As part of our inquiry project our CIG designed a pre-test asking a variety of questions pertaining to students motivation and participation in the arts.

One of the areas that many of my students overwhelmingly responded to was the question about interest in attending outside music/art events. Many specifically mentioned wanting to attend other school or even professional musical productions. It just so happened that one of my friends from home was recently cast in a touring production of Shrek… as Shrek. The tour was coming to WVU and I wrote a request to fund transportation to the event as long as the student would pay or fundraise for the ticket fee. I contacted my friend and arranged an after show meet and greet. I had over thirty students who initially expressed interest in attending. I ordered the tickets for the production and kept having students drop out of the trip because they ‘just decided they didn’t want to.’ I ended up having to reduce the number of tickets to the minimum group rate of $20 and still only had 15 attend. I then had to pay to make up the difference. The group that went had an amazing time and still now months later talk about it (and meeting Luki) on a daily basis.

The frustration comes that the kids beg to get to go and do things, to go on trips, etc. etc. and when the work is done they back out. The band trip is another example. Twice in the last three years the students have expressed an interest in going on a band trip. Some go so far to put in their down payment. Then they back out and the trip is ultimately cancelled because of lack of interest. Then we as a department get questioned as to why we aren’t doing enough activities to promote our discipline.