This summer we have decided to focus on five "Languages"; Clay, Sand, Paint, Water and Music. With each one of these we are working to create curriculum that takes each child on a journey to investigate further characteristics and forms of expression. We believe that each one of our families are our partners in creating this curriculum and we wanted to share with you our thoughts on music and how we are approaching it with the children.
We began this past year with our "Sound Structure" and adding permanent instruments that children could manipulate. It started with buckets used as drums for the students to bang on and then a xylophone added this past spring. We questioned whether or not to have only hand-made instruments or to include store bought. We presently have both in this area but are working on creating a board full of pictures depicting various ethnic instruments in order to get children thinking about how and what they can create.
Movement and music exist together as one is just the visual representation of the other. How can we discuss music without including this element? During morning meetings we have begun to do the Brain Dance, which is a series of eight movements that realign the Central Nervous System. We have started with three of these movements while we sing nursery rhymes. Last week the introduction of Language of Dance symbols (a method of recording movement) occured with the children learning the symbol for action and stillness. We are excited to see the unfolding of this language along with music as more are introduced.
Music and sound surround us everyday through radio, television, our family culture and our imagination. Our classroom environment is always flooded with song, whether its playing softly in the background or the children singing Shabbat songs and davening. We wanted to figure out how to get students to think about sound and what we hear on a constant basis and somehow translate it into music. The ideas of footsteps came to mind and we began brainstorming about shoes; dress shoes, tennis shoes, tap shoes etc... A few different kinds of shoes were brought in and discussed at a morning meeting with the question of, what do you hear? Geffen decided that his feet were "drums" when he wore the tap shoes. His statement made us so excited to continue this and we are eager to have all of you, our Gan Malibu community, join us on this journey of music and gather your thoughts and ideas.