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.

Listening Walk lessonEach 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!

listening walk score

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?

The Listening Walk, Part III: Following a Score
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2 thoughts on “The Listening Walk, Part III: Following a Score

  • 8. January 2016 at 04:14

    This is great too. Do you actually use all the music vocabulary with the Early Childhood classes? I find that they can’t remember what all the words mean.

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      11. January 2016 at 04:59

      Thanks! Yes, I use the vocabulary. They may not remember all the terms, but every chance for exposure to the vocabulary is great! And there are always children who will start using the music terms whenever they can.


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