I have been a bit absent this week and have yet to post anything about my class, The Colour of Music. Here is a little activity I did that is very simple but pleasing, in so many ways.
I filled some jars with water and arranged them from high to low. (If you had the right space and plenty of time it would also be interesting to let the kids experience how more or less water changes the sound but this has the potential to be messy. ) To add colour to the water I used watercolour, for reasons that will become clear. Then I played the jars with a wooden spoon. After some initial exploration I told the kids I was going to “write a song”. I used a long, narrow piece of watercolour paper on which I drew a line with permanent marker from one side to the other. Then I made “notes” – circles – all along the line. I used a palette of watercolour paints, the exact same colours as the water, to fill in the circles. The song could then be played by starting at one side and playing the colours or notes in order. And then it was their turn!
Even my youngest friends (3) were able to do this.
And of course we named the songs:”The Happy”, “A Rainbow Ignition” and “Tweet” being just a few. The kids loved this and to my surprise showed a remarkable ability to understand the idea. They had a great time playing their songs on the jars. I almost didn’t do this activity because I just wasn’t sure but I’m so glad I gave it a go!
Another case of “I should be doing many other things, but instead I am doing this.” Fortunately, it was not a big project! I saw this idea in a book once – a simple jar of blossoms hung on the wall. In the book it was a round jam style jar but it struck me that this glass syrup jug would be perfect, for a number of reasons. For one thing, it has a tiny little loop handle, which makes me feel more secure about hanging it. And the jar is also flat, which makes it ideal for hanging against the wall. I knew I was saving that jar for something. So I soaked the jar in warm soapy water and scrubbed it to remove the label. I think a rustic twine would be great for this kind of thing but I only had raffia, so I used several strands braided together. Then I filled it half full of water and stuck in some flowers. I believe this could work with any jar, but you would want to make sure that it has a sizeable lip so you feel the string wouldn’t slip of and send you jar crashing to the ground. Perhaps you could also use some wire tightly wound around the top of the jar, for a more sturdy hanging option.
When I was finished I wandered around the house looking for a good place to hang my wall flowers. With plaster walls you don’t really want to put nails in without the little metal picture hanger bit (I believe that is what is it called), which takes away from the charm.
But with something this size there are still lots of options. I settled on the front porch (at top) because I think it makes the entryway look rather jolly.