Reading Assignment for October 6th
*Reading: “Riders of the C-Bus” from Songs in their Heads by Patricia Shehan Campbell
- What types of musical experiences are the riders engaging in?Give specific examples from the text. What roles do these experiences play in the lives of the riders?:
They engage in many different forms of musical experiences. Much of the musical interaction that they choose to engage in have some influence from their parents or general culture. One such example would be the girls singing “Over the Sea to the Skye”. Other experiences include content that children have learned from their peers and deemed as valuable from their peers, such as the girls who did the cheer “Say you got the rhythm”. Others engaged in other, more personal, musical activities, such as the girl who sang and made up her won songs and the boy who quietly listened to music on his headphones the entire bus ride.
- What can you take from this reading that might empower your current/future teaching? What can you do with that information?:
Throughout this story the children are making their own musical expressions in a variety of ways. This shows how much of a natural inclination children have toward music and creating music. This is an important idea to keep in mind as a music teacher. Children have a strong inclination toward music making and are naturally talented at it. I can use their natural abilities in the classroom to help them on their learning.
*Reading: “ George” from Songs in their Heads by Patricia Shehan Campbell
- George describes “close” and “far away” music. What does he mean? How do you make sense out of this as a music teacher?:
He describes music that is made by the individual, such as singing or whistling, as music that is close, and music that is made from instruments as far away. I think this makes a lot of sense. Personally, I have a lot of experience in both orchestras and choirs because throughout school I was a trained violist and singer. Because of this, I have thought a great deal about the similarities and differences between music that comes from the performer’s body itself (such as singing and whistling) and music that comes from instruments. The relation of close and further away to describe them actually makes a lot of sense to me.
- What does Campbell mean when she says that George’s “valuing of music is innately connected to its kinesthetic qualities”? Give specific examples from the text that support Campbell’s assertion. How does this information impact your understandings of children, music learning, and teaching?:
I think that she means that he relates music to real life experiences. He relates sounds and these nontangible ideas to tangible ones to better understand them. One idea that he mentioned that demonstrates this includes his idea of singing and whistling as close and instrumental music as further away. Another is that the bass guitar “feels” cool because of the vibrations of the instrument. Another idea is that he feels that music and dancing must go together to be a good musician. This shows that he values some sort of physical engagement with music. This really confirms an idea that I hold very strongly to that it is important to incorporate movement in music. Movement helps children understand, feel, and generally learn the music, and George’s ideas help reinforce that idea. It also shows me that it is very important to relate music and these abstract ideas and sounds to some sort of physical familiar idea if possible. This will also help the children understand the music.
- What else do you find particularly interesting about George’s discussion of music? Give specific examples from the text. What does this mean for you as a music teacher?:
I find it really interesting that he is so interested in making instruments! When I was younger I had a fascination for making instruments as well. I actually wanted to be a luthier before I wanted to be a music teacher. I had this great interest in what instruments (mainly string instruments) were made of and how they were made, so this is so interesting to me that he also has this interest and at such a young age. I think that it is wonderful that he has the chance to actually experience the making of some of these instruments. I think that as a music teacher this shows me that it would an interesting and fun project to have the students make a basic instrument of their own made of household materials to help them be creative and to give them this experience and understanding of the mechanics of instruments.