Mark@ Musical Gems
If you've taught music for any length of time at all you know it can sometimes make you feel a little isolated. We are often down at the end of the building away from everyone else. I am actually on a hall by myself. But, I'm here to tell you that you have a built-in partner in crime right there around the corner! What? You don't have a built-in partner in crime? Yes you do! He or she is right there in the art room! The one other person in your building who actually is teaching a lot of the same skills and concepts that you are only visually as opposed to aurally. As a part of our MusicTeaching101 blog series here are 5 ways to quickly and easily collaborate with your very own "PARTner in Crime", aka the art teacher!
1. TIME LINE: Consider collaborating on a timeline. We did this in our hallway and included not only musicians and artists but also famous figures from history that we knew students would be learning about or felt they would recognize.
2. FORM: Did you know that students learn about form in ART as well? They do! Collaborate with your art teacher on a project where students have to represent a musical form in their artwork. In this project, students were learning about print-making and it was an easy addition to the art lesson to have students print their artwork in RONDO form.
3. Science: At some point in elementary school students learn about simple machines in science. In our school it happens in third grade. What if you and your partner in crime get together with your science teachers to find out when they will be studying simple machines and capitalize on an opportunity to increase depth and breadth of learning. In music you could teach "The Grandfather Clock." You might Orff it up by playing various note values on the instruments as you sing "The Clock Song." Add some movement using Artie Almeida's scarf activity with "The Syncopated Clock" by Leroy Anderson. Or use Kodaly's "The Musical Clock". Then pull in a couple of segments from the "Animusic" DVDs which are not only creatively cool but fascinating to watch how the machines make music. In art students were challenged to create their own print of a machine using a variety of (teacher provided) found objects.
4. Instruments of the Orchestra: Need to clean out your file of old choral pieces you thought you might use but never did and now they are a little dated? Give some to your art buddy and propose a collaboration about instruments of the orchestra. Our 5th graders did these projects where they created a modern take on a still life by using a portion of an instrument and adding sheet music in strategic places to highlight their art. They really ended up quite spectacularly. This would go hand in hand with your presentation and study of the families of the orchestra.
5. Monsters: As a quick seasonal collaboration for the month of October how about Monsters?. First graders created monsters in art using shapes while in music I used Ed Emberley's book If You're a Monster and You Know It. Now I bet if you were to do a search TpT, you might find some awesome monster products to reinforce all types of music concepts that would go along with this beautifully.
Who is your partner in crime? What have you done to collaborate with him/her or other teachers in your building? I'd love to know and/or see what you have done. Leave a comment below and tell my of your collaborative adventures!
Mark@ Musical Gems