Diana Hawley shares a timely article that will inspire you to plan ahead for those winter programs. This process has built-in opportunities for collaboration while engaging students in artistic development and making use of the enhancements that technology can offer. Enjoy!
Last winter a team of educators from the Iowa City Community School District – music teachers Beth Ackerson, Jennie Pine and myself along with innovation coach, Mike Haverkamp – developed a collaborative composition project for our fourth grade students that exemplifies the impact of using elemental music as a tool for developing musical understanding in children.
In early conversations, our vision was broad. Like in all creative work in the music classroom, we knew student voice and choice would be key, so we explored how we could give options to students while still providing a clear structure. We also wanted to explore ways of preserving and sharing student work, and innovation coach Mike suggested the possibility recording performances in front of a green screen. With la pentatonic as a pitch focus, we decided that various images of ice and snow could inspire movement and musical ideas (high, middle and low levels or registers, symmetry/asymmetry, contour) in student work. While several pieces in the volumes could have served as an artful model for such a task, we challenged ourselves to compose an original piece for barred instruments. We gathered in Beth’s music room after school one day, and following some experimentation, landed on this arrangement:
aaba, abab, abac, aa’bc
Circle your Image: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Write 5-10 descriptive words:
Circle your Form:
Circle your Media: _ movement _ barred instruments
Notes: Record your plan here as letters, words, pictures or notate on the staff.
Diana Hawley teaches Kindergarten through sixth grade music and supports teachers as an Instructional Strategist in Innovation in the Iowa City Community School District. She holds a BA in Music and Sociology/Anthropology from St. Olaf College and an MA in Education from the University of St. Thomas. Before moving to Iowa, she taught in St. Paul, MN and at International School Bangkok in Thailand. In 2014, Diana received a Barbara Potter Scholarship from the American Orff-Schulwerk Association to attend the International Summer Course at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria. Working closely with Jane Frazee and several contributors, Diana co-edited and authored Artful-Playful-Mindful in Action: Orff-Schulwerk Classroom Projects for a New Generation of Learners. In 2017, Diana taught Orff Schulwerk curriculum courses in St. Louis, Philadelphia and St. Paul.
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