In recent weeks we have begun an exploration of music with our Purple Room Cookies! We first noticed the group’s interest in music in the ways they played with magnetic balls and rods. We set these magnetic pieces out as a building provocation on the rug and observed the Purple Room friends using the rods and balls to create microphones!
Children gathered on the rug to sing together with their “microphones”! Though the Paw Patrol theme song was the tune most frequently heard, the “microphones” inspired the children to hear and use their voices in new and exciting ways. We heard the children chant, sing, and experiment with volume and timbre.
Recognizing the children’s interest in vocalizing, we introduced a real microphone in the following weeks, allowing the children to play with with actual sound amplification. We used our (also purple!) karaoke microphone at Meeting, giving each child the chance to make their voice heard! This particular microphone also had a highly entertaining echo feature that the children loved.
We also provided the children with toy echo-microphones for even more fun!
In the weeks since, we have continued our exploration of music by incorporating musical instruments and other sound-making tools into our day!
Percussion instruments like the drums in Kylie’s Movement class brought big smiles and lots of laughs!
As we continued to explore music, we noticed that the limited space in the Purple Room meant that exploring sound at full volume was sometimes overwhelming. For this reason, we began utilizing our time in gross motor spaces like the gym and roof to make music without limits! This week, we set up xylophones and Boomwhackers (percussive tubes that create a pitched sound when struck against the floor). We thought these two materials created an interesting pairing. Both are color coded in rainbow order with the lowest pitch being red, the next lowest being orange and so on and so forth and also demonstrate the role that vibration plays in sound creation.
We were curious how the children would interact with these new materials!
We have also incorporated other kinds of sound producing materials like the rain stick into our classroom. We are curious about the way these sound-making objects can be used as tools to promote mindfulness, body awareness, and a sense of calmness in the children.
Our exploration of music and sound has extended onto our bookshelf, too!
As a next step in our thematic exploration, we have begun introducing musical notation into our provocations to the children! Our students have begun expressing curiosity in symbolic language, asking questions about environmental print and some of the letters in their name. We are curious about what the children will make of musical notation as another kind of symbolic language. We set out pages with musical notes and art materials at a table during open time, accompanied by a speaker playing classical music.
We can’t wait to see where our musical exploration takes us in the coming months!