This term in art Prep students will be learning about abstract art, in both contemporary and past contexts. Most of my teaching is based around process driven art and the development of skills, ideas and concepts, however this term is going to be different. This term’s art making will be driven by multiple short play-based activities with a focus on experiencing different media in a more organic process of making art. Students will create abstract artworks using an eclectic range of unconventional printing tools and will look at the work of contemporary artist Jo Fryer and the master of abstract art, Kandinsky.
Grade 1 and 2
In Term Four, Grade 1 and 2 students will be learning about abstract art, with a focus on play-based experiences and exposure to a variety of different media. Students will create mixed-media artworks using cardboard, wool and paper. Students will be encouraged to take part in short rotations, where they will create colourful abstract artworks in short periods of time. Following on from this, students will look at a drawing work by Louise Bourgeois and create their own inspired artwork focusing on repetition and colour.
Grade 3 and 4
Abstract art is the theme in Term Four and students will launch straight into this unit with a fun collaborative project that encourages students to discuss ideas, compromise, provide creative input and feedback and will enable them to utilize their different artistic skills. Each class will be split into 3 smaller groups. These groups will either be asked to trace around their bodies, objects or draw shapes and connect them with lines. These large line drawings will form the basis for the groups to create a large-scale 2D abstract artwork. In the second half of the term, students will create black and white abstract relief works using only paper and glue.
Grade 5 and 6
It’s all about abstract art in Term Four at Bell. Grade 5/6 students will be creating two Notan square artworks, with a focus on positive and negative space. The first Notan square artwork will be black and white and the second will require students to create a colourful abstract background to place their black notan square onto. Following on from this, students will create relief artworks made from cardboard, wool and foil. To end the term, Grade 5/6 students will be looking at the work of contemporary artist Andy Gilmore. Students will create a series of small works inspired by Gilmore’s art, which will focus on shape, tessellations, symmetry and repetition.
Incredibox is one of my favourite online music making web apps. It’s simplicity allows students to experience instant success from Prep through to grade 6. Incredibox has just updated to version 4 with a whole new mix of funky loops. This week the 5/6 students adopted the role of DJ’s and charged with creating there very own ‘Class House Christmas Mix’. Key to any good dance track is for the DJ to create and maintain the ebb and flow (peaks and troughs) of the music to pique (pun intended) the listeners interest. The students soon realised the importance of rehearsing their music before pressing the record button so that they had some idea of how to put it all together.
Please click on the links below to listen to the wonderful music these creative students have produced.
Wow Amazing! The grade 1&2 students have been performing in a whole class ensemble over the past 3 weeks. They have been focusing on performing a piece written by John Madin called Antigravity. It’s a piece that is made up of short repeated melodic and rhythmic patterns (Ostinato) that are easily learnt by students. Learning the ostinatos is the easy part, putting it all together into a whole piece that has a beginning middle and end is the hard fun. I hope that you enjoy the performances below. I am amazed at how the students are able to tune into the other parts of the ensemble and when they get out of time or lost in the music, they know when to come back in. Please leave a comment.
This term grade 3/4 students have been working on whole class ensemble skills. Its been a step by step process where the students first learn to sing the song ‘I’ve Got A Rhythm‘. These is done through call and response and includes body percussion. The students are also given an opportunity to improvise rhythms using rhythm sticks. When the melody of the song has been embodied and the students are comfortable with the rhythm they then move onto tuned percussion instruments to form a whole class Orff based ensemble. The melody is first divided into two parts so it is easily learnt. This way the students experience instant success. Gradually the drums and additional base line is introduced and the students are then given an opportunity to improvise using a pentatonic scale.
Below you can view each class perform their version of I’ve got a rhythm. If you like what you hear please leave a comment.
Term 4 grade 3&4 students will be creatively engaged in small and whole class Orff ensemble sessions. Carl Orff was a famous German composer and music pedagogue. He developed an approach to music education that integrates Speech, Singing, Movement and instruments to teach the elements of music. Xylophones, metallophones, Glockenspiels, as well as other untuned percussion instruments are fundamental to the Orff approach for their simplicity which helps facilitate student success and creativity. Grade 3&4 students will learn a series of short songs that will also be performed as a whole class ensemble. This experience will allow the students to build on their knowledge of music through doing. That is, creating, making and performing.
During term 4 prep students will be applying their musical knowledge gained over the year to instruments and symbols. Prep students will explore the relationship between sound and symbols. That is, how sound can be represented as symbols that can then be documented for others to perform. Here prep students will need to draw on their knowledge of dynamics (louds and softs), tempo (fast and slow), pitch (high and low) as well as timbre (the sound quality an instrument makes) and unleash their creativity to compose short whole class compositions. Towards the end of the term preps will also engage in some merriment through song as the excitement of Christmas draws near.
In Term 4 grades 1&2 students will be exploring pitch. Using body movement, voice and tuned percussion instruments, students will be looking at the role that pitch plays in music. The students will be engaging in a number of games and activities that will help students achieve a deeper understanding of how pitch works. The students will also be given an opportunity to explore pitch using Orff tuned percussion instruments. These musical experiences will take place as whole class ensembles. Ensembles provide fabulous opportunities for the students to learn about pitch and other musical elements by adopting the role as a performer in a larger group.