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, and we thought about how we could recreate those sounds with our classroom instruments, our voices, and/or our bodies.
In small groups, students experimented with their own sounds, collaborating to find the best way to represent them musically. Some sounds were very straightforward, like the jackhammer across the street, or the birds chirping in the trees. For others they really struggled to agree, like for the sound of the flag flapping in the wind.
In true PYP fashion, we agreed to disagree on some things, and focused on the great thinking behind the ideas. We wrote down some of our favorite sounds for the next lesson: Following a Score
If you would like to try out the inquiry in your own classroom, you can download all the lesson plans and templates. You may also want to see our follow-up inquiry into Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony (coming soon).