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Let’s Talk…Project Approach

December 4, 2011

Below is a 3rd post from guest blogger Robyn Nitchals-Reierson on her classroom’s project approach around music. Malisa

We have been investigating music for about a month now.  One aspect of the project approach is field site visits and expert visits.  We are fortunate to be on campus where plenty of music opportunities have been available to the children.  However, I’ve also been in contact with parents and other family members or others in the community for support in this project as well.

We took a field trip to the music hall on campus to observe a jazz band practice.  This was a small group of 5-6 musicians.  They were rehearsing for a concert they had in the next week.  The smallness of the group of musicians allowed for the children to get a front row seat to a variety of instruments.  The instructor had positioned chairs all around the musicians and encouraged them to get up and move around so they could watch each instrument being played.

Dan, the guitar player, visited our classroom to show the children how a guitar and bass sound.  He sang some songs for the children, both requested songs, and original songs he has played in bands.  The children had prepared questions for Dan’s visit.  Many children wanted to know what was inside the guitar (since it has a hole in it).  Others wanted to know more about the neck and strings.  However, once they saw the guitar and bass some new questions emerged.  Children were interested in the size of the instruments.  We ended up with an impromptu measuring activity when children wanted to find out if anybody was taller than the guitar and bass!

Melissa, a dance teacher, visited our classroom to teach children the basics of ballet.  There were some children who have taken lessons from Melissa before, and they were excited to take on a leadership role and show all the dance moves and dance terminology they knew!  The children learned first and second position, and also practiced doing plie and releve.

This next month we will have some more visitors to our classroom.  My sisters will share their clarinet and trombone.  We will also have a baritone player, a saxophone player , and a trumpet show their instruments and talk about being in the Iowa State University Cyclone Football Varsity Marching Band.

Getting this real-world experience with musical instruments and musicians in our community has helped me link the outside world to our music project.

Malisa Rader

Malisa Rader

Malisa Rader is a human sciences specialist that misses the daily hugs and high-fives from little people.

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  1. Im pretty sure the kids enjoy that program. Anything that benefits the child will always be welcomed by everyone.

    Best of luck on hosting more interesting events.