Within our input this week we were working in the music studio with a variety of different musical instruments discussing graphic soundscapes and how they are a good way to begin introducing music to primary aged children. This gave us the ability to broaden our knowledge on how to teach music and lesson ideas in which we could do this that were creative and also gave children freedom to create their own pieces of music.
I had never seen or heard of a graphic soundscape prior to this session so I found this a very useful idea and was keen to take part in the learning surrounding this. A soundscape is when a particular instrument or sound is related to an icon or picture which altogether makes up a key. Each icon displayed in each column are all played together when instructed to. This is useful when creating an atmosphere using sound. As a class we began to create a soundscape for fireworks night. We included the sounds; music, bang, talking, eating, generator, whistle, countdown, sizzle and crackle. This was a good starting theme to base our ideas upon as there are a wide variety of sounds that can be heard at a fireworks display. Another reason that this was a good starting theme was that many children will have experienced this before or can imagine the wide range of sounds that may be heard there, this would allow all children to take part in this task. We were all then given a sound and we had to choose a suitable instrument or way to produce a sound that would relate to the one given to each pair. We then performed it as a class. Below is the soundscape that we had created as a class.
We were then split into smaller groups to create our own soundscape which we would later perform to the class. We had to begin with choosing a theme, we decided to base ours upon the Rainforest. We then had to list the different sounds may be heard there and create icons or pictures that would relate to the instrument. We then performed this in front of the class, below is our soundscape that we had created.
I believe this is a useful activity to incorporate into teaching music to children as it is easy to follow and creates a strong basic understanding of instruments, timings and how to follow simple pieces of music. It is also very useful for children to explore a variety of different instruments, what they sound like or how they can be played. This soundscape idea could also be incorporated into an art lesson as the depiction of the images is something that children could be given the opportunity to become creative with. It may also become cross curricular as children can incorporate digital technology within this as they may have to use the internet or recording tools to create these individual sounds that can then be pieced together. One experience and outcome that could be connected with this lesson may be “inspired by a range of stimuli and working on my own and/or with others, I can express and communicate my ideas, thoughts and feelings through musical activities. EXA 0-18a / EXA 1-18a / EXA 2-18a”.
Education Scotland (2004) – Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes [Online] https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/cfe-(building-from-the-statement-appendix-incl-btc1-5)/Experiences%20and%20outcomes [Accessed: 12 February 2019]
This week in expressive arts and culture we were in the music studio to discuss two different pieces that were set the task of choosing. The pieces could either be one that you liked and disliked, one that was happy and sad, etc, the main focus was that they were contrasting two different emotions that we could convey. I chose a song that brought back happy memories and a contrasting song that brought back sad memories. My song that brought back sad memories was “Iris” by The Goo Goo Dolls as when I was at school this song was played every year to celebrate Remembrance Day alongside a video clip. I have always linked this song to Remembrance Day and my great Grandpa fought in this war. Even though he died before I was born, my Grandpa always talks very fondly of his Dad as he is very proud of him after hearing stories from throughout the war period. My contrasting happy song to this was “We’re All In This Together” from High School Musical as this reminds me of a happier time in my own life when I was always with my friends and not worrying about things the way I do now.
Everyone was asked to go up to the front of the class and play the first minute of both of their songs, then giving the person the opportunity to share why they had chosen both of their songs or allow the class to try and work it out. As we were completing this task it became apparent in peoples expressions and body language how they felt emotionally about that song, whether it be happy, sad, like, dislike etc.
Fleming (2012) discusses the importance of music being taught within the primary school setting as it gives children an opportunity to be creative in a way in which no other subject could be flexible towards giving them a variety to their overall learning. This shows that for a child to reach their maximum development throughout their school career they must be given the opportunity to express themselves through music also.
We then moved on to watch some videos on the board about the impact of music on animation and motion pictures. It discussed the difference in emotions or opinions on characters that can be created and changed just by playing other pieces of music over the top of it. It became apparent very quickly the impact music has on our emotions just through watching these short clips. I have always been aware that music had an impact on films, however I did not understand how easily our emotions could be changed just through using this technique effectively. Our task for the next session is to have a go at playing different pieces of music over the top of motion pictures to see if we can create different emotions throughout this.
Fleming, M (2012). The arts in education: an introduction to aesthetics, theory and pedagogy. London: Routledge.
Throughout this session today we took the initial idea of our evocative objects one step further. We used the software Garage Band which we have previously worked with to create a piece that we felt described this object by putting our emotions into the music.
Before we started creating our piece I reflected on my object and how it made me feel by looking at the different charms and the individual bracelet itself. When I look at the bracelet it brings back lots of happy memories based upon family and friends which I will always remember. Next I thought about what I could hear when it I had my bracelet on my wrist and moved it about. I could hear the clinking of charms hitting off of each other, allowing me to further narrow down what instruments that I could use to create a piece of music that would be based upon my object.
I think this is a good activity for primary children as it is a good way of them expressing their emotions and giving them the opportunity to reflect on their experiences and memories they may already have. This task would give them an initial starting point for reflection which they may have struggled to find if they did not complete this. They could use lots of methods of communication to describe their emotions and whilst also having the ability to improve their technology skills at the same time. It also allows them to decide what instruments and tempos they believe express how their object makes them feel which other subjects may not have the ability to convey. One experience and outcome that would link directly to the use of Garageband within the classroom is “I can use my voice, musical instruments and music technology to discover and enjoy playing with sound, rhythm, pitch and dynamics. EXA 1-17a”.
• Education Scotland. (n.d.). Curriculum for Excellence. [Online] Available: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/All-experiencesoutcomes18.pdf [Accessed 29/01/2019]
During our first week within our optional module of expressive arts and culture, we were instructed to bring along an evocative object which would form the basis of our workshop. An evocative object is something that evokes significant emotion and memories surrounding the item. We were asked to discuss with the group why we chose this object and the meaning behind it. It became clear to me after listening to my peers that any object had potential to spark emotion and bring back memories for people. The class brought in a wide range of items including jewellery, ornaments, teddies and instruments to name a few. Everyone described their own object using a variety of different expressions, feelings and memories which brought each item to life and made each of them unique to each person.
Turkle (2011) claims “thinking about the uncanny, about thresholds and boundaries helps us understand these objects with their universal powers of evocation”. This shows that after hearing the stories behind every object, it gives us a deeper understanding of the meaning behind each of these and how every item can become evocative when there is a context behind it.
My evocative object was my Pandora bracelet. I wear this everyday and each charm reminds me of a different memory associated to it. I have a sister charm from my little brother, an Eeyore charm as we visited Disney in 2010, an amethyst charm as this is my birthstone and a Minnie Mouse charm which both me and my Mum have matching ones.
Evocative objects allow us to have a focus for memories including people, events etc giving us the chance to enjoy life with an object in which we can reflect upon and think back to another time in our life just by looking at it. These objects are crucial to our experiences as it is important we feel all of these emotions, whether they may be sad, happy, funny or even life changing. These experiences help shape who we are as a person allowing us to positively look at the world. No matter what we have been through our evocative objects will always give us something to help remember all the positive experiences in our life.
Turkle, S. (2011). Evocative objects. 1st ed. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press