Week Five

During this week we had our introduction to the Music area of the Expressive Arts. We first acknowledged the importance of music in classrooms. My knowledge of music is very minimal and so learning that incorporating music in classroom can have educational benefits was interesting. I learned that music can be incorporated in the most … Continue reading Week Five

During this week we had our introduction to the Music area of the Expressive Arts. We first acknowledged the importance of music in classrooms. My knowledge of music is very minimal and so learning that incorporating music in classroom can have educational benefits was interesting. I learned that music can be incorporated in the most subtle yet effective ways. During the workshop we listened to different pieces of music and were asked to write down one word describing how the music made us feel. This was interesting as it made me realise that different types of music can elicit different emotions. I was able to make a connection back to my placement last year where the teacher would play “cleaning up music” as the children tidied the classrooms. The music being fun and playful made the children feel energetic and they didn’t feel bad about cleaning. Another case in where the teacher used music to extract a desired emotion from the children was after lunch or a P.E class when she felt the children were too jumpy and overexcited. The teacher would play relaxing and soft music where the children would get a couple of minuets to wind down. This allowed them to feel more relaxed and adapt back to the classroom.

Music is beneficial as it allows children to develop their communication and collaboration skills (Dumont et al, 2017). Music is not a solitary subject, through music children play together and they sing together. music allows children to build their social skills. Musical experiences are all about participation, participating in something that is bigger than us. It is when every small role equates to something bigger and more meaningful, making every participant and every learner equally important. Through music children learn to compose, they learn to improvise, and they learn to perform. The power of music helps children become successful learners, effective contributors and responsible citizens. Music allows a gateway to learn about different cultures through native instruments such as the Sitar in India, the Bagpipes in Scotland and the Erhu in China. Through these instruments’ children can explore the musical and social cultures of each country. Later, during the music workshop we were played an instrumental piece that varied in tone, volume and speed. We were to create a short story that reacted to the music. For example, my short story was about a little boy that was being chased by a bully, where the music went faster, I depicted that the bully was getting closer to the boy. Where the music was much slower, I described the boy hiding out catching his breath. This was interesting activity as meant that I was actively listening to the changes in the music and creating a story that fit it. I feel this would be a good lesson to pitch to children in classrooms as it gives them an opportunity to explore the variations of the music and still use their creativity to come up with a interesting story. Later we got into groups and picked a story that we all agreed on, we picked my peers story about a boy that loses his kite and chases it into the sea with a shark. We created a comic strip and later presented it to the class. This activity allows children to work on their collaboration skills as they must agree on one story to create. Children also develop their presentation skills when delivering the story to the rest of class and explaining what parts of the music piece they reacted to. This allows them to develop their confidence in a short and comfortable setting as it is not a solo presentation, which is one of the reasons why I was comfortable presenting to my class.

During the drama workshop it was my groups week to present our micro-teaching lesson. We decided to base our lesson on a movie called “Inside Out”. One of my peers decided this topic and we all agreed straight away, making that process very short and easy. Inside Out is about a young girl that has just moved to a new house, this sudden change has a bigger impact on her emotions than she and her family are aware of. I felt this movie would be a good inspiration piece as children would most likely be familiar with it making it more relevant and interesting. By basing our lesson on the movie, it meant that we were able to touch on the topic of emotions and the importance of being able to express yourself in an honest way. One of our lessons was handing out Inside Out certain characters to different groups that represented an emotion and asked each group to portray the emotion with out using words. I felt this activity went well as all groups participated fully. Applying on the feedback that Andrew gave to previous groups from last week, I tried to interact with the groups by asking what there thought process was. this meant that I was not just standing at the top of the room and giving out instructions but was involving myself in the activities. One part of our lesson that did not go according to plan was when we attempted to show the class a trailer of the movie so that those that were not aware of the movie would have a feel of what it was about. However, the audio was not working and so we gave the class a verbal synopsis of the movie. This minor set back was frustrating in the sense that we had to change our plans on such short notice, although it taught me no never fully rely on technology and always have a backup plan.

Reference

Dumont, E., Syurina, E., Feron, F. and van Hooren, S. (2017). Music Interventions and Child Development: A Critical Review and Further Directions. Frontiers in Psychology, 8.

