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Music & Dance Reflective Journal

Eight reflective journal entries describing my creative arts learning experiences for semester one, third year.

Eleni Kon

on 1 June 2015

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Transcript of Music & Dance Reflective Journal

Week 5
Performing - Playing
This tutorial focused on:
Creating Percussion Scores
Reading Simple Rhythms and melodies
Using chords to make simple accompaniments
Tutorial Body - Performing, playing and appreciating music

In this tutorial, we listened to the song “Jellybeans” on the percussion chart. We begun by looking at un-tuned percussion – (instruments which don’t have a definite pitch such as the triangle and maracas). In a circle, we stated the name of the instrument we were holding and demonstrated two ways the instrument can be played. This is an important teaching point as students need to be provided with opportunities to explore and learn music by actively being involved in the inquiry process. We listened to the piece before actually playing it – this is effective in a primary classroom as it provides students with a "feel" for the song and the elements surrounding it such as the beat and tempo. This is something I will keep in mind when introducing new music to the students in my classroom. Following this, we played the song “Sansa Kroma”. The entire class used instruments to play this song such as the Xyophone, metaaphone and mallet and different students were appointed to do the base, the beat and various sounds.

We were introduced to a website where we could buy music sheets for kareoke: www.kareoke-version.com.
I found this website useful and will keep it in mind in the future to use in my teaching practice. An activity which we could do is to provide students with a music sheet such as "Happy" (see below) and see if they can decipher the structure, rhythm and melody of the song which is also what we were required to do with the Jelly Bean song. In doing this, we were learning music in a way which further developed our critical understanding and also delves deeper than merely playing music - we learnt about how sound is organised, composed, arranged and notated by listening to music and analyzing its structure Gibson and Ewing (2011, p.112) . However, the performing aspect of music (singing, playing and moving) is of course still a major focus and we thoroughly enjoyed experimenting playing different songs using various instruments in this tutorial.

Music & Dance Reflective Journal
By Eleni Kontominas

To introduce the lesson, we re-visited the elements of music. These are:
- sub components - tempo (speed), beat (even pulse, underlying heartbeat), rhythm, metre (how the groups are put together - clumps of)
Pitch -
(high, low) Tone Colour (instrumentation, tone of sound, sound source, quality of the sound)
Structure -
(how a piece is arranged - bridge, chorus, bridge chorus, A and B section etc...)
- (Volume of sound eg. loudness and softness - many gradations of this)

Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 12
Week 11
Week 10

Apple (2014) Garage Band For Mac retrieved 20 May from

Barton, G. (2014): Literacy in the Arts: Retheorising Learning and Teaching. Springer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-04846-8.

Board of Studies (2000) Creative Arts Unit of Work. Board of Studies, New South Wales, Australia.

Ewing, R. (2010) The Arts and Australian Education: Realising potential. Australian Council for Educational Research. Retrieved 15th May from http://www.acer.edu.au/documents/aer-58.pdf pp. 9.

Ewing, R., Simons, J. M., & Hertzberg, M. (2004). Beyond the script: take 2 : drama in the classroom. Newtown, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association.

Gibson, R., & Ewing, R. (2011). Transforming the curriculum through the arts. South Yarra, Vic.: Palgrave Macmillan.

Modern Dance, Building and Teaching Lessons, by Aileen S. Lockhart and Ester E. Pease, Dubuque,
Iowa, Wm. C. Brown Company, 1996, p.119 ff.

Stinson, S.W., Blumenfield-Jones, D., and Van Dyke, J. 1990: The Voices of Young Women Dance Students (with Susan W. Stinson and Donald Blumenfeld-Jones) Dance Research Journal, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Autumn, 1990), pp. 13-22.

Performing - Singing and Moving
This tutorial focused on:
Vocal techniques and repertoire selection
Singing in parts (rounds, partner songs, part-singing)
Using Simple Choreography in ensemble performances
“Education in music is most sovereign because more than anything else rhythm and harmony find their way to the inmost soul and take strongest hold upon them, bringing with them and imparting grace if one is rightly trained” – Plate Ancient Greek Philosopher
Tutorial Body - Singing

According to Cincotta (2015), "singing is not just about sticking a CD in the CD player and pressing play!" [tutorial notes, 2015]. Selecting appropriate repertoire is extremely important when teaching singing; teachers need to consider the technical capability of the singers in the classroom and also keep in mind that students need to have a connection to what they are singing about. When analysing sources for technical capability, teachers should consider the appropriateness of the range (tessitura), melodic line, rhythm and complexity of the song. Therefore, it is obvious that resource selection for kindergarten will differ from musical resources selected for a year six class. Careful repertoire selection is something I will ensure to do in my teaching practice.

