Tag Archives: How We Express Ourselves

Halloween listening (in any subject)

Yes, Halloween is very North American, but it seems that the tradition of costumes, candy, and spooky things is seeping into many other places as well. And if you want to weave a bit of Halloween fun into your lessons … Continue reading

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Developing New Units: Kindergarten

As I wrote in this post… A while back, our school put the entire How We Express Ourselves theme into the hands of the Arts teachers. In a lot of ways, this was a fantastic idea. (And in just as … Continue reading

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Inquiry: Musical Cycles

Following a previous post, someone asked about our inquiry into cycles. The main inquiry point is that the layering and varying of simple musical patterns can create a complex sound, and that this cycling technique is used in several musical … Continue reading

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The Listening Walk, Part III: Following a Score

Now that the students had inquired into how they could make their observed environmental sounds into musical sounds (inspired by Paul Showers’ The Listening Walk; see my Part I and Part II posts), we took it a step further. We visualized the … Continue reading

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The Listening Walk, Part II: Making Sounds into Music

Following our inquiry into environmental sounds (inspired by Paul Showers’ The Listening Walk), we explored how that might translate into music. Sitting together as a class, a few students shared some of the sounds they had drawn/written in their journals, … Continue reading

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The Listening Walk, Part I: Exploring Sounds Around Us

My Kindergarten classes have been exploring sounds, and an unexpected discussion led us in an interesting direction: How do the sounds in our environment inspire us as musicians? Cue The Listening Walk by Paul Showers, illustrated by the fantastic Aliki. … Continue reading

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Developing New Units (PreK)

Once in a while I try to clean up my computer—call it “spring cleaning,” I guess—and this time around I’ve stumbled upon loads of interesting things that I’d mostly forgotten about. As I clean up, I’ll be rolling out the … Continue reading

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Expression and the Elements of Music

In Grade 2, I do a focus on the elements of music, reviewing many familiar terms (tempo, dynamics, pitch) and introducing new musical terminology as well. It’s the common PYP cycle of analysis and synthesis: We break the music down … Continue reading

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