Week Seven

Todays art workshop was about outdoor learning, specifically about Norwegian outdoor art. In groups we agreed on a land  artist Andy Goldsworthy.  We chose Goldsworthy because his work consisted of  simple materials such as stone and leaves, yet it created a powerful art piece. To replicate his work, we went outdoors and created an art … Continue reading Week Seven

Todays art workshop was about outdoor learning, specifically about Norwegian outdoor art. In groups we agreed on a land  artist Andy Goldsworthy.  We chose Goldsworthy because his work consisted of  simple materials such as stone and leaves, yet it created a powerful art piece. To replicate his work, we went outdoors and created an art piece using the materials available to us, such as stones, sticks and leaves. At first, we were unsure where to start, we were surrounded by pebbles and rocks, however we weren’t sure what to do with them. Looking around one of my peers notices a log and suggested we use that as our frame work and work around it. We agreed as it provided a strong starting point and meant that we didn’t have to work as hard to make an effective and powerful piece. Working outdoors was greatly refreshing, it provided a break from being sat at desks in a closed room. The air and nature gave a rush of inspiration that fuelled our creativity. I see how outdoor learning can be beneficial in a classroom. children can become bored in a classroom as their lessons become routinized. Nature provides an abundance of materials and inspiration that are right within children’s finger tips. As teachers we must think creatively and make the most of different seasons, for example during Autumn children could make art pieces with leaves at different stages of decay or when it’s winter, try to attempt to adopt a winter pedagogy, such as going out on walks and allowing children to explore the different colours that can provide great inspiration.  point of outdoor learning

Today’s music workshop consisted of exploring Garage Band. My lack of experience and knowledge of music meant that apps such s Garage Band would be of great assistance. Today’s workshop we experimented with sounds and attempted to make music pieces, however this proved more difficult than I thought as there were a lot of effects that I was unaware of. However, I understand that after visiting the app a few more times and exploring different ways of creating will help navigating it and boost my confidence.

Week 12

Today was our last dance and music workshops, our last integrated arts workshops for the year. In dance, we rehearsed our whole section dance routine in preparation to have our dance filmed that same day. I believe this task went well but everybody in the section seemed to be quite nervous and, almost, embarrassed. Although …

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Today was our last dance and music workshops, our last integrated arts workshops for the year.

In dance, we rehearsed our whole section dance routine in preparation to have our dance filmed that same day. I believe this task went well but everybody in the section seemed to be quite nervous and, almost, embarrassed. Although I have a dance background, I don’t think I have been this nervous for a dance routine, especially one as simple as the one we are performing. With these nerves, I am able to understand how a young pupil might feel having to perform a dance. Performing a dance is part of the Scottish Curriculum, it usually is an enjoyable   subject to teach and learn but some pupils may experience a lot of nerves and as a future teacher, I need to be supportive and understanding of this. After performing and having our dance filmed, we were to evaluate our performance using three starts and a wish to identify things that had went well and anything that could be improved upon. This method of evaluation can be used in other subjects within the curriculum: literacy, drama, and social subjects just to name a few.

In music we focused on learning how to play the ukulele. Firstly, we learned the historic background of then instrument and then we had a chance to learn six chords on the instrument. With these six chords, we played along to a select few songs to get used to playing the ukulele. We then went onto use 4 chords to have the ability to play along to the famous Christmas song, ‘Last Christmas’. I found this experience very enjoyable, as did my peers. Personally, I have never played or even held a ukulele before so this was a new experience for me. Julie explained how ukulele’s are extremely accessible in schools and are fairly cheap if need to be bought. Knowing this information, I might introduce the fun instrument of the ukulele within my class.

Overall, this module has been extremely helpful, insightful and has changed my perspective of how important that expressive arts within the Scottish Curriculum. I believed that the expressive arts and the subjects associated with the expressive arts should be valued as just as important as subjects like numeracy and literacy. As a future educator, I will aim to ensure that  my pupils have a fair and valuable experience of the expressive arts. I will also allow my pupils to explore their creativity as much as I can.

