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.

Week 6

Today, in our music workshop we experienced a planned music lesson aimed for early/first level and a second level lesson using drumsticks and beaters. We used our beaters to play along to different rhythms within pieces of music. This was an extremely enjoyable tasks although I experienced some challenges picking up the rhythm as I …

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Today, in our music workshop we experienced a planned music lesson aimed for early/first level and a second level lesson using drumsticks and beaters. We used our beaters to play along to different rhythms within pieces of music. This was an extremely enjoyable tasks although I experienced some challenges picking up the rhythm as I am not very musical. It was clear that this type of lesson could be used over several weeks to achieve a lot of learning as there is also background learning to be looked at. This background learning includes learning the notes and what each note represents: crochet = 1 beat, minim = 2 beats and quaver represents half of a beat. I would use lessons like these within a class as I felt they were easy to follow and were very successful for beginners like myself. The progression and the steps that could be made in weeks following were clear. These lessons could happen over the course of several weeks or even a whole term.

In art, we focused on how literacy can be linked in with expressive arts and other curricular areas. We focused on the style of Bob and Roberta Smith and created our own prints inspired by his work.

This would be an extremely useful and successful lesson to teach about current artists and also to integrate art with literacy as it would enhance knowledge in both subjects (Marshall, 2014).  The art of printing was also explored in this activity and this would show pupils how things may have be done before technological advances were made in society.  It was easy to imagine how you could complete this task within a school and even make it easier for the younger ones by making the brief easier by explaining more in detail or by completely the steps one by one with the class.

 

Marshall, J. (2014) Transdisciplinarity and Art Integration: Toward a NewUnderstanding of Art-Based Learning across the Curriculum, Studies in Art Education. London: Routledge. [Online] Available at: https://moodle.uws.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/36842/mod_resource/content/1/Transdisciplinarity%20And%20Art%20Integration%20highlighted.pdf [Accessed: 17 November 2019].

Integrated Arts

Week 1 10.09.19! An essential element within education is to build the foundation for an ambiguous way of thinking in order to expand curriculum providing a wide opportunity for all children to connect to creativity and the meaning it has to their life. As Csikszentmihalyi argues just those who appear to make it happen cannot just […]

Week 1 10.09.19!

An essential element within education is to build the foundation for an ambiguous way of thinking in order to expand curriculum providing a wide opportunity for all children to connect to creativity and the meaning it has to their life. As Csikszentmihalyi argues just those who appear to make it happen cannot just understand creativity, everyone’s creative process must be validated. (Csikszentmihalyi ,1996). Going into the first session of the module Csikszentmihalyi statement could not be more relevant or valuable as the two arts intrinsically linked the importance of taking all work seriously and fostering the value of children’s work is essential when considering my pedagogy approach when implementing arts within the classroom.

 

Entering the first workshop of drama I didn’t know what to expect but felt open to the unknown and excited to delve deeper into this integrated arts as it is something that has never been something of a great interest in mine. We explored a story about a dragon attacking a village in today’s workshop and used these drama conventions:

  • Thought Tunnel is where a child depicts the thoughts and feelings of the character that is being discussed.
  • Freeze Frame, where the children stopped, not moving or speaking representing a critical moment in their drama.
  • Finally, teacher in Role When the teacher takes part in the drama alongside the children, within the workshop we were guiding by the tutor to reach the eventuality that the tutor predicted for the group.

 

This guidance was highlighted by the tutor and provoked the feeling that he had taken something away from our learning by not letting us choice the direction that the drama was going to take however through discussion and reflection I understood why. This displayed the power that we hold within providing positive opportunities to creativity and children imagination can take learning in unexpected directions and as a future teacher I must be will to allow for the children to direct learning.

 

My second workshop involved viewing the artwork of children from primary one up to primary 6, displaying a variety of work, creativity, expression and this is how many young children communicate (McAuliffe, 2007) This workshop motivated me to question what creativity means and how expectations change throughout the years. The work represented children in the earlier years to display free flowing art that did not resemble a specific idea however the work of the children in the higher years displayed restricted and hesitation. A gradual development is display below:

Considering children’s potential and not what they present is what lies at the heart of sustaining the creative process. It also displayed the empowerment, which can be provided through the use of the arts exhibiting an unpredictable outcome, which is beyond an adult’s imagination. Depicting that it is about considering children’s potential and not what they present is what lies at the heart of sustaining the creative process. It also displayed the empowerment, which can be provided through the use of the arts exhibiting an unpredictable outcome, which is beyond an adult’s imagination.

On reflection regarding my own experience of viewing art displayed within a classroom as an adult was in my local school, when entering the environment of the class I witness all the art on the wall was identical to the other ten on the wall, the picture of Martin Luther King connecting to their topic work. I had never truly considered that this is not displaying creativity however I have never been challenged on the meaning of creativity, forcing me to consider what it means to me and children. Empowerment does not come for being told what art looks like weather that is in Drama or Art but how it is how a child views it.

