Last week, the 4th and 5th graders had a special project in their orchestra lesson. We talked about improvisation, which is when a musician composes as they are performing.
When we speak, we don't plan what we will say word for word - we might have a basic idea of the thought we want to get across, but it isn't scripted. In the same manner, musicians can improvise music without planning each note.
For beginners, improvisation is best done alone. However, we had limited time in our group lessons so we improvised with up to 6 performers playing at the same time! Because of this, we had to really listen to one another. If one student took the lead, the other students would need to back off, and take more of an accompaniment role.
To make it even more fun, each group selected a clip from a movie, TV show, or video game to use as their inspiration, which we all watched while we played! This helped us stay on track in terms of tempo and mood.
I cannot believe how amazing they did, with only 25 minutes to learn about improvisation AND make the final product. I wish we had more time to do this again, because of course when we improvise, it comes out different each time!
Today, we had a fun orchestra lunch group/party to celebrate everyone's hard work throughout the year. We ate at the tables outside on the playground, listened to music, and enjoyed spending time together. It was a gorgeous day, and the perfect way to end the year!
I wish the best of luck to the 5th graders who will be joining Marshall Simonds' FIRST orchestra next year, and I cannot wait for the current 4th graders to lead our group as 5th graders.
Always remember....Strings Will Rock You!! :)