 

Week 11

This week we discussed creativity within dance. We discussed how important it is to let dance be child-led to embrace to benefits that dance can potentially bring. It was suggested to let a pupil who is experienced in dance, to teach the warm up. This might motivate children that might not participate in dance usually, …

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This week we discussed creativity within dance. We discussed how important it is to let dance be child-led to embrace to benefits that dance can potentially bring. It was suggested to let a pupil who is experienced in dance, to teach the warm up. This might motivate children that might not participate in dance usually, to participate. We were also told to never discourage an idea a child may have, as this will limit their potential creativity. Dance in schools should be a fun subject and should promote creativity within each pupil involved. We also were introduced to the midway model for dance in schools (Smith-Auturd, 2002) which links professional dance with the creative educational approach. This is something I am sure that my year will continue to look at and make sure to reference during their time teaching dance to their primary classes.

We began to choreograph and create a full section dance routine to Scottish themed music. We were also to add in the group performances we had created to the full section dance to show our own learning.

In the music section we made use of the glockenspiel again and continued to build on our ability to read music. We played most of the notes on the glockenspiel today. I found playing the glockenspiel a lot harder this week than I did last week as I do not really have much musical instrument experience. In this case, practice makes perfect. The more opportunity I have to play the glockenspiel, the better I will get. The same can be said for pupils in a primary school participating in a music lesson. The more opportunities they have to play the instrument, the better they will get.

 

Week 10

Today, we focused on creative partnerships and working with others to benefits the learning of our pupils. Creative partnerships help to bring the creative arts to be embedded throughout the ‘normal’ school day and enhance learning experiences. We were also introduced to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses which are linked with creative partnerships. These courses …

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Today, we focused on creative partnerships and working with others to benefits the learning of our pupils. Creative partnerships help to bring the creative arts to be embedded throughout the ‘normal’ school day and enhance learning experiences. We were also introduced to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses which are linked with creative partnerships. These courses provide teachers with the opportunities to further their own teaching ability so that they are able provide their class with the best educational experience possible. Attending these workshops increases knowledge and awareness of the value of the expressive arts within schools.

In the music workshop today we got to experience playing ABBA and Christmas songs on the glockenspiel. As a future teacher, I was able to identify the simplicity of this activity and how the pupils would enjoy this music activity. It is easy to teach figure notes, and easy to understand.

In dance today, we, again, had a look at the ten movements. We were to create a piece of choreography using these ten basic movements. This task could easily be completed within a primary school setting and I am confident that they activity would be enjoyable for the pupils involved. We also discussed a range of warm up games that could be used in schools. We also looked at how to link dance with other subjects areas of school, for example, maths. We were to complete a sheet of ten equations which gave us answers of numbers between 1 and 10. Each answer had a movement to match the number. Therefore, this sheet gave us another piece of choreography.

Week 9

We had our fist dance workshop with Zara today, it was a very practical lesson. In the music workshop today we were joined by Primary 7 pupils from a local primary who taught us how to play their string instruments. In our dance workshop we discussed that role that dance has in primary schools and …

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We had our fist dance workshop with Zara today, it was a very practical lesson. In the music workshop today we were joined by Primary 7 pupils from a local primary who taught us how to play their string instruments.

In our dance workshop we discussed that role that dance has in primary schools and the important part of the curriculum that it really is. Dance in primary schools has a focus on improving the pupils physical fitness whilst also wanting the children to create and preform: “through dance, learners have rich opportunities to be creative and experience inspiration and enjoyment” (Education Scotland, 2019). We also discussed how dance can be incorporated into other topic areas. For example, if Scottish highland themed music is used, this could lead to a class topic of the history of Scotland and can allow the children to learn more about the Scottish heritage. Furthermore, we went on to discuss the 10 key components of movement in dance: balance, gesture, hop, jump, kick, reach, roll, slide, turn and twist. We then got into groups and created a sequence which included all ten of these movements.

In the music workshop, I experienced the chance to play a violin along with a primary 7 pupil. All the primary 7 pupils that came along were involved with an East Ayrshire program which includes 18 other primary schools. The program provides children with the chance to learn how to play an instrument from primary 4 until the end of primary 7. This gives the children a chance to learn an instrument, they simply might of not had a chance to learn how to play an instrument without this program. Not only does this opportunity provide the children with knowledge of music and playing a musical instrument but can provide the children with major mental and physical health benefits (Mandel, 2007). I feel that this opportunity also built the child’s confidence up as they were teaching an adult how to play an instrument. I observed how the pupil I was working alongside with really just seemed to be having fun.

