Saturday, 8 May 2010

Musical postcards

Not an original idea of mine, but one I tried for the first time on Thursday night with my NHK class. A 45-minute collaborative post holiday activity without everyone taking turns to 'speak'/ not really listen or learn anything useful...

As we've been talking about music, likes, dislikes etc and we've just come back from various Golden Week holidays, fitted the bill nicely.

Without explaining too much (like the output part coming later) I asked my students to listen to short clips of music & to draw a quick picture of whatever came to mind from the music. Not an art class so materpieces & time for erasers? No! Quick scribbles, yes!

Unfortunately there was a lot of literal interpretation going on - drawings of guitars & pianos, when I was hoping for more impressionistic jottings. Also very regimented - I made the mistake of saying there'd be 8 musical takes, so immediately everyone quartered and quartered again.

After 30 seconds or so of randomish music, as varied as I could from my iPhone collection (famously not to my students' tastes) they were given time to quickly 'finish off' their work before passing their paper to the left. Repeated until all got their original paper back, but full of everyone elses' artwork.

Lots of noise about being rubbish at drawing etc (me too!) but that really wasn't the point at all (nor critique my taste in tunes!) Students were asked to write a postcard about their GW (real or made up) then, referring to the drawings they had on the 'front' or picture side.

Suddenly, making a narrative around musical instruments was a decent challenge and a hum of feverish scribbling activity began. Buddy-checking for spelling etc before final products shared & voting on the best written work (Toshi - "romantic"), best artist (Hana).

Well done team.

From the chalkface