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You Can Jam Anything! Khan Academy Bluegrass with KLS Kids

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Khan Academy employees volunteered to perform for our Level 1 students, who are learning all about musical instruments as part of their collaborative Ensemble Project. The KA band played bluegrass music and answered students' questions.

Thank you for sharing your time and talents with our students! #YouCanLearnAnything

Guitar: Nick, Senior Financial Analyst
Banjo: Jake, Content Localization Coordinator
Ukelele: David, Grammarian and Associate Historian
Mandolin: Grant, Content Fellow

Students are also sharing their personal knowledge of different instruments and performing for one another. The Ensemble Project will culminate with an interdisciplinary presentation of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, in which Level 1 will demonstrate what they've learned. 

Level 1 student performing for her group! Level 1 designing the set for their upcoming performance Level 1 student sharing his violin

Level 1 Ensemble Project

Our Lower School is focusing on the concept of Relationships throughout the 2016-17 school year. In Independence Level 1, this concept is taking shape through a unit focused on Ensembles. Each term, our Level 1 students will be exploring Ensembles through a different lens: Art & Culture, Science & Technology, Ethics & Justice, Economy & Business, and The Environment.

As part of Term 1's Art & Culture lens, Level 1 students are learning about orchestras. What are the relationships amongst and within the different families of musical instruments? How do orchestras come together to tell a story and express feelings?

Students are exploring instruments through pictures, videos, music, and live performances. They are studying the role of the conductor and the conductor’s relationship with the instrumentalists. In Level 1 Language Arts, students are using a combination of drawing, dictation, and writing to share their opinion of different instruments.

The primary story students are focusing on is Peter and the Wolf. They are using this narrative to learn how to read wall charts and storybooks and how to describe characters' traits and themes (such as the musical themes for each character). By describing gathered objects and artwork, students are learning how to provide rich descriptions, how to engage in a discussion, and how to build vocabulary. In Writer's Workshop, they are practicing retelling the story and creating alternate endings using a combination of illustration, dictation, and writing.

One of the many hands-on projects for this term is set design for the final performance. Students are creating costumes and building the set, paying special attention to how different colors and shapes will inform viewers about their story. They are working on empathy (social & emotional learning) as they discuss the actions and feelings of various characters in their production. Finally, students will perform a portion of Peter and the Wolf using music, acting, and narration. During the Term 1 Exhibition, all work related to this project will be on display for KLS families!