 

Mandel S.E., Hanser S.B., Secic M., Davis, B.A. (2007) Effects of Music Therapy on Health-Related Outcomes in Cardiac Rehabilitation: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Music Therapy. [Abstract, Online] Vol.44(3), pp.176-197. Available: https://academic.oup.com/jmt/article-abstract/44/3/176/954996 [Accessed: 4 December 2019].

Education Scotland (2019) Curriculum for Excellence: expressive arts, experiences and outcomes [Online] Available: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/expressive-arts-eo.pdf [Accessed 4 December 2019]

Week 8

In the lecture, we looked closely at the works of Csikszentmihalyi on creativity. We also discussed how creativity was once looked upon and how it seemed to be a factor of showing off rather than being a skill that everyone has the potential to embrace. It is encouraged by the Curriculum of Excellence to find their …

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In the lecture, we looked closely at the works of Csikszentmihalyi on creativity. We also discussed how creativity was once looked upon and how it seemed to be a factor of showing off rather than being a skill that everyone has the potential to embrace. It is encouraged by the Curriculum of Excellence to find their own creative ways of completing tasks (Education Scotland, 2019).

In our music workshop today, we looked at the online resource of Charanga. Charanga is an online database of resources which can be used within music lessons in school: lesson plans, instrument books and books of materials that can be used in school shows. We discussed on how we could use this resource in music lessons. This resource is really useful, especially for those who are not confident teaching music, They can simply go online and print out a lesson. As a future teacher, it is easy to see the beneficial impact this database will be having in schools today.

On Charanga, there is a section that actually shows you how to play a musical instrument. Whilst the children imagine the instrument, they can still learn how to play the instrument before they handle the real instrument. We attempted this in the workshop today in regards to the recorder. We played along to the song ‘Mamma Mia’, we learned to play the notes of A and G. We mimicked the fingers we would use to be able to play these notes.

I hope to use Charanga throughout my teaching.

 

Education Scotland (2019) What are creativity skills? [Online] Available: https://education.gov.scot/improvement/learning-resources/what-are-creativity-skills/ [Accessed 4 December 2019]

Week 7

This week we were privileged to be joined by Norwegian students who are studying Primary Education. The spoke to us about how the school system works in Norway as well as the focus’ on their course at university. From what these students told us, it was made apparent that the arts are not taught as singular …

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This week we were privileged to be joined by Norwegian students who are studying Primary Education. The spoke to us about how the school system works in Norway as well as the focus’ on their course at university. From what these students told us, it was made apparent that the arts are not taught as singular subjects in Norway but that the arts are integrated within other curricular areas if they are taught at all. They mentioned that drama has been used to teach social subjects or topics in health and well-being. The students also mentioned that if the teacher is not a creatively confident person, art lessons/lessons in the arts tend be be boring, simple and very uniformed. the Norwegian students also explained to us that art lessons are often taught outside amongst nature by making use of materials they find outside and for the purpose to be inspired by what they say around them.

Continuing on form what the Norwegian students were discussing with us, our art workshop was set outside. We were to go outside and create pieces of artwork with the materials we found outside. My group chose to use pebbles to create musical notes, linking art with music. 

Having the opportunity to create art in this way, making use of the materials outside and actually just taking the class out of the classroom could be very successful for a class within a primary school. Although the many great potentials this has, it could just be an opportunity for pupils to mess around and not actually complete a piece of art. This means that I would really need to know the class before I decided to have them complete an activity like this.

In the music workshop today we made use of an app called Garage band to create a track of our own using the sounds, instruments and editing that the app offers us. Garage band is a free app provided on apple products like iPads. We also made use of an online website named Dirpy which allows you to download songs from youtube videos and upload them to your garage band send. If children were to have the opportunity to complete a task like this, I am confident they would enjoy make a sound of their own. Although, as said previously, there is risk for children to be distracted, mess around and not focus on the task at hand.

Integrated Arts Week 12

Week 12 – Integrated Arts Blog The final week of integrated arts was to highlight our progress throughout the music and dance inputs with learning rhythms and creating our dance. Due to being off the previous week I had not felt fully confident with the dance, however from the enjoyable experience throughout the whole module …

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Week 12 – Integrated Arts Blog

The final week of integrated arts was to highlight our progress throughout the music and dance inputs with learning rhythms and creating our dance.

