The University of St. Thomas


Kljaich, Lisa

Kljaich, Lisa

Creative Drama in the Music Classroom
Lisa J. Kljaich

Drama and music have long been intertwined in the adult world through media as varied as opera and MTV. The purpose of this project was to incorporate creative drama into the music classroom, one giving rise to the other to develop new ideas, thus enhancing both disciplines.

Creative drama is a process-oriented, child-centered approach to teaching participants of all ages fundamental dramatic behaviors and skills with which to create drama. In creative drama, improvisation is the primary vehicle through which participants learn to become more expressive with their bodies and voices, as well as heighten their sensory awareness, sharpen their imaginations, learn collaborative skills, and develop personal dramatic preferences. Creative drama leaders, like music educators, plan specific activities with which their students can be led to develop their dramatic skills systematically. In order for music educators to utilize the full potential of creative drama in their classrooms, they too need to have an understanding of the objectives of creative drama for successful inclusion.

This project took an in-depth look at creative drama. It includes definitions and terms, and examines the research which cites creative drama’s unique ability to enhance creativity, social skills, positive self-concept, and language skills. An overview of creative drama’s history is presented, covering some of the most influential leaders in the field. Additionally, the content of a creative drama class is examined in order to provide an understanding of what types of activities drama leaders use in order to encourage the development of dramatic skills.

Ten classroom-tested lesson plans were at the core of this project. Each lesson plan provides activities which sequentially build objectives in both creative drama and music, resulting in a culminating activity which provides a synthesis of both art disciplines.

Capstone Supervisor
Dr. Gorden O. Hedahl