Share the Rhythm

Share the Rhythm Residency

Share the Rhythm is an in-depth international music education program that promotes arts-based learning through music in K-12 schools. Each site participates in a strategic planning process to identify their own learning objectives and design an action plan tailored to the unique needs of their students. School sites attend professional music performances at the Ordway comprising a rich collection of different musical genres. Share the Rhythm empowers all teachers and learners to express themselves through innovative and participatory arts-based curriculum.

Residency Structure: Resident artists, school faculty and Ordway Education staff collaborate to identify both academic and social-emotional learning goals for each classroom. Ordway residencies are individually designed to meet a school’s needs and are supported by Ordway teaching artists and staff through…

  • Professional development for staff: half day professional development workshop, residency planning meetings, reflection and feedback meetings, full day cross site symposium.
  • Professional performances at the Ordway: the Share the Rhythm kick-off event and two international music performances individually selected for students and educators to attend. Residency classrooms use these live performance experiences to inform the exploration of the genre, including its techniques, history, and cultural context.
  • In-school residency work: includes 10 sessions with each classroom, guided reflection on performances with Ordway staff, and an optional final sharing event where students perform for the school, parents and local community members.


  • Support and/or introduce international music education in K-12 schools
  • Personalize the experience of attending a musical performance at the Ordway
  • Encourage and facilitate critical thinking about live performance and arts-based instruction
  • Work towards inclusion and equity in arts-based education

Teaching Artists

Sean Burns is a graduate of the University of Whitewater Wisconsin and received his Master’s in Education Psychology from the University of Minnesota. A member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated – Sean has been “stepping” since he was 14 years old. For the last 20 years, he’s been an artistic director and coach teaching youth of all ages the art form of “step”. Sean works to empower youth through education- focusing on health and fitness, history and the skill of stepping with his Step with Soul outreach “Ministering with Hands and Feet” as well as coaching the “Wolfrider Step Team,” of Park High School in Minnesota. He utilizes the art of stepping to teach spiritual and moral character, African-American heritage, self-esteem, confidence, leadership, discipline, unity, and brotherhood. Sean is a frequent collaborator with the Ordway Theater, Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis School District, St. Paul School District, The Center of Performing Arts of Minneapolis, the National Step Association and “Step Afrika” amongst many others nationwide. Sean is a Midwest ambassador for the 2017 National Step Association Residential Camp and is the acting President of the Midwest Step League.

Residency Timeline

Early SeptemberResidency application due to the Ordway
Mid-SeptemberSchool notified of application status
Late-SeptemberStudents and faculty attend Ordway production of “In the Heights”
September - Early OctoberProfessional development workshops with staff and artists (4 hours)
school-specific site visit
September - OctoberAt-school planning with Teaching artists and Ordway staff for in school residency work (2 Hours)
October - AprilResidency Work:
•up to 10 hours per classroom with students
•up to 6 hours for planning and reflection time for site team with Ordway staff and teaching artists
(including mid-point and final site reflection)
•up to 1 hour final student performance/sharing (optional)
MayFull day professional development cross-site workshop and final reflection for all participating schools (All Day)

Interested? If you are interested in becoming an Ordway “Share the Rhythm” school please call our Education Hotline at 651-282-3115 for more information.