Monday, June 3, 2013

Brand New Beginnings

There are only 2 more days with kids and 2 days of post-planning before I am done for the year.  While I love these last few days with my students before summer vacation (I really do, despite the fact that they are bouncing off the walls!), this year I am just as excited as the kids to start the break.  I'd love to say that it's because I have an amazing trip planned to the beach to relax by the shore but it is far from that.

In January my best buddy and I, Mrs. M (the art teacher from my school), embarked on the journey of starting our own business.  I am proud to say that, after a lot of research and hard work, I am the Co-Owner of a Summer Art and Music Camp!  While I won't be lying on the beach for the first few weeks of summer, I am relishing the opportunity to make music with children and share the experience of running our own business.

Tonight I was working on some of my camp lessons and going through some supplies I have gathered from family and friends over the years and this is what I camp up with....

It's kind of hard to tell what they are from the picture, so let me explain.  I had a bunch of chopsticks that I was trying to use in some way and then it hit me.  Cup Drumming!  After unwrapping a set and trying it out on a plastic cup, I was happy with the sound but the chopsticks were splintering and a bit flimsy.  

Being the band nerd that I am, I remembered that the drum line in marching band used electrical tape to wrap their sticks.  So, I ransacked my tape drawer and found some!  Yes, between two teachers, we have a whole tape drawer in our house.  We have everything from duct to scotch to double sided and beyond.  Then I wrapped the sticks in an assortment of colors.

Here is what they look like in use:

My patient husband as a hand model.

While this is something that I am planning for camp, there are so many practical applications for the classroom.  Here are some I've thought of so far:

1.  Play-a-long to famous pieces.
The sound of the drumming is light enough that you could have a whole class playing-a-long without it covering the musical selection.  If you do your sticks multi-colored like mine, you could have different groups play-a-long to different sections in the music; A-red, B-blue, etc.

2.  Centers
These would be great for rhythmic centers.  Again the light sound wouldn't be distracting to kids working other places in the room.

3.  Improv
These would be nice for a variation on an improv activity.  I'm thinking Q and A.

How do you think you could use these in your classroom?

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