Press Play to hear Victoria Burnett speak on Stories that Sing on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf.
It has always been my belief that the arts represent a key component in the effective presentation of the storytelling experience. From my earliest experience as a classroom teacher in the Washington D.C. area and later as a librarian in California, I recognized the power of integrating the arts in storytelling to teach through various curriculum.
If we as storytellers and educators recognize and respect the fact that as we perform or teach that many people in our audience or classroom students possess various types of learning intelligences such as oral, tactile, kinesthetic learners, etc., we are compelled to connect with them in our storytelling through various types of art expressions such as singing, drawing, dance or movement, etc..
As an African-American storyteller, it was only after my second visit to the continent of Africa that I realized through observation and instruction that traditionally, most African storytellers innately integrate all forms of art into the process of conveying their story. Within African telling, there is no separation from the arts. How surprising it was for me to realize that this belief had been somehow infused into the very fiber of my DNA. In other words, you will seldom find an African storyteller standing and just telling a tale.
It is exciting to read recent scholarly journals that scientifically support the effectiveness and importance of integrating the arts within all forms of learning and teaching. I’m proud to be a part of a storytelling community that allows me to be uniquely me and encourages me to continue to make a difference and significantly affect our world in a way that brings about positive change. It’s a change that promotes an acceptance of the complexities and the simplistic beauty of all people, cultures and diversities.
More About Victoria
Through her upbringing, Victoria realized that music and story were equally powerful tools of communication. She blends her skills as a teacher, librarian, singer, and performer to become what she calls a “StoryMusicologist.” While honing these gifts, Victoria earned a bachelor of arts in voice and a bachelor of science in education from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Victoria uses her incredible vocal artistry to transcend human differences. “The language of song is a universal one,” she says. “Singing offers love, compassion, inspiration, and joy.” Victoria’s performances feature marvelous range as she presents contemporary, classical, cultural, and religious music. And her commitment to the preservation of Spirituals, the a cappella music of African Americans, is evident from her first impassioned notes. “Victoria’s crystalline voice takes your breath away,” remarked Maury Sidlin, Ph.D., Guest Conductor of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. “It takes us to a place in history that touches our souls.”
Victoria’s mission is to “encourage, inspire, and instill hope, as well as nurture within my audiences a hunger to tell their own stories and sing their own songs so they can make a difference in the world.”
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