Tag Archives: composition

5/6 Audio Recordings Out In The Field

The grade 5/6 students officially started their recording projects last week. Over the next 4-5 weeks the students will be collecting numerous sounds from around the school. These sounds will form the basis of a larger soundscape or rhythmic composition.

The learning intention of this session was to experiment with the hardware and software to discover the limitations and possibilities. The students had to work in pairs using Garageband on the iPad to record a series of sounds and see if they could loop them into a short rhythmic piece of music.

The students were inspired by Diago Stocco’s recordings of “Music From A Dry Cleaner” and “Music From A Tree” (See videos below)

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Notan Squares by Grade 5/6

On Monday the Grade 5/6s learnt about the Japanese art form; Notan Squares. We discussed light and dark, positive and negative space, reflections, repetition and contrasting elements. Can you believe these are just their practice works? Imagine what their final works will look like!!

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Aurora Borealis artworks by The Preps

Wow, teaching the Preps about the Aurora Borealis was hard! There were so many concepts they needed to understand before they could grasp the scientific phenomena of the Aurora Borealis. But that didn’t matter, it was just about exposing them to the concept and they did really well! Over four weeks students made three different artworks with the Aurora Borealis as the subject matter. Using pastels and paint, students learnt how to draw a polar bear and pine trees, whilst learning about the difference between oil and dry pastels. The results are truly beautiful! To see this display, check out the big display board outside the art room.

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Cityscapes by Grade 1/2s

For three weeks the Grade 1s and 2s have been working on these cityscape paintings. As a class we discussed what reflections are and where we commonly see reflections; in glass, in a mirror, on a spoon, in water etc. This artwork enabled students to have a better understanding of shape, repetition and line. Check out the display in the office foyer!

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Sushe Felix inspired pastel works by Grade 1/2

Grade 1/2 students looked at the work of Sushe Felix, a contemporary artist from Colorado (I got this idea from Cassie Stephens: a fantastic art teacher from Tennessee http://cassiestephens.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/in-art-room-desert-landscapes-with.html). The great thing about this artwork was the children had to make their own stencils before they created their work. The students learnt about proportion, scale and perspective whilst creating these artworks.

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Bell Biennale Video

Wow! When I watch this amazing video of the Bell Biennale by Steven Pam it felt like it was yesterday the festival happened. Thank you so much Steven for putting this together. You have really captured the moment and the overall feeling of the festival. Argh the rain! We are so glad that Steven captured the weather with the majestic sounds of the Balinese Gamelan DanAnda in the opening sequence.  Reflecting back, Chelsea and I feel that the weather in some way enabled a shared struggle that bonded the school community around the festival.

1/2M Haiku Poem Compositions

The grade 1 and 2’s have been working in whole class and small collaborative groups to compose music to a variety of stimuli. This week they have started to compose music inspired by Japanese Haiku poems. This week the students were set a task to compose a soundscape that captures the atmosphere and mood of the Haiku Gnats.

Gnats come as cloud

and then spread out over

the coolness of the pool

 

Please listen to a sample of these soundscapes by grade 1/2M more from the other grades will be posted when they have finished.

 

 

Javanese Gamelan and Dance Comes To Bell (Part 1)

As part of the ongoing learning for the Bell Biennale Arts Festival “Our Asian Neighbours”, the grade 3&4 students were were treated to an amazing incursion on Thursday. Aaron and Nita Hall from Asia Raya travelled all the way from Bendigo with a complete Javanese Gamelan ensemble and dance costumes. What is a Gamelan? I hear you ask. Wikipedia pretty much nails it:

“Gamelan is traditional ensemble music of Java and Bali in Indonesia, made up predominantly of percussive instruments. The most common instruments are metallophones played by mallets as well as a set of hand played drums called kendang which register the beat (Wikipedia).”

The Javanese gamelan is mostly made up of six types of percussion instruments.
Saron

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Gong Kempul

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Kethuk

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Kenong

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Bonang

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Kendang

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When all these instruments are played at the same time the gamelan produces very impressive and loud sound. Yet simultaneously producing a calm and relaxed feeling because of the the nature of the harmony and pentatonic like scale.

The large size of the the ensemble means that everyone gets to have a go at playing an instrument and through several rotations the students were able to have a go of all the instruments.  Aaron explained that the gamelan at a beginning level is very accessible and the first songs can be learnt by students from a young age. Each part plays an equally important role in the ensemble. However, the main melody that the students learnt and was followed by the rest of the ensemble was played by the Saron. Bell students were able to learn quickly these melodies drawing on their previous knowledge of playing metallophones and what they had learnt about Javanese gamelan in class. The main melody followed a repeated pattern of hitting the notes on the Saron marked 5,6,5,6,2,1,2,1.  Aaron was very excited to see that Bell students learn the difficult Kenong and Bonang part easily. This part required the player to play their notes on what is called the ‘Off Beat’ or better described as the in between beats. The Gong Kempul required three students to play it. Once the first group had learnt the part they then became the pointers for the next group of pointers. Aaron was able to split the Kendang part into 4 separate drum parts. The Kendang is responsible for holding and directing the tempo of the ensemble.

To experience actually playing a real life gamelan was an incredible learning opportunity for Bell students. This incursion has been invaluable in allowing the student construct their knowledge about the Javanese gamelan. Which will hopefully be put to good use when the 3/4 students begin to compose their own Javanese inspired compositions.

Please make sure that you are one of our subscribers so that you will get a notification of when Part 2 will be posted. Part 2 will look at the wonderful Javanese Dance that the students were engaged with.

What’s Happening In Music This Term!

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Exciting times for music at Bell 2015! We have a new music room that is an amazing space. We at Bell are so lucky to have such a rich arts program and the new space is going to support the program very well.

Prep

In term one we will be focussing on the building blocks of music. These include pitch, rhythm, timbre and texture.We will do this using a variety of games, singing, and simple composition exercises. We will also be starting simple listening tasks using a variety of genres and styles. This will be done using both video and audio examples. This is to encourage the children’s visual and aural thinking processes.
Grade 1 and 2

The students will make and present music works using a range of music elements, skills, techniques and processes. Specifically, the students will be exploring pitch and melody using percussion instruments to create simple compositions. The students will also participate in singing sessions and we will start to learn how to part sing through simple chants and songs. Student will also engage in various audio/visual activities working towards developing their music analysis skills.
Grade 3&4

In term one, grade 3&4 students will begin their focus on Asian music looking at elements of Javanese /Balinese Gamelan as well as elements of North Hindi Indian Raga. Through these foci, students will draw on a range of musical skills to support their creativity thinking. They will be empowered to adopting the role of composers to create short melodic and rhythmic compositions inspired by their exposure to the main elements of Javanese/Balinese Gamelan and Indian Raga. Students will also be given opportunities to develop their collaborative skills when working with others in their small composition groups.

Grade 5&6

In Term 1 grade 5&6 students will begin to look at elements of Chinese Lougu Percussion Music. This is the music that accompanies the lion and dragon dance that you often see at chinese new year celebrations. This music will allow the students to experience the various instrumentation, rhythms and tempo that are unique to the Chinese Lougu ensemble. Towards the end of the term 1 and into term two the grade 5/6 students will be empowered to adopt the role of composers and begin to create their short Chinese Lougu inspired rhythmic compositions. Throughout the unit students will also learn about the cultural background to the Chinese Lougu and why the dragon and lion are important chinese symbols