MUSIC TELLS A STORY
NEW FIELD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (2012-2013)
How can music create and portray distinctive characters? How can we hear characters’ voices in music and in written stories? How can movement, form, articulation, and rhythm tell and enhance the stories of our characters?
In our continuing partnership with Ravinia’s Reach*Teach*Play program, students at New Field Elementery did an in-depth study of music, the blues, and the book “Ol’ Bloo’s Blues”. Through a series of creative lessons, students learned about healthy singing, setting up stories with descriptions and with tempo, timbre, instrumentation, form, and instrumentation. They also were introduced to rhythmic, formal, and historical elements of the Blues.
Activities such as “Musical Weather”, “Character Voices: Leitmotifs”, and “Move to the Beat” helped students create a comprehensive picture of each of the 5 characters in “Ol’ Bloo’s Blues.” A number of composition-based activities ensured that students were thinking creatively and connecting the concepts learned from these visits to the curriculum that existed within their classrooms.
THE FINAL PROJECT
Each class was assigned a character from “Ol’ Bloo’s Blues” to represent in their Class Act. With help from the members of Fifth House Ensemble, these classes created a character leitmotif and movement to represent their specific character. They also made simple musical instruments and masks to help in a retelling of the whole story. As a larger group, students created a “theme song” in the form of a blues ballad, which, together with the class creative components, was performed for the school and in the Ravinia Days performance.