The beautiful sunny morning was a great way start to our first session with P6 at Carntyne Primary. As the students entered the room in their bright red jumpers I was pleased to hear one call out to me 'I want to learn the violin!' Their enthusiasm for the music never wavered throughout the session and Sonia and I had a wonderful time at the school today.
Session One - main aims
- perform to the students and show how music can describe characteristics of plants
- encourage creative responses to sound through movement, conversation and drawing
After performing Scabious and Rocket by James Oswald we introduced our instruments and spoke a little about this great composer from Scottish baroque times.
After some games to get the ears focused for listening we explored Juniper, a plant that is on the decline in Scotland, although it was a happy ending as after our performance of The Juniper Run by Chris Stout the students were very enthusiastic saying the music made them want to dance and reminded them of a lot of exciting film scenes.
Without describing Cladonia Bellidiflora (lichen) by Stuart MacRae we asked the students to draw what came into their mind while listening to the music. Most drawings represented the dark side, none of lichen and so I presented them with a stick covered in 2 species of lichen and asked for them to tell me what it was. Most students suggested it was moss but I was blown over that one student knew it was lichen and could identify one of the species as Reindeer Moss (not actually a moss but a lichen despite the confusing name!)
Following this listening exercise the P6 conducting skills were put to the test and we reacted on our instruments to the shapes of imaginary lines drawn in the air.
We then swapped around and they reacted to our music/sounds with movement, we had everything from a stampede of elephants to the Can-can, heard throughout the school and shaking it's Victorian structure to the core.
We finished up with a 3 part group composition inspired by an image of lichen by Laurie Campbell.
We worked through the same material with P5 after the break. Really looking forward to next week!
We would like the acknowledge that this project is supported by the Glasgow Natural History Society and our partners in the project are EMS and Plantlife Scotland. Thanks to Carntyne Primary and teachers Judith Stone and Jessica Comb.