It is paramount that students are trained to use their voice correctly so as to not damage it and to also project the intended sound. During our tutorial, we went through important articulation exercises such as tongue twisters, scales, pitch intervals, breathing exercising, agility, flexibility and range extension.

As a class, we explored the use of simple choreography in ensemble performances. This was achieved by singing "Calypso" by Susie Davis Splitter. Initially, the song was played for us once through so we were able to get a "feel" for the music. Our tutor went through the lyrics of the song so that we were able to learn them. Dance moves were then added to each part to correspond with the lyrics. To conclude the tutorial, we were asked to create a 12 Bar blue structure. Gibson and Ewing (2011, p.112) illustrates that music "stimulates creativity because making music involves with experimenting with sounds and rhythms". My group and I constructed this 12 bar structure around the notion of "Coffee Blues" - the teaching implications for an activity such as this means that students are actively engaged in the learning as they jointly construct a rap which is passionate to them.

Listening and Organising Sound
This tutorial focused on:
Creating Simple Compositions
Selecting Music for listening activities with a specific musical focus
Integrating music with other KLA's and Technology
"GarageBand is a whole music creation studio right inside your Mac — with a complete sound library that includes software instruments, presets for guitar and voice, and virtual session drummers. An intuitive interface makes it easy to learn, play, record, create, and share your hits worldwide. It’s never been easier to make music like a pro" (Apple, 2015).
The beginning of this tutorial involved experimenting with the various aspects of garage band such as:

Smart drums –
Here you are able to include an underlying default drum beat. Students can then add multiple layers anywhere throughout their music composition.
• Smart strings –
Students can experiment with different chords of strings. They can hold or they can tap and this alters the sound - holding drags the chord and tapping is a much shorter sound (staccato).
And much more!

Tutorial Body

Garage band exercises student understands of musical concepts such as structure, pitch, dynamics and tone colour. The questioning behind the choices students make on garage band in relation to these elements is what constitutes a strong, relevant and meaningful musical lesson. Such questions include:
how can it be made better? How can you use different instruments?
Students also feel a sense of success as they present their work.

The next part of this tutorial involved listening to a musical collection presented by our teacher. Some of these musical pieces involved transforming the behaviour and personality of different animals through music. As a class, we listened to these pieces and identified their musical concepts. The aim of this activity is for the children to see how they musical pieces are played and describe them. It also demonstrates how dynamics can change and affect the mood, for example, - the moderately soft piano playing throughout "The Swan" piece evoked feelings of strength, graciousness, elegance, softness and beauty. Our tutor encouraged us to discuss the language of music based on italian terms such as crescendo, forte, piano etc. Other musical pieces we were shown include:
In the Hall of the Mountain King - Edvard Greig, The Ice Dance - Edward Scissorhands, Harry Potter - Hedwig's Theme.

We were encouraged to ensure the musical pieces we show our students are familiar to them or are something we are planning to show them. Teachers are also encouraged to select pieces of music which are diverse and open new avenues and ways of thinking for students. Students can then pin-point elements of music which they can identify and therefore be intuitive in understanding how composers work and the intentional, musical choices they make.
Integrating music in the wider curriculum
Connecting Music and Literacy
Connecting Music and Maths
Exploring Music through other KLA's
Tutorial Body - KLA Integration Ideas

. Maths: Looking at beats per bar , counting problems and equations from notes, making songs or raps to remember multiplication, analysing timing, rhythm, music patterns and patterning. Algebra Measurement (physically measuring the bars) Analysing big instrument and small instruments - does size affect sound? Creating graphs about popular artists.
2. English: Integrating stories, poems, songs. Re-creating a text through performance. Accompanying sound effects to stories. Using picture books as stimulus. Composing songs. Exploring Onomatopoeia. Analysing song texts.
3. Science & Technology: Vibrations of sound - how sound works scientifically. Machines, digital instruments e.g. Ipads, Garage band, recording sounds and looping them together. Sound waves that animals make for communication. Sound experiments such as: amplification, stethoscope, recording studios (block out sound). Experiments with glasses - how the water affects pitch. (Doplor effect). Physically making instruments out of things such as a shoebox, rubber band. Asking students:
how do you get resonance, why did you create this .
4. Creative Arts: Visual Arts: Viewing an artwork and creating a sound track to suit the artwork. Drawing musical instruments! Media - Singing commercial songs, integrating music in a media arts project. Taking off the sound of a specific film and ask students to choose a different sound to go with it. Then re-introduce the original sound and describe how the music changes everything. Dance - Matching tempo by creating a dance to music. Drama - Exploring actions and body language through music.
5. Geography & History: National anthems of countries and folk song. Analysing music through eras of a country. Understanding how sound and Religion are linked e.g. hymns, prayers. Indigenous perspective - special, instruments. How music shapes, communicates
6. PDHPE: Body percussion in dance. Creating soundtrack for gymnastics routine Showing dynamics through movement. Creating a jingle or playground map in relation to health promotion.