References 

McAuliffe, D (2007) Foundation and Primary Settings in Teaching Art and Design 3-11 (Edited by Sue Cox, Robert Watts, Judy Grahame, Steve Herne and Diarmuid McAuliffe) London: Continuum.

TED (2007). Do schools kill creativity? | Sir Ken RobinsonYouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. (2013). Chapter 14. In: Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention. London: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition. p346.

Community Project

For my community project I volunteered at Glasgow Association for Mental Health (GAMH). I volunteered at one of the groups set up for young carers. These groups are set up for children who are the predominant carers at home due to their parent/guardian suffering from a mental health issue. The organisation manages these groups so …

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For my community project I volunteered at Glasgow Association for Mental Health (GAMH). I volunteered at one of the groups set up for young carers. These groups are set up for children who are the predominant carers at home due to their parent/guardian suffering from a mental health issue. The organisation manages these groups so that the young careers can have time away from their daily responsibilities to relax and have fun with people in similar circumstances. The group sessions provide several activities for the young people surrounding physical activity and creative arts, as well as offering health and wellbeing workshops so that young carers can get support GAMH, (2019).
Prior to my day of volunteering I done some research into the GAMH project and had a look at their social media to research into what kinds of events and activities the organisation takes part in. I also communicated with project leader to ask what activities they had planned for the date that I was volunteering and if they required me to bring anything along. The General Teaching Council, (2019) highlights the importance of having professional knowledge and understanding in enquiry and research which I clearly demonstrated by extensively reading their website and social media accounts, I done this to help better my overall understanding of what the organisation does on a daily basis with/without the children. I also demonstrated the skill of enquiry when I asked the project leader what activities I would be taking part in for my visit and what I would need to bring, I done this to prepare myself for the visit.
Prior to the group arriving I met with some of the volunteers that work with them on a regular basis. I helped to set up the activities and took this as an opportunity to ask the questions I had about the group to see if I could gain any insight. They told me that some of the children are more reserved than others but that overall that they were a lovely group to work with. The volunteers were very welcoming and helpful, and I really enjoyed conversing with them about their experiences of volunteering with GAMH. When I was volunteering it was Halloween season, so the group was carving pumpkins and completing a Halloween related crossword and quiz.
Here is the process of carving and some of the finished results.

The group I worked with consisted of 10 carers aged 12-15. At first, I was nervous because I had limited experience working with older children however when the group arrived, I was instantly put at ease as some of the group started chatting with me. This surprised me as I was preparing for everyone to be be distant /wary of me at least to begin with due to me intruding into their weekly sessions however I instantly began to bond with a few of the young people. Whilst the group were completing their activities, I tried to mingle with everyone, but I found it quite challenging interacting with a few of the children as they were reserved. I think this was particularly challenging for me as I’m not used to working with older children, so I struggled to communicate with them without it sounding condescending. Although this was challenging, I persevered and tried to find some common ground that would allow me to connect with the few young people.
Overall, I think that this experience was good for me as a student teacher and as a person. Although I will be working with a younger age group, I will encounter young carers in my classroom at some point. Research by Young Carers Services and Carers Trust Scotland shows that within every class in Scotland there is at least 1 carer in every 10 people Carerstrust, (2019). This experience has allowed me to gain a newfound understanding for all the selfless work that young carers do for their families and the cost this comes at. Volunteering at GAMH has also enlightened me into just how wonderful the organisation is. I really wanted to get involved with GAMH because of an input we had in Inter-professional Working that shocked me. Before the input I was completely unaware of the roles and responsibilities that these young people take on, it was a complete eye opener for me. The roles that they take on force them to grow up at such a young age and because of it they miss out on lots of opportunities especially socially. When I was speaking to my peers about how shocked I was, one of them suggested that I contact GAMH as they knew someone that had a positive experience volunteering there. I now know first-hand how phenomenal the work they do is. They not only offer a wealth of support for both young carers and their parents, but they also provide young people with opportunities to socially interact with others who are facing a similar situation to them, without GAMH these children would otherwise miss out on a great deal of experiences.

Carerstrust. (2019) Scotland’s young carers come together to celebrate and learn more about their rights [Online] Available: https://carers.org/press-release/scotland’s-young-carers-come-together-celebrate-and-learn-more-about-their-rights [Accessed: 20 November 2019].
GAMH. (n.d.) Young Carers [Online] Available: https://www.gamh.org.uk/project/young-carers/ [Accessed: 20 November] .
General Teaching Council for Scotland. (2019) Overview of the Standards. Available: https://www.gtcs.org.uk/professional-standards/engaging-with-the-standards/overview-of-the-standards.aspx [Accessed: 20 November 2019]