This week, our class focused on exploring art through sound, creating some new and exciting experiences.
When students arrived, I had some classical music playing. I asked the students to paint how the music made them feel. While they worked, I briefly told them about the painter Wassily Kandinsky and how he actually saw colors when he heard music. To all the adults' amazement, a quiet blanketed the room while the students immersed themselves in their artwork.
Over the weeks I have gotten to know this particular group of girls' art style. It was interesting to observe that during this exercise, they each pushed themselves into a style of artwork that was different than their usual work.
Once we got into our art stations, the noise level drastically increased. Our first art station is an activity I usually like to do outside on pavement, but it worked nicely inside on some black paper. I prepared some chalk bits and showed students how they could crush the chalk by hammering it. The explosion creates a fun firework effect. This was not a station that required a long exploration time, but it did provide a loud thrill.
Our second art station was marble painting. Students put paper, paint and marbles inside an oatmeal can, closed it up, and shook as hard as they could. We started with beans instead of marbles, but we learned the beans gunked up too much in the paint and got stuck. We experimented with the amount of paint and how hard to shake until we came up with results we were pleased with.
Our third art station took a closer ear to hear the sound. Hidden in our watercolor paints was some baking soda. We learned that the baking soda likes to settle on the bottom and it is best to stir the paint before using. After students finished their painting, I gave each child a cup of vinegar and encouraged them to apply the vinegar onto their painting. Children were surprised to see bubbles erupt onto their artwork!
I added a forth station to this class because I knew a lot of the stations were going to be fast moving. At our fourth station, students had the option to design musical instruments - a shaker or a music stick.
I started the shakers by taping one side of a cardboard tube closed. Students filled the tubes with beans and then their adult helped them tape the cardboard in the opposite direction. Once the shaker was closed, it was ready to be decorated. I originally provided stickers and gel crayons for decoration, but many students requested to use paint.
The music sticks activity was perfect for refining fine motor skills and developing independence. Students started by sliding bells onto pipe cleaners. This was tricky, but doable. I loved hearing one little girl telling herself, "I can DO this." And she did! Once bells were strung onto the pipe cleaner, the pipe cleaner was simply wrapped around a piece of drift wood. The activity was enough of a challenge to make it captivating and some students enjoyed making several.