Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Outdoor Music Class!

Sound Effects
Last week I decided to take all of my Fairview students outside for music classes. I decided to do this after having a short chat with a 2nd grader who often acts up in my class. He had kind of a rough day about two weeks ago and broke down in tears after music class. I asked him if he was crying because he got in trouble, to which he replied "No! I just really miss my mom!"

Fairview has an outdoor classroom that they refer to as The School Forest. At first, I wasn't sure what we should do outside. It would be easy to just go out there and sing different songs we sing in music class. However, I feel that when you are going to a new environment you should take advantage of it to the best of your abilities.

After much thought I came up with lesson plans for each class. I will introduce the ideas here with a brief description, but I'll also post more details on each project in later blog posts. This way you can get the materials I used for the lessons, as well as, see some pictures. (I don't want to bombard you with a whole week of lessons in one post!)

All my classes had to walk on the forest path in silence. While they did this they were to listen to the sounds of fall. When we reached the outdoor classroom, I then had students share what they heard. We talked about what music was and how the music of fall would be different than the music of winter. They imagined some of the sounds they may hear in the winter rather than the fall. I especially found this activity cute when one of my kindergarteners on the second day of going to the forest told the class that he heard some beautiful music on his walk to the school forest. This was without even being told to listen for music! :)

Sound Effects

In Kindergarten and 1st grade students had to find an item in nature that could be used to create music. They then shared these instruments with the class and showed them how to play their instrument. (Read more about outdoor instruments...)

2nd grade was working on a sound effects project out in the school forest. (Read more about sound effect project...)

3rd grade was finishing up their ostinato patterns, so the first day they shared their patterns with the class. The second day they did something similar to what the 4th and 5th graders did. (Read More about the Ostinato Pattern Project...)

4th and 5th graders went out the school forest and sang I Love the Mountains. Afterwards they were asked to write a short reflection on this experience. They were to describe the difference in singing outside versus inside. We then talked about what makes a good reflection and ways to describe the sound of our own singing or of instruments playing, etc. 4th and 5th graders then created their own 2 beat ostinatos with a partner, as well as, a 3 beat ostinato with their partner. Students created and practiced them the first day and then shared them the second day. (Read More about reflections...)

Overall, I really enjoyed taking the kids out for music class. I was surprised by how many of my students, that don't always care for music, were really excited about music since we were going outside. I also noticed that some of my overly rambunctious students were actually really well behaved outside.

Have a musical day!

3 comments :

  1. Very cute idea!!!! Great to bring music outside!

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  2. I always bring my K kids outside for a listening walk in the Fall, but I love the idea of taking kids outside to sing and have them reflect on the difference and I may even incorporate this into our found sounds unit in 5th grade! :) Thanks Brittany, and nice to chat with you last night as well! #elmused

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    1. Molly, thanks so much for leaving a comment. :-) I'm glad you enjoyed this idea! Hope to chat with you again in the future!

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