Session #4 – July 24, 2010

Our guest teachers and friends, Flannery Cashill and Jimmy Fitzner, opened students’ minds to the world of sound. We are working toward creating an experience for our upcoming performance, and wanted to expand beyond the visual realm to include sound effects, chanting, and percussion.

Flannery’s lesson focused on Foley Theatre, the art of producing realistic sounds using everyday objects. Students were asked to think about how the sound of a baby dinosaur emerging from its shell can be produced if dinosaurs don’t actually exist, and watched this clip to find out:

As we were all whistling at different frequencies into a digital device to record noises for our jungle soundscape, the KC Star people arrived. One of them asked one of us if we were watching a movie, and when we told her what we were really doing they responded, “Wow, it’s like we’ve entered into a whole new world!”

Highlights:

Students closed their eyes and made up what each of the sounds in Flannery’s Foley Bag of Tricks would resemble in our ecosystem– Crumbling paper became crushing bones as two creatures fought; a baloon releasing air became a bird’s cry…

Students imagined sounds their creatures make as they go about their lives in the jungle-like environment and figured out clever ways to produce them — someone immersed their head into a bucket of water and screamed, but we can’t remember why.

Sorry for no photos, it’s was an auditory-driven day. Plus, we let the newspaper people take care of that, and you can check out the images Wednesday, August 4th, in the Neighborhood News Section.

With Jimmy, students were taught the most valuable music lesson: ANYONE CAN MAKE MUSIC, ANYTHING THAT MAKES SOUND CAN BECOME MUSICAL, AND TO PRACTICE HEARING AND PLAYING ALWAYS.

With about 45 minutes left of class, students and teachers collaborated to write a song, “Creatures Everywhere!” Every kid takes a verse reading a brief poem about their creature to a pulsing big bass beat, then everyone joins back together, everyone with percussion, chanting the chorus: “Welcome to the jungle, creatures everywhere, beaks and snouts, claws and hair, enter if you dare.” Only 45 minutes! We’ll be performing this live on August 14th.

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