In the Classroom: The Leapfrogs
Spend a few minutes in the Leapfrog classroom and the children's love for music and performance is very apparent as they sing, play, and put on shows throughout the room. With this clear inclination towards music, we naturally began a study of music and sound.
As teachers, we worked to find out what the children already knew about music. We noticed a pattern of interest in musical instruments and began our study by exploring the various instruments we experienced in our own surroundings and beyond.
We looked at books about instruments, along with nonfiction stories. The Leapfrogs discovered how the instruments have different “families,” including strings, woodwind, and brass and the characteristics of each family.
Next we immersed ourselves further by creating our own instruments. We used recyclable materials found in PIC's recycleteria and donations made by our parents.
The Leapfrogs planned, gathered materials, and executed their design over several days. As they looked through the various materials, they considered which pieces could be combined to create an instrument.
The children worked intently through the design stage, dealing with difficulties such as pieces not sticking together due to size or shape. They often had to rework their ideas and test out different pieces to see how they could produce the “sound” they were seeking.
The instrument creations were very individual and unique based on the interests and ideas of each child. Some Leapfrogs chose to recreate instruments they have heard or seen before, while other Leapfrogs decided to make completely unique music makers with the materials they found.
And then a concert...The teachers were thrilled to see the instruments put into action when the Leapfrogs spontaneously grabbed their instruments to play along with the music coming from the radio.