Arts Gallery Walk

Our K-Gr. 8 school held our first Arts Gallery Night – Visual Arts was displayed and a huge crowd came to see it. And the music…! Gr. 6-8 students composed their own music and performed it in small bands all over the gallery. Then each class, plus our two music clubs, performed on stage. Our theme for the evening was “change” and to quote one our Kindergardeners-“when you try new things you change. (Personal song favourites: Towers School Singers performed “Won’t Give Up” by Patti Gonia and my awesome band, pic above, rocked “Man in the Mirror”!)

TSO concert for our Grade 4/5s

100 JLPS Gr. 4/5s marvelled at the size of Roy Thomson Hall and how the TSO played so well “in sync” together. The concert was Bhangra & Beyond-the music and dancing was very familiar to some students. Every opportunity to feel seen and heard…can mean everything.

surROUND sound Gr.2-5 concert

Four months ago none of my Gr. 2-5 classes could sing in a round. This concert proved their amazing growth – now they can all “hold their own part” in 2 and 4 part rounds! 10 classes arranged 10 different rounds. They played mallet and percussion instruments, keyboards, guitars, drums, and ukulele. We had two stages and when we sang, we were surrounded by our audience. Our finale was Ms Carvery’s step routine and we literally rocked the house.

JLPS Cheer!

My grade 4/5s and I wrote a school cheer to be yelled at all future competitions. To the rhythm of “Smoke on the Water”… “Jean Lumb Towers. Show us your powers. Make us proud. Be strong!” There’s also a 3-part drum/body percussion part that was revealed at our January assembly. Go teams!

Listening Ears

Inspired by Georgia Dickie’s sculpture called “Listening Ears” that’s outside on our JLPS schoolyard, my students and I re-wrote the words of Bruno Mars’s “Talking to the Moon” to instead be “Opening our listening ears. Hearing sounds and all voices.” 60 Grade 2-5s in Towers School Singers and 30 Grade 6-8s in Towers School Band (what a huge team of musicians!) learned to sing and play this tune and layer it in 7-part harmony! We performed in a circle around the sculpture and surrounded by the rest of the JLPS students.

Schoolyard Games

I’ve been dreaming about this show for years! Zak Smith, our primary P.E. teacher, and I started by asking our Grade 2 and 3 students if they knew any clapping and skipping games from our schoolyard. “Lemonade,” “TicTacToe,” and “Stella Ella” were our favourites. Next Zak and I wrote our students’ families and invited them to share schoolyard games from their childhoods. The student whose families shared a schoolyard game became the expert and taught us the games and all the words to the songs (we learned games in Spanish, Urdu, Marathi, Mandarin, and Brazilian). We shared these games on an outdoor stage on our schoolyard and then invited all of the JLPS students, staff, and community members in the audience to play them with us!

OMEA Conference Presentation

Edmee Nataprawira and I presented together and the positive response we got was overwhelming. We opened our circle to 50 delegates! Our talk was entitled, “It’s not your story to tell. But listen quietly and share loudly.” Our focus was on approaches to sharing music from cultures that are not our own. We shared our thoughts and listened to others.

JLPS pans

It’s finally happening! My incredible principal, Judith Kramer, and I thrilled to be offering a steel pan program for our interested Gr. 6-8 students. Thanks to our partnership with Joy Lapps, we’re working with Humber College and the Canoe Landing Community Centre to make this happen for our kids and their community.

Instrument units lead to student instrument choice!

In September all of my students learn to (or review how to) carefully take out, listen to, produce sound on, and put away our instruments. We are now starting to talk about our upcoming “gigs” and students will be able to choose their own performance instrument. In my experience this leads to more involved practising, responsible rehearsals, and proud accomplishments.