SPACE COMPOSITIONS What a fantastic interrelated curriculum project all 3rd, 4th, & 5th grade classes enjoyed creating during their August music specials. In preparation for our first Stem Day (August 21) and Stem Night (August 24), we began our process with comparing Gustav Holst’s Mars from his suite, The Planets to John Williams’ Star Warstheme. Jaw dropping was the most typical reaction of students as they listened the first time! It was fun to witness students realizing John Williams’ music was greatly influenced by Gustav Holst’s orchestration and composition techniques. Typical response was, “they sound alike!” Can you name Movie and TV Theme songs composed by John Williams? Well over a hundred! From there students reviewed a favorite music vocabulary word, OSTINATO- a repeated rhythm or melody pattern! Listening for the rhythmic and melodic Ostinati in Mars and Star Wars was nothing short of light bulb moments for the students. EXCITING! ENGAGING! Each class/squad was then charged to come up with a Title/Idea for their Space Composition. The students brainstormed titles and then voted on their favorite. Finally the big day arrived when students chose an instrument within three areas:Orff-xylophones, metallophones, and glockenspiels;Boomwhackers-musical tubes; and Eclectic Station-cymbals, tongue drums, Bass Bars, Joia Tubes. The students were given a minute to explore his/her instrument to come up with an ostinato. Section by section a few students shared their musical idea. Each group tried to imitate suggested musical ideas and quickly settled on a favorite. Each part was notated in Notebook by a volunteer from each instrument section. As a class we discussed when and how groups entered, exited, soloed, and decided on special sound effects such as the gong, crescendos, decrescendos, fade outs, repetitions. Once the Form of our piece was notated and outlined, we PERFORMED!!! Slight adjustments were made as needed, then we RECORDED our composition. This process of creating to performing took approximately 20-25 minutes which allowed time to watch and evaluate our performance! For our evaluations, we complimented what we liked about our performance/composition followed with ideas of ways to improve/edit. Our final week before Stem Night, each class watched their class video again before watching the other class compositions from their own grade level. Feeling inspired, students rotated to the other two instrument stations to play those parts created by their classmates. Mountain View students excelled at this highest level of thinking – composing and performing their imagined space music! Most of all, it was FUN Thank you students and parents who visited our lovely new music rooms! It was a joy to witness children proudly sharing their music with their families! P.S. Come back frequently as I will post different class compositions throughout the next 5-6 weeks! Enjoy! P.P.S. Technical Difficulties:( The files are too big! Come back as a consult experts for resolutions!