Week Five

I had a great time last week being involved in a few music classes that got started. Thanks for having me be a part of it!

Last week we saw Grade 1/2 get started by exploring hand percussion. We had a great time listening to sounds and then matching them.
I was also in a grade 7 class which is exploring the idea of programmatic music, which is music that tells a story. The goal here is to learn about how music helps tell a story by listening to examples of music used in television and movies. Eventually students will use what they are learning and discovering to create their own soundtracks to the claymations they will be making later on.
In the grade 8 class, we explored some music that is created in very unusual and unexpected ways. Students were trying to identify what they heard and were surprised at what they saw when they heard the same thing a second time but with video. The idea here was to challenge what we think music is, and how we think instruments can be played. The learning task then was to use any found objects in their desk to create a song.

This week I have found a few more interesting websites and youtube clips.

First off, from a philosophical perspective, I found this TED talk by musician Victor Wooten which really rings true to the type of approach we are trying to adopt in our music education classes. It is less than 10 minutes long so sit down and enjoy. In particular I really enjoy how he compares learning music to the same way he learned how to speak.

Snubby J is an American student who has become a talented PVC pipe instrument player.  He has auditioned for the Blue Man Group who recognize just how talented he is and have asked him to audition again after he is done college.  An amazing musician, and his instrument of choice is a marimba-like instrument he has created himself using PVC piping.  This is a fantastic project which involves a very practical use of math an science skills to create the correct pitches.   Here is only one example of him in performance.

Pens are better than drums.  This is a video that was passed on to me which shows anything can be turned into a musical instrument, if you are willing to think outside of the box!


Building your own PVC pipe instrument.  Here is a website that provides instructions, an estimate of costs, AND the mathematical and scientific formulas needed to figure out the pitch frequencies and speed of sound.  Math and Science teachers don’t have to reinvent the wheel here, just provide the learning opportunity to connect something you are teaching to music and in a very practical way.


My schedule for this week is somewhat open at the moment, so feel free to connect with me during any of the “open” times.  I anticipate the week will fill up as it goes.

Monday – DO all day

Tuesday – Open

Wednesday – Hepburn – all day

Thursday – Open

Friday – DO all day

Have a great week!