Thursday, 18 June 2009

Learning Through the Arts

Our kid's school makes a concerted effort to involve the arts with learning. Today they had a 'sharing assembly' where they shared some of the things they'd learned with one of my favorite Artist in Residence people: Debra Gablehouse-Maloney. This woman is amazing! She is uber-talented. I'm amazed, every time I've seen her in action, at what she can get these kids to do. I watch her and my throat swells up and my eyes water because there's truly something magic that happens when curriculum learning and music are mixed together. It's stuff I just dream of doing!

She worked with the K, Grade 1 and 2 classes this time. In this first video below they're singing a song about friendship. They sing it in a bunch of different languages that children in the class speak. You can only see Peirce in the first few seconds of it because they do it in a round and he ends up going round to a part of the circle where we can't see him so well.

This one incorporates some things they've been doing in Science. They've been learning about insects and this song has some facts they've learned and some poems they wrote.

DEBRA'S STATEMENT ABOUT ARTS INTEGRATION: "With our changing world many of today's' children have become part of a generation that is unfamiliar with the basic art forms. Music is such a wonderful gift that should be part of all of our children's lives. I want to share this gift of music. It can be such an integral part of their language arts experience. We can all learn so much from each other as we enter this new chapter of learning and explore the many possibilities and opportunities to integrate the arts into the children's programs.

"Music must reflect the culture of the students we work with. As teachers, we must be creative enough to meet the needs of all of our students and provide them with the opportunity to grow. The 'magic' of music has the power to train the child's social behavior, independence, emotional development, and communication skills. Very importantly, music has the ability to develop expression of feelings and experiences. With constant exposure to quality music and movement these things will happen as music is an essential vehicle to aid the direction of important behavior patterns."

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