I really like my school and everyday I’m learning and discovering new things, but there is something that I really miss: music. Is there music at school? Of course, it is. Is it enough? Probably not. Music is an art involved in our daily life, but sometimes music is in the background and we don’t think about its role at school.
In my school we are always listening to different kinds of music with the speaker, we have also a piano that some kids play and one teacher is doing a workshop to learn how to play Djembe. In my opinion, this is not enough. The kids who are enjoying these activities are kids who was been in contact with the music before. Some of them are doing piano lessons out of the school, that’s why they like to play the school’s piano. But rarely I have seen a kid who has no contact with music in these kinds of activities. What do we have to do as a teachers? My answer is clear: we have to bring music to all the kids, they have to discover it and enjoy it in different ways. That’s our job. That’s why putting a speaker or a piano is not enough. As a teachers we have to think about different workshops and opportunities to discover and learn through this art.
As a music teacher, I decided to create some workshops but it wasn’t easy. I don’t have a lot of experience, so at the beginning I was lost and run out of ideas, but step by step everything came out. So, during November I made 4 music workshops, one per week.
I decided to make completely different workshops, so the children could learn in different ways.
The first workshop was about listening songs from around the world. Can we understand the meaning of the song without knowing the language? The activity was really interesting and the kids were explaining their opinions about the songs, the rhythm, the instruments… It was a first approach to a kind of music that they weren’t used to listen to.
On the second workshop I decided to create some music together. At school we don’t have instruments (just piano and djembes), but that wasn’t a problem. We created music with objects from our quotidian life. The result wasn’t the best (it was out first time), but kids realised that you can play music everywhere and together we can create amazing things!
The next workshop was about music and emotions. As you know, arts and emotions are really involved and music is not an exception. My tutor helped me with this workshop and we decided to make a body painting workshop. We were listening to music while we were painting in our body what we were feeling in that moment. In this workshop the selection of the songs was really important: it was a trip through different kind of emotions in a specific an important order.
Finally, the last workshop was about percussion. I realised that some kids were playing a song with some cups of the kitchen, so I thought that it would be a great idea to make a workshop about that. We played the song that they knew but also different songs with different rhythms. In this workshop, I could see how kids were helping and teaching to each other; how they were improving their rhythm and singing skills… It was really fun and since then, almost every day they are playing the cups and teaching to the others.
To conclude, as I said before, music is really important and a piano is not enough. We have to create different opportunities for the kids. During these workshops, kids enjoyed songs that they have never listened to before, through teamwork they created different rhythms and they helped each other to learn percussions. But most importantly, they had fun and they expressed themselves, their feelings and emotions in a different way.
That’s music and that’s why is important to give it a place at school.
Ester from Catalonia in Wolna Skoła Ursynów, Warsaw.
This project is co-founded by European Solidarity Corps.