Friday, March 9, 2012

Sound and Music

After completing our study of the ear and hearing we moved on to sound and music with a particular focus on the orchestra.  Each of the students had to give oral presentations about a chosen composer or an opinion paper on a piece of orchestral music.

Two of our teachers are blessed by God to have the wonderful gift of musical talent.  Last week Dianna and my husband talked to the kids about different types of sounds, notes and instruments.  Dianna brought her saxophone and talked about how it is played and how to get a variety of sounds from it.  My hubby taught the kids about the mechanics of stringed instruments.  Then the kids poured water into bottles to experiment with notes.  By blowing across the opening of the bottles they tried to match notes with a keyboard.  This was pretty hard.  I'm not sure they were very successful except that they discovered glass bottles would have worked better.  They also made reeds using straws with slits cut into them.  These were successful and very noisy!

This week, they focused more on musical terms, symbols on sheet music and dynamics.  For a fun review activity a teacher held up the symbol on a card and the kids had to remember what the symbol meant and then they practiced making those sounds with their voices.  After a little practice with this we got the paints out and had the kids paint pictures while listening to Beethoven's "Spring."  They were instructed to listen quietly to the music and paint what they felt or what they thought the composer was feeling or thinking when he wrote the piece.  We did NOT tell the kids what they were listening to until the activity was over.  And when they were finished we talked about the piece and the kids shared about their paintings and discussed some of the dynamics of the song that they recognized.

We like to have a physical activity each week to help the kids get the wiggles out and move around a little bit.  Praise the Lord the weather was so nice today.  As a final test to see if they are learning to be more attentive the kids went outside and took part in a directive obstacle course.  We didn't have a course set up, rather the students were given a verbal set of instructions to complete.  This got all the kids cheering for each other and running around and having a great time.

No comments: