What can you do with 4 spots?
The question is quite open, but the kids took it in the spirit intended (uses were restricted to ways to arrange and move through them). Here are some of the ways they discovered, and questions they explored:
- arrange in square, step only on the spots
- what’s the difference between a square and a diamond in this case? (answer was inconclusive, but seemed to have to do with visual perspective)
- take one step in between each spot
- place them far a part
- place them close together
I played a pattern (quarter quarter half) and asked them to arrange the spots any way they liked, and to move through them to show this pattern.
There were two solutions. In one the kids stopped on the spot for the long note, in the other they kept moving, arriving at the spot during the second beat of the longest note. The spot represented a rest in one version, and the end of the pattern in the other. Both true, and highlighting different perspectives. I accompanied both versions, and one student felt certain that I was changing the way I played on the second version. I wasn’t, but her feeling changed by changing her movement. A very Dalcrozian experience!
Chalk Talk Exploration
They asked to draw on the chalk board. Ok: one student drew, and I followed their movement on the piano. After everybody had a turn, we switched: I played and they drew to match. This was an introduction to a dictation technique that we will return to later.
Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong: St Louis Blues
We ended by listening for the call and response of trumpet and voice in a classic recording of the blues we have been playing and singing for the past few weeks. Here’s the link if you’d like to hear it.
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