall actually consists of three separate music halls created specifically for acoustics, audience size and atmosphere. The Isaac Stern Auditorium is the largest hall with seating for 2,804 people. The hall’s design makes the stage the central focal point of five levels of seating and the acoustics are famous across the globe. Isaac Stern, the hall’s current namesake, was once quoted saying, “It has been said that the hall itself is an instrument, it takes what you do and makes it larger than life.” Carnegie Hall is also home to the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Recital Hall, an elegant, intimate space for approximately 268 people, as well as the Judy and Arthur Zankel Hall, which was recently reconstructed and seats 599.

A NYC Field Trip for Music Lovers

Sanford I. Weill, the Chairman of the Board for Carnegie Hall, once said, “For music lovers worldwide, Carnegie Hall is the ultimate musical destination, an international byword for excellence, and an institution whose rich history chronicles the defining moments of so many of the world’s most admired and beloved artists. For the leadership of this institution, this legacy provides an enjoyable yet formidable challenge, as we work each season to devise strategies that build upon the past in imaginative ways and create essential new pathways for growth.” The brilliance, imagination and talent Carnegie Hall nurtured and inspired over the years has changed the face of music and continues to touch audiences of all ages today.

Make Your Student Tour a Success: The 2008-2009 Season at Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall has created an exciting and unforgettable 2008-2009 season featuring over 200 events including:

–Almost 160 orchestral, chamber, and recital performances
–Over 40 pop, jazz, folk, and world music concerts
–Events presented by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute

The season also features 27 world premieres, 6 US premieres, 20 New York premieres and 2 festivals celebrating American music:
–30 events are part of Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds
–Approximately 20 events will be held as part of Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy

NYC Student Tours Celebrate American Musical Heritage
Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds
Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds brings Michael Tilson Thomas, leading the San Francisco Symphony, and soloists Thomas Hampson, Yo-Yo Ma, and Dawn Upshaw together at Carnegie Hall in an all-Bernstein program. The Bernstein festival is presented in partnership with the New York Philharmonic and celebrates the extraordinary achievements of the late Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein was and still is one of the most important international musicians of the 20th century and was known to be ‘a quintessential New Yorker.’ Student travel and high school musical tours to this festival are encouraged, especially for students studying music.

Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy

Opening in the spring of 2009 and curated by world-renowned soprano Jessye Norman, Carnegie Hall calls Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy a salute to, “the enduring vitality, influence, and creativity of African American music.” This festival explores gospel, jazz, classical, rhythm and blues and spiritual music and pays tribute to music pioneers in venues throughout New York City. Educational and community programs are also part of the festival. The Carnegie Hall National High School Choral Festival will be presented and a curriculum for middle school students teaches about the connections between African American music and U.S. History. Carnegie Hall’s Rose Museum hosts an exhibition about the captivating history of African American artists and socio-political figures that have appeared at Carnegie Hall over the last 118 years.

Additional New York City Student Tour Opportunities
In addition to this season’s festivals, students will have the chance to see a variety of other important performances and attend a multitude of workshops on an NYC educational travel tour to Carnegie Hall. Acclaimed conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim holds a series of 15 events. Tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain is showcased in 5 events. Legendary composer Gyorgy Kyrtag visits NYC as part of a two-week celebration of Hungarian music.

If NYC field trips are part of your 2008-2009 school year, see music history first hand on a student tour to Carnegie Hall.

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Performance Tours for Drama Students: Travel to New York City and Toronto

Drama departments and drama clubs in high school and even junior high are filled with students who could benefit from a unique travel experience to a larger, more urban area, such as Toronto, or New York City. In these two North American cities, the Broadway theater district thrives. An international audience visits Toronto and New York City to see the newest, most popular Broadway plays and musicals.

New York City and Toronto: The Best of Broadway

As a student travel tour consultant, I have specialized in bringing theater groups on performance tours that include pre or post Broadway show workshops to enhance the theater going experience. These unique active learning experiences offer the perfect academic complement to an evening of theater in New York City or Toronto.

A High School Musical Tour to Broadway
Combine a trip to Broadway play or musical with a visit to an authentic Broadway Classroom Basic Workshop. In the past, students have seen such famous plays as Wicked, The Lion King, and Phantom of the Opera on Broadway in New York City or in Toronto. Prior to watching shows, Broadway actors and actresses describe and illustrate their professional, highly visible roles on Broadway and offer education and insight about the professional theater industry and their craft.

Active Learning for Educational Group Travel
Students learn a great deal in the Broadway Classroom Basic Workshops. In many instances, it is Broadway actors themselves teaching classes in Toronto and New York City. Students come to understand that work in professional theater has its rewards as well as challenges and demands. Student travel groups involved in drama departments or drama clubs gain an insider’s viewpoint on the theater community, and its inner workings, in these major cities.

Broadway Classrooms Basic Workshops Offered
for Student Travel Groups

Broadway Classroom offers excellent, hands-on theater workshops for the drama student or drama club participant.

Broadway 101
In this drama workshop, students will be given a fresh overview of the artistic, political, and social significances of Broadway Theater. They will come to understand the special training involved in becoming a Broadway actor or actress. Drama students gain valuable lessons in voice, storytelling, and focus/listening exercises in the Broadway 101 workshop.

Theater in Context
The subjects of Broadway plays and musicals are derived from many different cultures and time periods. Learning about the historic and literary periods that the Broadway show was created within assists a drama student to widen his or her perception of the work when he or she sees it performed.

Stage Combat
This safe, student friendly workshop illustrates the way in which fights and other forms of combat are staged in contemporary theater. Professionals show students how collaboration and spectacle combine to make combat seem real on stage.

Theater Sports
This workshop shows drama students and drama club members how to work as a team to communicate effectively and create great scenes. Students will learn about increasing focus and attention, activating their creativity, and attuning themselves to the sensitivities of others.

Attending a Broadway play or musical is an exciting event, for any student. Yet for a drama student or drama club member, Broadway can actually be a professional goal. By attending the Broadway Classroom workshops, the educator is encouraging student travel groups to attain this lofty goal, and grounding it in some reality. For many students, a real glimpse into behind the scenes of Broadway inspires the dream, and helps shape it for the future. Visit Educational Travel Consultants for more information on the performance tour to New York City or Toronto.

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