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 listening “walk” as a kind of score, or a path, that we could follow. Like a musical score, the sounds could start and stop at specific times; they could overlap or repeat.
Each group chose five sounds they might encounter on their musical listening walk. They drew their sounds along this path, discussing the order from whatever perspective they chose. Then they refined and practiced each sound, thinking about dynamics and texture. Finally, they chose a “conductor” who would trace the path to direct the musicians in their performance, showing the timing and duration of each sound. As we imagined traveling the path, one group even thought about tapering dynamics upon approaching and walking away from each sound!
This inquiry was never in my plans, but it turned out to be a fantastic opportunity for learning, and the best part is that it was truly student-led! (If you would like to try it out in your classroom, you can download the complete lesson plans and all the templates.)
Before this inquiry, I hadn’t thought to talk about following a score in Kindergarten. How do you explore graphic notation or graphic scores in your Early Years classes?