The Body
What movements can the body make? Body shape, body parts, the five body actions. Stimuli : The spoken and written word.
The focus of this tutorial was on "the body", in particular: Shapes, Action, Parts

We re-visited the fact that dance has three strands: Composition, Performance and Appreciating. The elements of dance through which these strands are taught and centered around are:

These elements will be discussed further in the body of the tutorial (see next slide)

This tutorial focused on:
Effort and Dynamics. These include:
Energy, Force and Movement quality (sudden/sustained, direct/indirect, light/heavy).
How these movement qualities are controlled and implemented?
Stimuli: Music and Sound
This tutorial focused on:
Space - General and Personal Space
Place, level, direction, pathway and size.
Stimuli: Art and other visual objects
This tutorial focused on:
Integrating dance in the wider curriculum
Connecting Dance and Literacy
Connecting Dance and Numeracy
Exploring Dance through other KLA's
Title: Coffee Blues
I wake up int he morning and I'm running really late
I really need coffee but it's gonna have to wait.

I walk into the lecture ten minute after start
I didn't get my coffee and that just breaks my heart

The lecture's finally over and now I've got some time
I go up to the cafe and that coffee is finally mine

Tutorial Body - Exploring the Body

According to McGill [tutorial notes, 2015] , a dance warm up should compromise approximately 20 minutes of a standard lesson. As this was the introductory dance tutorial, our tutor established our prior knowledge of warm up activities by asking us to conduct our own dance warm ups with the class. Such warm ups conducted by the group included relay games, aerobic exercises, imitating animals in various ways and bull-rush and stuck in the mud variations. It was interesting to see what members in our tutorial created. An effective dance warm up will incorporate the areas of performance skills including
strength, stamina/endurance, balance, co-ordination and flexibility.

During this tutorial, students had the opportunity to manipulate their body in a variety of ways and through a range of activities. In one activity conducted, students were shown visual stimuli (for example, the letter P). Students must first get into a specific number called out by the teacher for example "4!" and create (using their bodies) the letter P. To incorporate dance elements, students can experiment conducting these shapes using different levels etc
In the following activity, the teacher provided four written word stimuli and students had to create a dance (of at least two counts of eight) from these words. These were: 1. clap, 2.stomp, 3. leap, 4.hop. Students were organized into groups of four and each student had to roll a die and contribute a specific dance move which was then amalgamated to form a short dance sequence. I enjoyed this activity and the benefits of using it in the primary setting were also evident - through group collaboration, students felt a sense of accomplishment as they each had an input in the final product of the dance, allowing them to experiment with dance actions and elements in a risk free environment.

Tutorial Body - Exploring the Body

Tutorial Body - Lion King Composition

Tutorial Body - Integrating KLAs

When we move creatively, we are analysing through our bodies and turning that analysis into action: Donald Blumenfield-Jones (2008).
Interviewing Literature & Dance - Group Harry Potter Draft Teaching

- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Stage 2/3
- Stimulus: Escape scene with flying car

- Spellcasting (teacher directs students)
- Focusing on elements of dance
- Alohomora, Wingardium Leviosa - once these spells are cast on students, they must manipulate their bodies according with what effect the students think these spells would have.

- Hot seat (dynamics, representations of power)
- How this may be represented in dance

Composing using the above representations of character
- Reflecting on own and others representations of scene

As a warm up activity, students participated in "follow the leader". In this activity, students were organised into lines which consisted of five group members each. These five group members were appointed to be one forms of movement: Swing, Sustained, Vibratory, Percussive or Lyrical. The leader of the line created a movement which complimented their given movement form and the rest of the group were required to do the same. When the teacher said "switch", the leader of the line would proceed to the back and it would be the turn of the next person at the front of the line to create a movement. I can see how this activity would really stimulate student's thinking about the different forms of movement in a creative manner - if students feel intimidated to create their own movement as the leader, all they need to do is glance around the classroom and use the ideas of their peers.
Using the key words TURN, STOMP, DROP and JUMP, we explored traveling down the room to the classic Michael Jackson Soundtrack. Once this activity was scaffolded by Iris for us, we were then organised into four groups and given a "phrase" to design and teach the class. This phrase had to involve traveling down the room.
The four groups were:
• Strong/subtle movements- explode, punch, whip
• Light /sudden- dart, dash, flicker
• Strong/sustained- press, ring, pull
• Light/sustained- glide, float, smooth

This activity took longer than expected in our tutorial however we all enjoyed creating our dance phrases and it was great that our tutor focused on the elements which needed attention and refinement before moving on. This is an important teaching point that I will take with me and use in dance education.

