Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Winter 2014 Curriculum: Ms. Sluschewski

Hello! My name is Ms. Sluschewski and I am the intern in Ms. Kurtjian’s classroom on Monday and Wednesday! My responsibilities include collaborating with the teaching team on curriculum decisions, planning and implementing lessons, and working with your children on various projects throughout the term. 

I noticed an interest in instruments, music, dancing, and performing when I entered the classroom. It is a constant parade in here! The children had little experience with string instruments before this semester, so I thought it would be beneficial to introduce them to the guitar. We began talking about the strings, how they made sound, and if we could make different sounds with the strings. After intense exploration and experimentation, the children concluded you could make different sounds if you plucked or strummed on different strings. Next we talked about the frets. The children wondered what they were for and how we could use them. We watched several videos about frets and took turns pressing down on the frets to create even more sounds. Our next point of interest is the sound hole. Many of the children think something must be inside the hole helping it make music. Our guesses so far include a sound bug or a ball. We will be exploring the sound hole in the next couple of weeks to identify its’ purpose and role in sound production. 

Throughout the exploration, their vocabulary has grown more sophisticated and their explanations of how the guitar creates sound has developed greatly. Their curiosity has evolved into full-blown interest as we discover how to play the guitar, create different sounds, and perform. 

What started as a learning group of a few children has turned into a Monday and Wednesday class exploration. We watch videos, read books, draw interpretations, and work with our guitar every week, as we become musical masters. I encourage you to talk more with your child about string instruments-particularly guitars, and contribute to our exploration any way you feel comfortable. They love sharing what we are learning and will give you a lesson or two about creating sounds with a guitar!

In the picture above, notice the children turning the tuning knobs on the guitar and plucking and strumming the strings. 

We spent a few weeks focusing on pushing the frets down on the guitar while strumming to create different sounds! 

Our favorite way to use the guitars is to "rock out." The children love shaking their heads, making crazy facial expressions, and acting like a rockstar. 

Please let us know if you have 

any musical instruments you 

would like to donate to our 

classroom collection, any wisdom 

or knowledge about music you 

would like to share with us, or 

if you would like to come in and 

observe any of our lessons! We

would love your participation and 

always value your collaboration. 

Check out the

documentation panels throughout 

the room if you’re interested in 

reading and learning more about 

our guitar exploration! I also have 

drawings and observation notes I 

would love to share with you- just 

let me know!

-Ms. Sluschewski