Friday, February 27, 2015
The Joy of Self-Expression
Self-expression is a wonderful thing. Recently, I had the honor of teaching an expressive art and music lesson to 4th grade classrooms. It was such a joy to watch the kids' creativity come to life in our collaboration.
Part of the lesson was to show that music & art have a lot in common. One element we focused on was line. I explained that just as when artists draw lines that can go up, down, spiral, wavy, etc--I can do the same with a melody line. So, while I played my Native American flute, the kids listened to the shape of the melodic line I did and interpreted that in lines on their art piece.
The next connection of music and art we talked about was color. I told the kids that when I play the guitar, I can produce many different moods and shades of expression based on chords I play. Those of you who know music -consider the difference between a C major chord and C diminished chord. Quite a different color and mood! How would this be illustrated with color? This is what the kids did as they listened to my guitar playing and chose their colors from what they heard.
Check out their beautiful work in the picture above! Recently, I wanted to have a group of kids play an improvised song for a recital but I was told it would not be enjoyable for the audience to hear a song that was not recognizable. I thought that was a limiting way to view it and as you can see from above what joy can happen to allow self-expression. It is a good feeling to see their work and we all just made it up in the moment!