The aim of the Starting to Write Music project was to achieve the primary school’s goal, namely, that students could represent “the basic elements of pieces of music and sound events using conventional and unconventional systems of symbols”.
This proposal takes into account the fact that at primary school the time for sound and music education is limited, that teachers do not always have specific skills to teach music notation and, above all, that the students at this school level are not expected to take conservatory exams, but do need to realize that sounds can also be written down, and that other languages, both verbal and non-verbal, can be used to do so.
These tasks require versatile environments: classrooms with desks arranged in “islands” to allow group work, but also classrooms where the benches can be arranged around the edges to create free space in the centre to carry out activities requiring more movement.
The tools required for the course are of various kinds:
Material: Orff instruments, stationery, reclaimed material (cotton skeins, coloured twine,… comics), a sound recording and reproduction system, IWB, a traditional black/whiteboard, and a board with staves;
Digital: audio recordings of some songs, videos of graphic scores and other musical performances, recordings of the work done in the classroom.
The skills, goals and training objectives selected by the teacher for this experience are shown below.
-Participate in body percussion activities by imitation.
-Perform sound gestures in time.
-Listen to sound sequences and analyse them.
-Listen to songs and music, recognizing certain sound parameters.
-Distinguish between high, low, long and short sounds.
-Distinguish between strong and weak intensity and the timbres of voices and instruments.
-Describe the sounds and music listened to using adjectives, images, and similes.
-Represent sounds using intuitive notation.
-Produce simple scores, including polyphonic ones.
-Can read a score and play in a group.
-Can direct the class orchestra during performances.
-Can use conventional notation to read, write under dictation, and invent short rhythmic/melodic sequences.
-Know and use synaesthesia to describe sound events.
-Are committed to finishing work begun alone or with others.
-Establish rules to be shared in the group and use these to read and write sound sequences.
-Work with others to build a joint product.
-Identify similarities between the mechanisms to read/write their native language and those of music.