Dance has the ability to promote social inclusion, resilience, collaboration and opportunities for critical thinking where students are able to make judgements and decisions. Through the sensory nature of the arts, dance focuses on learning through the whole child on social, cognitive, emotional and aesthetic dimensions. Barton (2014) discusses dance in relation to the holistic nature of dance by stating "the pathways of learning dance are individuated; transcendence is realised through the common experience that what we are learning is coming from within." (p.111). Consequently, dance can be (and in my opinion,
be) integrated across all Key Learning Areas.
Dance ties in beautifully with literacy by helping students engage in literacy texts in creative ways. Students are able to refine thinking and collaborative skills as well as find "structure in chaos". An example of how we combined literacy and dance was demonstrated in this tutorial by creating a warm up, impro and development for a scene from Harry Potter (see next slides).
In relation to dance numeracy, students can make decisions confidently, refine solution based on outcomes, gather information as they explore ideas.

"The arts support young people in becoming successful learners, confident and creative individuals and active and informed citizens"

A key focus of this tutorial was the notion that learning through "the arts" cultivates an environment where students can be active learners and make meaningful connections.
I believe that at the heart of arts education is expression; allowing students to input their personal feelings and emotion into their learning, all whilst having fun. I aim to draw upon the elements I have learnt throughout my experience of Creative Arts education at University and transfer the skills and values I learn to the students I teach in the future!
Concluding Statement
With a partner, we chose a book to discuss in relation to learning experiences we could pair with music. The book my partner and I chose was "Bertie and the Bear" by Pamella Allen.
An example of what students could do in the classroom to pair music with literacy would be creating a piece of music to accompany this literary text. This isn't to say the piece of music needs to be done through physical instruments; teachers can integrate ICT into student learning by getting students to use "Garage Band" to create a sound-scape for their text.
Below are annotated photographs providing examples of what students could explore as the pages in the book progress.
"To treat movement dynamically is to impart to it various shadings of intensity, to provide for contrasts and more implicit subtleties of reference. (Lockhart and Pease, 1996).
Music lends itself to dance (McGill, 2015).
This week we created composition to a musical peice from the Lion King soundtrack. Automatically, students who knew this song from the famous movie are able to relate their learning to something they are interested in, hence increasing engagement.

The tutorial began by using visual stimulus in order to develop choreography to this sound track.
We then had to add more steps to this choreography within a small group and then proceed to performing it as a whole class. Students incorporated their problem solving skills as they decided what choreography would best suit the dance. Dance elements were touched upon heavily throughout this process, especially in terms of relationships as students had to think about the relationships as pairs, group members and then a whole class. Students also had to think about the effect the dynamics of these relationships would have on an audience.
I enjoyed participating in the class construction of our performance as it felt like the dance was "coming together" from each of our group contributions. This is definitely an activity I will take and adapt in my teaching.
Group Lion King Composition
This is an excerpt of my group's rap creation
Keyboard on Garage Band

Just a few examples of books which can be used in the classroom.
Students can create a sound to represent Bertie and a sound to represent the bear.
Throughout the book, sounds will crescendo towards this point. At this page, students will use play their instruments at an extremely loud volume and fast pace.
At this stage in the book, students can practice playing nothing - rest is an important aspect of music they also need to understand.
Creating a 12 Bar blues structure
In groups, we discussed ways of integrating other KLA's into our music lessons. Here are some of our ideas:
In the beginning of this tutorial, Iris taught us simple dance choreography. We were then paired up and appointed different stimuli to adapt this choreography to. Aleesha and I were given the contrasting movement of
"through and around"
to create a short dance sequence. The video in the following slide is of two classmates performing the activity to "through and around" as unfortunately, we did not record us performing this dance.
However, appreciating and viewing the performances or others is an important part of strand of dance education.
BOS (2006) states "appreciating involves responding to dance works by viewing, talking, writing and reading. It provides students with opportunities to analyse, value and reflect on their own work and the work of others in terms of personal, cultural and structural meanings" (p.17)
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