Sometimes I love creating a little controlled chaos. There were left over programs from our “Secret Lives of Toads” play so I had the actors bring pens outside to recess and passed out programs to the younger students – “I got 7 autographs, Ms Fraser!!”
So much work, so much fun. “Work hard, play hard” – That’s how the IRC kids and I role.
Lines are solid, blocking done, characters developed, scene changes speedy, sets designed/constructed/painted, posters up, costumes sized/made/purchased, props collected and distributed, sound cues downloaded, lighting equipment assembled/tested, and today they learned make up. Thanks to hours of hard work and Rob Wilson’s amazing team…it’s almost time for “action!” December 4th is show day for IRC’s Grade 5/6 performance of “The Secret Lived of Toads.”
Thought I’d share some of my writing. I reflect a lot about how to best meet students’ musical needs. The first of these two articles was published in the Canadian Music Educator’s Journal and the Second in the “Recorder” – a journal put out by the Ontario Music Educator’s Association.
Teach What You Do Not Know
Music Mends Minds
Last week I dragged some of the band and string instruments into my room and taught the orchestra instrument families. It was very fun brainstorming with Ks how to produce sound on the trumpet-I tried all of their many suggestions and finally had to explain buzzing. Students got to look inside the piano to see why it’s a percussion instrument; Their looks of excitement and amazement really made love my job!!
Students busy learning a four-part arrangement of Ashokan Farewell for Remembrance Day. Yes, it’s also Hallowe’en.
IRC’s Guitar Club is huge this year! This is our first gig, accompanying a September school singalong of “Summertime/ Schooltime” (together we all wrote two new verses for this jazz classic). And for our 2nd gig, the Guitar Club will accompany Junior Choir performing “O Canada” at a Ram’s Basketball game!
Introducing…the cast of “The Secret Lives of Toads.” I’ve been wanting to feature these Grade 5/6s actors ever since I met them, five years ago. Thank you to Ms Silva, Rob, and Ms Lock for all of your help!!!! Our performances are Dec. 4th at 1:30 and 6:30. Our crew, of state managers, set designers, et al, is as mighty and talented.
Many many different play rehearsals going on in my room right now. I loved how this Gr. 3 group huddled up to discuss their ideas.
For years I’ve organized “Sharing Music from Home” lessons. Students are invited to perform practised pieces for their peers. Voluntary “show-and-tell” in Music class. This year I’m focusing on the silence between notes; I was inspired by Katrina Goldsaito’s kid book, “The Sound of Silence.” I shared this book and taught my students about Cage’s “4’33.” Our influence is incredible. After these lessons, Sharing music from Home has a new feel around here. I had students create and notate their own compositions (straw pan flute, mallets on water bottles), one student sampled his voice into our keyboard, a shy student actually performing “4’33,” but the one that floored me was a grade 3 who set up GarageBand on a computer to record himself calling his home phone with a cell phone. 7 mins of amazing sounds and feedback. The sound vs music debate rages on. Minds and ears are open.