Due to being off the previous week I had not felt fully confident with the dance, however from the enjoyable experience throughout the whole module and from building my confidence when dancing in front of my peers, I wanted to participate fully as I was proud of the dance I created.

We then watched back our performance to give ourselves some personal and group feedback with two stars and a wish. This a popular use of formative assessment of how a child feels about a task and what they can improve. It is good to offer this for children to get peer feedback so positive critical discussion is created and is looked and treated in a positive light. Self-Assessment gives benefits such as: “increasing self-awareness through reflective practice, making the criteria for self-evaluation explicit and improving performances to ongoing learning, it also contributes to the development of critical reviewing skills, enabling the learner to more objectively evaluate their own performance and others’, when used in conjunction with peer assessment. With peer assessment, they become more practised in giving constructive feedback, and receiving and acting on feedback received” (Academ 2017).

 

Lastly, we finished the music part of the module with discussing chords and what a fret board means and how the notes correspond with the frets. We learnt 4 chords on the Ukulele which were G, C, F and A which tied with week 10 on the organisation figure notes stickers helping to learn chords and week 11 with the Glockenspiel practice and how you can play a piece of music through 4 simple chords:

With this we played several pieces of music that focused on each chord individually and then we played all of them together to the song ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham. Music should inspire teachers to use music through subjects such as literacy to create a story and discuss the moods and feelings each part of the music brings which also ties in with health and wellbeing and letting the children talk about how they feel. Expression and emotion are two things that are valued in music and as a teacher, those values should be embedded throughout the lesson.

 

Throughout this module, I have thoroughly enjoyed the different aspects of expressive arts and it has enhanced my creativity when approaching lessons with children. The value of art was spoken throughout the module and highlighted to many people about the lack of funding and training in expressive arts and how this must change. I feel every teacher should want to teach the expressive arts in their lessons, the arts make things more enjoyable, expressive and fun for children and with the information I have been given throughout this module, I will definitely be using it in my future career.

References

  • (2017). The Importance of Student Self-Assessment.Available: http://academ.com.au/importance-student-self-assessment/.

Integrated Arts Week 11

Week 11 – Integrated Arts Blog This week, we continued practicing our movement piece and discussed the importance of dance and how creativity is achieved to give children the best opportunity to express emotions and creative ideas. Firstly, it is discussed by Theresa Purcell Cone that creative dance does many things for children such as: …

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Week 11 – Integrated Arts Blog

This week, we continued practicing our movement piece and discussed the importance of dance and how creativity is achieved to give children the best opportunity to express emotions and creative ideas.

Firstly, it is discussed by Theresa Purcell Cone that creative dance does many things for children such as: “Increased confidence, increase in mental wellbeing, increase in physical wellbeing, ability to communicate and work in groups and improved self-esteem that be carried on to other curricular activities.” (Cone 2009). Our role as teachers when teaching creative dance is to also to believe in the creativity and validate children’s ideas for them to value the process and give them a safe and supportive environment for learning.  From Cone’s research, it also highlighted that a teacher’s lack of confidence can cause them to feel inexperienced and intimidated which was discussed in my dance input of the module. Our lecturer spoke about the stigma of dance and how it can be daunting for the teacher and child to perform in front of others. The aim of dance in the creative process is to offer the children the opportunity to create a dance with their own ideas and the responsibility and independence to make a piece come to life (Cone 2009).

Lastly in our music input we started on instrument work by playing the glockenspiel. We worked on 4 notes to play pieces of music that were supported with coloured stickers and shaped on the glockenspiel that was discussed in week 10 with the organisation figure notes. Studies show that Musical training develops the region of the brain responsible for verbal memory—the recall and retention of spoken words—which serves as a foundation for retaining information in all academic subjects. Music students who were tested for verbal memory showed a superior recall for words as compared to non-music students (Ho et al., 1998; 2003)

 

 

 

References

  • Ho, Y., et al. (2003). Music Training Improves Verbal but Not Visual Memory: Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Explorations in Children. Neuropsychology, 17(3), 439-450.

 

  • Theresa Purcell Cone (2009) Following Their Lead: Supporting Children’s Ideas for Creating Dances, Journal of Dance Education