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Lesson Plans

art/music integration

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Fri, 15 Mar 1996 12:02:55 -0600 (CST)

Katherine, I have a few ideas which might be useful - or not, but here goes.
In eighth grade, I give the kids large (14x17) offprints of blank music
manuscript paper and ask them to paint or draw on it. This can be virtually
anything - abstract, subjective: you name it - they've done it. ( I had one
group which recreated the manuscript format on two sheets of 24x36 tagboard
then filled one with primary colored handprints and the other with secondary
colored footprints.) My son, who is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory with
a degree in music composition, comes in one day each year and "plays" their
artwork. He improvises based on various things - which he discusses with
the students as he goes along. In one case, he might interpret the MOOD of
the piece, in another he might actually "play" the dots, lines, etc. His
discussions always end up including vocabulary such as TEXTURE, TONE COLOR,
RHYTHM, BALANCE, SYMMETRY, OPPOSITION, etc.etc.etc. He also discusses the
difference between improvisation and composition. The music styles range
from Classical to Jazz to Pop to 2oth Century Atonal. The music program at
my school is exceptional and the kids have a great background. I realize
this takes a specific ability, and if I didn't have him, I'm not sure who I
could find locally to do this, but the idea could be built upon. What if
students in music class were asked to compose something to interpret an
artwork -their own, another student's or a museum work? What if they were
asked to find a piece of music which they felt expressed a museum piece and
explain why? What if they were given a peice of music at school and asked
to find an artwork at the museum which "matched"? You get the idea. Anyway,
I hope this is helpful.

Eileen Prince
Art Specialist, Sycamore School, Indianapolis, Indiana